Sunday, January 18, 2009


So..this is how it is.

I am 38 years old and married to a wonderful, loving, God-fearing, sweetheart of a man....I have 3 amazing boys and 4 lovely step kids--all healthy so far. I am a nationally certified Interpreter for the Deaf...which is a rewarding and interesting profession. I am close to finishing up a Masters in Secondary Education...soon to be doing my student teaching internship. I have an awesome church home and have the privilege of being on the worship team and the choir. My Dad lives 8 miles from me and my Aunt and Uncle are close by as well. My mother and I are estranged....(that is a weird word!) but that is nothing new.

My life is good!! God has blessed me much more than I deserve :)

I guess everyone has a thorn in their side (so to speak) and mine happens to be
Rheumatoid Arthritis.

I obtained this autoimmune disease while pregnant with my 3rd son, G. I was 32 years old and I believe it was 2003....yes, because G. was born in November of 2002 but the Dr. did not make a diagnosis until January of 2003. Anyway, when I heard this diagnosis, I knew NOTHING about Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA for short) and thought it was just a disease for 'old people'. After some research, I remembered that I had heard of JRA--Juvenile RA--and that RA is definitely not just for the elderly. That type of arthritis is generally Osteoarthritis. SO, anywho...getting hit with this disease was quite a blow! It started out quite aggressive. I went from never having to take any medications to taking some strong drugs. It effected my knees and feet at first. I remember not being able to walk well many mornings. I was interpreting at a college at that time and one morning, I parked and started to attempt to walk to my client's classroom (which wasn't even that far from the lot) and it took me a good half hour and there were tears hurt so badly. My son, Alex, was 12 at the was just us, me and the 3 boys. G. was a newborn and he had to sleep with me because I couldn't lift him from his crib if he woke up in the middle of the night. Alex was my right hand man...I couldn't have done much without him at the time. He could help with diapers, bottles, tying shoes...I would leave a cell phone with him at night in case I needed him. He was a trooper! And he is such a fine man today...already 18!

Today, I still have issues. We (meaning the Dr. and I) had hoped that my medicines would cause some type of remission to occur by now. They haven't. I take Humera injections, Methotrexate....Prednisone. If the Humera doesn't work, I have to consider infusion medication. Which would mean that I have to go to the hospital every two weeks and take my medication through an IV. I really would rather not! It's more dangerous. Plus, it seems uncomfortable on many levels!

But you know....I could have cancer. I could have a sick child. I could be alone. I could be a non-Christian and not know the love of my Father in heaven. I could be confined to a wheelchair or a bed. But I am none of these! Others are, and I feel so badly for them. I cannot complain that I have RA. Well, I admit...sometimes I do complain :) Mostly to Mark....poor thing! The kids know to be careful around my hands...which are greatly effected now (mainly the wrists). They are swollen almost constantly and if hit, there is excruciating pain involved!

What I am trying to say life is good! The RA stinks sometimes, but it could be much, much worse.

Gotta go for now!
Many Blessings!

~Bethany :)

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