I get asked about my RA a lot so I thought to write about it and answer lots of questions at once!
I went to a Halloween party on a Saturday night in '07 dressed as a girl scout (it was awesome). The costume itself isn't significant, but the party is because I was driving that night so I stuck with one glass of wine and lots of water. The point being that I wasn't drunk and, despite my perpetual clumsiness, I didn't fall down. Still the next day my right ankle hurt and I was limping. By Monday my limp had turned into a full-fledged pain and I had a disturbingly large lump on the back of my ankle. My sister insisted that I call the doctor to see what was up, which I did a bit begrudgingly since I don't generally like visiting the doctor. My doctor agreed to see me the next day and when she saw my ankle she was stumped. There had been no apparent trauma to my leg or explanation for the giant lump. After some head scratching and a few looks in the medical textbooks she decided that my best bet was a visit to an orthopedic surgeon. An appointment was made for a week later and I headed home with a still swollen ankle, a more pronounced limp, and a little bit of anxiety over just what the heck was wrong.
I woke up on Wednesday to discover that not only was my ankle still sore, but now other parts of my body were following suit. By Friday my hands, wrists, back, feet, knees, and even jaw were also inflamed. Things didn't improve when I got a call from my mom telling me that her bosses wanted me to come in for some blood tests. My mom is a nurse at an Oncology practice, and although she told me not to worry...I did. Blood tests were run and it was decided that what I really needed was a Rheumatologist. A call was placed and I was given an appointment to see an amazing rheumatologist. The catch was that the appointment wasn't until January 18, 2009.
Now for those of you keeping track my symptoms started the day after a Halloween party. Within a week of that, nearly every joint in my body was inflamed and painful. My doctor's appointment wasn't until January 18! That left me with 2 and a half months to try and deal with my symptoms on my own. True, my regular doctor gave me a prescription anti-inflammatory as well as a dose of steroids, but overall there wasn't much to be done. Those months were not my best, and I'm sure I wasn't fun to be around. I slept very little because of the pain, and ate even less because my jaw was to sore to chew. When the day finally came for me to meet the rheumatologist I was happier than I had been in months! After a LOT of blood work, and another week of waiting for results it was confirmed that I had Rheumatoid Arthritis.
48 days later I turned 30....awesome