Thursday, April 30, 2009

The Rheumatoid Arthritis Diagnosis

As I said on Tuesday, I'm the newest member of the team of writers at Below is my first post and the beginning of my rheumatoid arthritis diagnosis story.

I hope that you will go read the complete story and maybe let me know you stopped by. In future posts, I will discuss the challenges of living with multiple chronic illnesses which I know many of you can relate to.

Each one of us has a unique story of how we learned about rheumatoid arthritis and about the immune system which has decided to attack our own body tissue to cause inflammation and damage. Here is my story.

I am a classically trained pianist who spent her undergraduate years practicing piano 4-6 hours each day. Lots of repetition, developing great hand strength and finger coordination. In a very real way, I understood my world through my fingers.

I even knew how words were spelled by the “feeling” of my fingers on typewriter keys. Yes, this was before I had access to a computer. I only had to mentally type the words in question to know which letters to use when I wrote.

So when my hands began to feel a bit odd 7 years ago, mostly heavy and thick, I mentioned it to my primary doctor. Based on my symptoms we looked for possible lupus (my mother has SLE), rheumatoid arthritis, hypothyroidism, and overall inflammation. My nurse called with the results.

Read this post in its entirety:

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome or Not?


  1. Congrats on the new writing gig -- I'm sure you'll be helping a lot of people.

  2. My mother suffers from RA... I know you will be helping a lot of people.

  3. Well, just in time---I seem to have a shoulder/arm issue...aarrggh