This blog is to show people what it's really like to live with Rheumatoid Arthritis at 18. When I was diagnosed, I searched the web and found very few accounts showing the difficulties of dealing with this disease at such a young age. On top of this, there were NONE that described the college experience living with RA, which has inpired me to start this! I hope my account can provide hope and support to RA fighters of all ages, and especially to those who have just been diagnosed!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

"In my 22 years of being a doctor here, we've never had a case of RA"

Dealing With Campus Health Services

The Nau campus health and fitness center

The Physician: 

After moving away right after starting mtx, it was only natrual that my doctor asked me to have monthly blood tests sent to him for review. After booking an appointment for a campus doctor, she stated that she could not order the labs, because she was not my specialist. This general physician wanted to know what I expected her to do, and told me that she did not know much about the disease. And although I completely understand this, it was a bit frustrating when she basically said that she couldn't do anything. She had been working with the center for 22 years and had never seen an ra patient. Awesome. 

However, after explaining my situation we were able to set up a way to get my lab tests! She was awesome once I explained that I did not need her to treat me, only send my tests. If anyone going into college is in a similar situation, be sure to really explain that all you need done are tests! Not many people suffer from ra in college and they aren't exactly sure what to do with such a case. (My physician had to bend a few rules to get the tests done on campus).

The Dietician and Anti-Inflammatory Diet:

I don't know if I have mentioned this before, but I am also a vegetarian (about 7 years) and recently went to the dietician to discuss a vegan option. Me and one of my roomates decided to do a vegan challenge, and I loved it! It was then that I first learned about the anti-inflammatory diet. She provided me with all kinds of information, and I am pretty excited to start it. I was initially going to start over break, considering I met with her at the end of the semester, but my moms delicious holiday cooking made it impossible. We also decided to talk to my rheumy about it first.

The Anti-Inflammatory Food Pyramid. Wine has it's own catagory, thank god! (I know I'm a freshman and underage, but I love a good glass of white wine... )

My Rhuemy's opinion:

At my last visit, we brought up the idea of starting the diet. He told us that he thought it was definitely a good idea to start eating healthier, but that he has not had a patient try it yet. (As he is a juvenile doctor, but still continues to see me until I go into remission). He gave us the okay to start it, and we are all curious to see how it goes! 

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