I was diagnosed with seropositive RA about 8 months ago after having experienced 4 or 5 months of what I now know was a flare. I started on methotrexate right away and have had pretty positive results with the exception of a recent bit of flare in the past few weeks, which have been really scary and frustrating for me. At 28 I lead a very active lifestyle - I love to run and recently completed a 20k race with the hopes, currently on hold :), of running a half marathon later this summer. Perhaps the hardest thing for me in adjusting to life with RA is the thought that my body is changing in a way I simply have no control over. Running makes me feel strong physically and mentally, spiritually, etc., while thinking about my RA does exactly the opposite. As I’ve had some pain and fatigue, and as I’ve been stewing on my physically limited future, I’ve been running a lot less. Lately, though, I’m starting to think that I should go ahead and get out there while I can (moderately and on trails not cement), take advantage of my relative good fortune to be able to still use my body this way. I do know that it’s important to not overdo it but so far running does not make my feet or the rest of my body hurt any more than they already do. In fact, I feel generally so much better afterward. My spirits and energy are lifted and my body feels nice and stretched out. I am really anxious, though, about the day when I have to stop running. Does anyone have any advice or stories to share about RA and running or other high-impact activity? Any success stories in general?? I’ve been getting pretty depressed reading a lot of what’s out there on the internet about RA!
The one thing I have come to understand is how different RA is for everyone. I am 49 years old now and was diagnosed about 12 years ago. I too got pretty depressed as it came on so severe I thought would be crippled by my age now. Good news though. One day it went into remission. Not another symptom at all! I waited knowing it could not just up and leave, but that is what it did! I did all kinds of things, being the mother of an active young boy I guess you could say I was quite athletic Then, about 2 years ago it returned. At first I thought just had the flu, but then the familiar symptoms started adding up… it was back. But I did something different than before. I refused to give in to the RA. On days when it is just too hard to get around in serious pain I laid down, did some reading, even made a list of the things I was going to do when it subsided. Then when it subsided, I did them. Active things. I don’t take being able to be active for granted anymore. And on days when I just kind of ache, I make the RA take a back seat and go about my life normally. The important thing with RA is to realize when its time to lay down, and when its time to stay active. During times when the pain is so light or not there, have yourself a run! On days when its a bit more achy, take a brief walk. And on those days when its just too painful… catch up on some reading, talk on the phone, catch a good show on t.v. Something RA has taught me that is a positive thing is to enjoy your life no matter what you can physically do and on days when you can burst out with some energy, go for it! I hope for another remission. That was a nice few years there free of it, but to give into to it while its here is to just say no to my life. You sound very active, stay as active as you can. Also, I would like to mention that mentoring children and teens is an excellent way of getting an extra positive thing going in your life. So many children get babysat by the t.v., video games, dvds, cds, mp3 players and really don’t get out an enjoy life. I think you would be a great inspiration to them!
Have a nice day!