Living with RA: Learning the cause of the pain.

I lived with the pain in my knees for so long that I was beginning to accept it as a normal part of my life. It seemed the doctors weren’t really trying to do anything to treat it and l was getting tired of fighting.

With that said, I went to work my new physically demanding job. I went from sitting behind a desk handling customer service issues to walking 12-20 miles a day. It was hard. By the time February 2016 rolled around I would be in so much pain when I would leave work that I could hardly make it home. It was then tha I made a decision to help easy the pain.

The doctors kept saying lose weight and the pain would subside. Didn’t happen! At this point I’d dropped from 327 lbs to 242 lbs for a total of 85 lbs. it seemed the most weight I lost the worse the pain got. So after aggravating the pain with three falls on ice at the height of my weight loss, I decided it was best if I found another desk job. With in hours of putting in applications I received calls and by mid February I was offered another position and put in my two weeks notice.

Between jobs, I was afforded a week off. During that week, all the swelling and pain went away. I quickly began to think that I was in the clear and the weight loss was the key. But that wasn’t so. Within days of returning to work on a new less physically demanding job, the swelling returned. Just like in the beginning, the pain came a few weeks later this time with more intensity.

I’d been in full swing of running with my group and working out to maintain the weight loss. My meal plan was boring but I was sticking with it and seeing results. In mid April the pain hit like a tin of bricks and all work outs stopped. Thankfully I had a follow up appointment with my primary doctor the first week of May and I was determined to have something done at this point. He tried dancing around the issue but I kept insisting that something was wrong given how long I’d been dealing with the pain. That’s when I was sent for an MRI and discovered that I had a torn meniscus and fluid buildup around my knees. They only focused on the right knee given that’s where the majority of the pain was at the time. I was quickly scheduled to see an orthopedic surgeon and setup for an arthroscopic surgery to make the repair.

I had surgery June 23 and on July 1 I received a definitive diagnosis of what I’d been going through. Rheumatoid Arthritis an autoimmune disease that attacks the joints. I was grateful to finally know what the actual problem was. Now I needed the treatment. The surgeon wanted to treat it with physical therapy which only aggravate it more but help to strengthen the muscles post surgery. The primary doctor had no suggestion because the surgeon failed to send office visit notes over after my first office visit. Story of my life it seems. One hand never know what the other is doing.

My surgeon finally told me in July that I need to see a Rheumatologist for further treatment because he would only be able to continue treating the issue with a full knee replacement. That a treatment option I figured would be thrown out at some point. However, at 35 no one wants to go through such a surgery if it’s not a last result.

So after nearly two years that the point I’m at. I’ve had my initial visit with the Rheumatologist. He’s put me through a battery of test and I go back in a few days for the results and the new treatment plan.

I may be living with rheumatoid arthritis, but it will not run my life. Since February I’ve gained 43 lbs. I’m going on vacation June and I want to be at my goal weight of 205 by the . So I have 80 lbs to drop in the next ten months. 

Watch me work!



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