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Friday, April 29, 2011

OK I have RA, now what???

     OK, so finally I found out I "officially" have RA and although there is sense of relief I want to know what does Rheumatoid Arthritis mean?  Well first, my doctor explained it to me and gave me the various brochures that explain the disease.  Then being the "need to know all there is about it" type I immediately went home and began an exhaustive search on the Internet and at the local library to find out what exactly I was in store for.  A word of caution here....there is a HUGE range of information out there about different diseases with variances in prognosis, treatment, etc. and it is important to not get overwhelmed with all that you read and hear about.  If you can find a few good trusted sources like WebMed, your doctor, the Arthritis Foundation website and magazine, a person you know who has RA, that will give you a variety of sources to turn to without feeling totally confused!  
     So, once you are armed with this new found information it is time to make some decisions about how to proceed....I would recommend setting up an appointment with your rheumatologist ASAP and maybe even a second one if you have that luxury.  I did and it only served to provide me with more options and to realize that they were in agreement as to how to treat my own particular case while taking into consideration my needs and goals.  So, within about three visits to each I then decided on the one that made the most sense for me geographically and I have never regretted my decision.  
     Deciding what you want to achieve with treatment is the next step and I will discuss that tomorrow and how I determined what I wanted to do....not an easy decision to come by, but very important!
Remember to laugh today and to hug someone you love!

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