My mojo means that I have creative energy and an optimistic outlook. When I have those things, I am good to go. I can write. I can read complex articles. I am living in a good space. Happy.
Learning you have a a diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis,
starts you on a journey of a lifetime.
When I was diagnosed with RA, I read a wonderful book that proved to be a guide for me on my journey. One of the things I came to understand was that I was in charge of me and I was in charge of managing my own RA. My responsibility. It is easier than it seems.
It is important to understand your rheumatoid arthritis and it is important to understand how it affects you. To be knowledgeable about your disease process is one part of learning how to manage your life with it. As you already know, you are forever wed to RA and to your brand of it. Acceptance is an important step in the process.
RA is a lifelong disease and it is unique to each person. At the same time, RA sufferers have many characteristics in common. Usually there is symmetry of joint involvement. Pain is also a common symptom. Disease progression may vary. It is a disease that is characterized by individual profiles and it is that individual uniqueness of rheumatoid arthritis that makes it hard to treat and harder to live with.
In the article, Diagnosis and Management of Rheumatoid Arthritis by Dr Rindfleisch and Dr Miller there is a brief description of how RA affects the joint. The quote reminds us of the deeply serious nature of the disease.
Joint damage in rheumatoid arthritis begins with the proliferation of synovial macrophages and fibroblasts after a triggering incident, possibly autoimmune or infectious… Overtime, inflamed synovial tissue begins to grow irregularly, forming invasive pannus tissue. Pannus invades and destroys cartilage and bone. Multiple cytokines, interleukin’s, proteinases, and growth factors are released causing further joint destruction and the development of systemic complications.
Symptoms of disease versus complications
One of the reasons WEB information about disease is confusing and scary is because characteristics of disease and complications of disease are all jumbled together. So you will see painful joints lumped with joint destruction and lung and heart disease. Heart and lung disease and joint destruction are complications not symptoms. This lumping is confusing. It puts together things that are probable with things that are only a possibility. It always makes RA diagnosis seem even scarier .