Remission is Over…

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Well, it was good run.  After 10 years in remission my auto-immune disease has returned.  I had almost forgotten about it since I have not been symptomatic since receiving chemotherapy for Hodgkin’s Lymphoma.  We just assumed that it had been a misdiagnosis and had in fact been the lymphoma causing the symptoms and abnormal lab values throughout my 20’s and early 30’s.

Looking back, I suppose I can recall a few instances that were most likely physical flare ups that I didn’t recognize as RA at the time.  I couldn’t fasten my bra, I couldn’t hold a pen, and at one point I had to have my hand splinted.  I also didn’t realize that RA also caused cognitive impairments, fatigue, mood disorders, and most surprising, EYE PROBLEMS!  Since I was 17 I have lived in my contact lenses.  Many of my friends and co-workers probably had no idea I was blind and wouldn’t recognize me with my glasses on.  That changed about 4 years ago, and I have hardly worn my contacts since.  My eyes are frequently uncomfortable and the specialist I went to diagnosed me with dry eyes brought on by age.  I’m not that old!!

On the plus side, the migraines I’ve been battling with this past year can be related, so in combo with the Botox, once I start treatment again, they might go away completely!

I really don’t like the name “Rheumatoid Arthritis”.  It makes it sound like it is just joint pain of arthritis and it is so much more.  It is an auto-immune disease where your body is attacking itself, “arthritis” just doesn’t seem to capture that.  Oh well, I meet with the rheumatologist on Tuesday to see what the plan of attack will be.  I already have one knuckle that has protruded and need to slow down the progression.

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