Living with Rheumatoid Arthritis
There’s bad news and there’s unexpected bad news. A diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is often the latter.
Because arthritis is associated with the pain and stiffness of aging joints, young and middle-aged people are usually stunned when they learn they have rheumatoid arthritis. But RA, unlike the more common osteoarthritis, has nothing to do with wear and tear. It’s an autoimmune disease that causes joint inflammation, and also fever and loss of energy.
The specter of a painful, less active life can be devastating. But it doesn’t have to play out that way. Here are the stories of three people who were knocked off balance by an RA diagnosis, but have found their own ways to build the emotional and physical strength to take control of their lives.