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I have been in pain since I can remember. When I was a kid, I would lay in bed and cry because my legs hurt so bad. My parents kept telling me it was growing pains and to get over it. So I learned to keep quiet. But the pain persisted. My knees, ankles, back, hands, feet. When I was 19, I was pregnant with my first child. The pain in my legs was so unbearable that I couldn't walk on them. The doc at the ER asked me "have you ever been told you have arthritis in your knees?" Of course I did. What else could explain the pain I had been in? He put me on crutches and sent me on my way.
There has not been a single day that I can remember that I haven't hurt,but the pain would travel and would be mostly managable with NSAIDs. Over the last 5 or 6 years the pain has become more widespread and constant. Stairs became a struggle in my early thirties. I had to get help opening things, or lifting frying pans.
I went to my primary care a few years ago in a panic because I was in so much pain. She actually listened. She looked at my hands and feet and told me she was 99% sure I have RA, but without insurance, I couldn't afford the test. She also said I had very low vitamin D and that could also be contributing to my aches and pains.
Today, I struggle to wipe after using the restroom, gripping my steering wheel, lifting a coffee cup. My fingers are twisting and look like I am a boxer. Out of desperation because I couldn't do my job (i'm a restraunt manager) I started taking prednisone my son had gotten for his asthma last month and never took. I am not in agony. I can do things I haven't been able to do in years like tie my shoes, or put my pants on like a normal person. The swelling in my feet has gone down so much that my shoes are too big.
I have been taking pics daily of my hands and feet to document the changes so when I actually get insurance maybe I will be listened to.
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