Living with Rheumatoid Arthritis

July 7th, 2008

Regular readers of this blog would know that at the age of 12 I was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA). More than any other thing that has happened to me it has shaped my life and made me into the person I am today. It even brought me to God in the first place.

For those who don’t know. RA is a chronic form of arthritis where the auto-immune system attacks the bodies own joints and breaks down the synovial fluid that lubricates the joints. This then in turn means bone rubbing on bone which causes chronic pain, swelling, stiffness, loss of mobility and deformed joints.

Thankfully even though at times my RA has been chronic and at times crippling, I have been spared much of the deformity that has been associated with the disease. Many people have fingers and toes that point sideways and are almost unable to be used for everyday things. Things like opening a jar or using a computer keyboard are just not possible.

All the way through having this disease I have always tried to help others. Every time I have heard of someone being newly diagnosed it almost brings me to tears. I know the road I have traveled and the pain I have been through. Because of this I try to do what I can to encourage them that they can live a fairly normal live with the disease and I try to share my experiences.

Because of this experience I wrote an article several years ago and put it on my website. Each month 100 or so people search the net and are brought to this article. Many of them email me and thank me for sharing my experience and advice.

The thing that seems to help them the most is that someone who was diagnosed with RA at such a young age has gone on to live a fairly “normal” life. Knowing that I have been able to work most of the time, have kids and be a functioning part of society really encourages people to look to the future with hope. For me this makes my suffering worth while in some way.

If you would like to read the article or you know someone who has Rheumatoid Arthritis I would encourage you to share this with them. It might just give them some hope that things will be ok.

God Bless,
Dave

Link to article – http://www.passionaustralia.org/livingwithRA.html