Avatar_universal
RA for 24 years
When I read your story it was like going back in time.  I was diagnosed with RA at 17....I was in my senior year of high school.  No one knew what was going on, all i knew was I would rather walk to the other side of the school and take the back stairs than try to make it up and down the main stairs in front of everyone.  My mom took me to different doctors and I always came up negative for RA, lupus.  They just thought I was faking, what they didn't understand is I hid the pain for years before it became too bad that i couldn't anymore....but I was hiding it from myself too...always had a high pain tolerance. Sometimes I wouldn't even realize I was in pain...it was my life from  about 13.  Then the final straw came when I got off the bus one afternoon and could not walk to the house....Thankfully my mom called University of Alabama Birmingham and got me an appointment the next day with a rheumatologist.......They told me in 5 minutes i had RA....it didn't matter if the Rheumatoid factor was negative.....I had RA.  Now it was a relief to know what was wrong....but I didn't realize the journey ahead of me.

Okay, took a long way to get to my point but....no you are not too young for RA.  Very few people that you encounter will understand what you are going through, you will always get..."OH, I have arthritis in my knee, shoulder etc".  Over the years I have perfected my "everything's fine face".....On my BAD days I do tend to hide myself away, only because it makes me feel better, a cocoon of sorts.  Now there are so many wonderful meds out there for the treatment of RA.....you still have a future, something they told me I wouldn't have when I was diagnosed....I remember my OT telling me I would be in a wheelchair by 30.  I am 40 now and still kicking, although somedays not as hard as I use too.  
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Well I can't tell u how nice that is to hear especially tonite it's been a rough couple of weeks and I am going in for an upper GI tomorrow am to rule out something going on in my stomach dr said my gallbladder is diseased and may néed to be removed I am honestly super nervous not to mention really flared up tonite I guess the stress and the really cold temps aren't helping anything! Thanks for posting your story and your words of encouragement! :) I'll write again when I figure out the tummy thing!  Have you tried any of these new drugs? I have an aunt who takes embril and she is having great results so far!
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Avatar_universal
I am sorry to hear about your stomach troubles, I too just went through a complete GI set, after years of anti-inflammatory meds,  I thought my stomach would be in rough shape, thankfully it turned out to be fine and just a Hiatal hernia which I am taking care of through diet....yeah no more DRUGS:)  I had my gallbladder out 6 years ago....it will be okay, in fact I feel better without it....mine only worked at 5% capacity...but I know the nervous feeling.....I will tell you what my mom ALWAYS tells me...."Don't worry until you HAVE something to worry about"  It has gotten me through many scary moments in life.

I was in a drug study with Enbrel several years before it came onto the market.....I was on it for 9 years.....from 1995 to 2004.  It really helped.....since then I have taken Humira with some results, right now I am back to my old standby of Prednisone and Methotrexate.  We are looking into a couple of other treatments and perhaps a new drug study soon.   Looking into a new infusion that you only take 4 times a year, but as you may know insurance can be a problem with some arthritis drugs because of the expense.....but there are always ways around it, drug studies, help for the drug companies etc.  What therapies are they looking into for you?

Hope all goes well with you tummy troubles.....I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers....always glad to make a new friend!
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