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!

Thursday, June 14, 2012


Had my summer rheumy appointment last week. I'm doing so well that I can stop all of my pills and only do the weekly injections!

This means NO METHOTREXATE. (Although for the past 2 months i've been taking it every 2 weeks, it makes me too tired)

I am so beyond happy.

Although we did find a rib bone near my sternum that is very enlarged. He took an x-ray and had them sent to a radiologist to be read. I'm not too concerned, but I will let you all know what he finds!

Nice to hear.

"Great that I found this! Someone I can finally relate to.. I'm 16 and was diagnosed with ankylosing spondylitis last year."

I love hearing from people who have found my blog. It's nice to know that even though we have different diagnosis, they can relate to me. I guess it's also a reminder that I'm not the only one suffering so young. 

7 years too long.

I'm not sure if I posted this on here or not, but I was a long time vegetarian. I had decided to give up meat at age 11 and was keeping strong! That is until about 2 months ago. I have not written about this, but all year I have felt a sort of insatiable hunger while in Flagstaff. I was not sure if this was due to the climate change, and my bodies need to burn more calories in order to stay warm, or if I was simply more active. However, eating more and bigger portions satisfied this feeling at first, but soon was not enough. I began craving high protein foods and carbohydrates such as peanut butter and breads, but was still not relieved. Eventually I actually began craving meat. And not just the occasional desire for a taste it, but actual CRAVINGS. It was then that I decided that this was my bodies way of telling me that I'm not giving it what it wants. My nutrition was not exactly at it's peak, and the fact that I clearly wasn't giving my body what it needed were my ultimate deciding factors. I tried to substitute other forms of proteins and the missing fats into my diet, but the results were not enough.

On a random night in April, we went to McDonalds, and I caved. Yes, I know it's McDonalds and possibly the worst fast food health wise and abuse wise, but I could not stand it any longer. The chicken nuggets would be easy to digest considering they are hardly chicken and I just had to have them.

I cannot even being to describe how much it has positively affected my health. I feel 100x better than I used to, and I never even considered my nutrition to be a factor. My hair and skins condition have greatly increased, and my strength has as well. I now have a much higher endurance and stamina levels, and my insatiable hunger has vanished.

It does however not exactly make me happy morally to be eating animals again, but I have found that I cannot go back to my vegetarian lifestyle due to the health benefits.


It has been a while since i've updated this, but I have been quite busy lately!

My freshman year went very well, but I do have one more story that many college students may relate to. Mononucleosis.

At the end of April I woke up one morning with extremely swollen glands in my neck. Worried from the sudden onset, I watched them for the next few days. They did eventually go down, but I began to run a slight fever and was soon overcome with extreme exhaustion. Yep, it was mono. And if anyone has ever had it, you know how tired it can make you feel. This, along with the normal fatigue from RA and the side effects of the methotrexate made it horrible. I would go to bed, wake up for class, come back from class, and go right back to sleep. (Although I normally did this for a power nap after class ). The difference however, was that I would wake up around 4 still sleepy, and would soon feel ready for bed.

After a few days of this, I decided that I needed to go to the doctor again. I was pretty worried that I would catch another illness, considering the medications I am prescribed are immunosuppressants. There we contacted my doctor, and I was ordered to stop all medications for at least two weeks. Having  mono and decreasing my bodies natural defenses would only make the illness last longer.

And dear lord, I really did begin to notice how much I need a treatment. My joints began to stiffen just a few days after stopping, and it made me realize how thankful I am for my treatments and doctor. Without them, I would still be in the pain that I was in highschool. Unable to participate in activities and unhappy with life.

Two weeks went by, and sure enough I was was feeling much better. I was given the okay to start my pills and injections again, and quickly was back to my normal routine :) So just a heads up for anyone who might be questioning if you have an auto-immune disease with mono, it is actually bearable haha. Luckily mine was not a bad case, but it is really important to stop medications. I feel that it really did help, and i'm glad I went to the doctor to find out!