Tuesday, 30 November 2010


Tomorrow is my 1 year RA anniversary. 1 year ago exactly, I was a totally normal healthy 23 year old.

How bloody depressing.

I remember waking up on the 1st december with these 2 strange swollen knuckles and thinking a big spider or something had bitten me during the night.

I remember the absolute terror and depression which gripped me for the next few months after discovering that I had a chronic uncurable disease.

It was horrible, just horrible. As I'm sure you all know yourselves.

Where am I at 1 year later? A lot calmer, for sure, even though the whole thing still really gets me down if I stop and think about it.
Most of the horrible fears I had last December haven't come true. I deal with some symptoms most days but I generally feel alright and my life is pretty much the same as it was last year.

I've had a good year, I've travelled to many new places and had a lot of fun with my friends and family.
I've met some incredible people through Arthritis Care who have helped me face my condition head on.
I set myself a physical challenge in doing the charity cycle, and I succeeded.

I'm looking forward to Christmas, knowing it will be a LOT better than the last. It can't possibly be any worse!!

Unfortunately I think the hydroxychloriquine is doing bugger all for me. My symptoms are mild and come and go but I think that's just my disease because nothing's changed since I started the drug 4 and a half months ago. No better, no worse. The sulfa didn't agree with me, so I'm starting to try and come to terms with the fact that I might have to try a low dose of methotrexate in the new year. This is something I have to mull over the next couple of months before my check up at the end of January and I need to come to a decision together with my doctors. I know that the decision will be to try it because I really want to continue living my life well. But I need a little while to get used to the idea.

This reality would've scared the hell out of me a year ago. And it still does, but I feel stronger now.

So, happy anniversary, RA. I will continue to fight you and hope you go to sleep for a very long time so that next year, I won't even remember it's our anniversary.


  1. You have done remarkably well for your first year Squirrel. I am still impressed (jealous) over your 51 mile bicycle ride. You live a very active lifestyle for someone with RA.

    It's always scary contemplating changing meds. People look at it differently, and until your faced with this choice, no one can fully understand it. The list of side effects is enough to scare you to death. For me, the quality of life I have left is worth the risk of taking the MTX and Humira. Even though I still hurt mildly everyday, I wouldn't be riding my motorcycles if I were not taking the drugs.

  2. I still remember those first days of swelling in my fingers seven years ago in January. I kept trying to figure out what I was doing that would cause the swelling and pain. Never did I imagine that I was in the beginning stages of a disease. But, here I am seven years later still enjoying my life even through many ups and downs. I love your attitude and that you are getting out there and enjoying your life too.

    The methotrexate decision is very hard. Follow your heart and it will tell you the right direction to go. Good luck! I hope RA takes a long, long sleep.

  3. Thank you guys, it's very strange reaching this first milestone. But it really helps reading your blogs and seeing you get on with your lives even after many years of RA.

    I know in my heart that I will take the methotrexate if that's what we decide is best. But as you say Terry, I'm still very active for someone with RA so sometimes it's hard for me to accept that I am actually sick and need these drugs. But I also know if I don't take action, I have a lot to lose. Thanks again for the comments :)

  4. Hey there, Squirrel. This week is my 1 year anniversary, too. I'm still building up to writing that post....Good luck to you in your decision-making. I wish you the best in that and everything else! :) L