MAV, menopause & now Rheumatoid Arthritis :(

I was just diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis today and am beyond upset. I feel like I am going to have a really hard time dealing with all of these things at once. To top it off, I have to see a Gastroenterologist this Friday for a endoscopy and very painful esophageal spasms. I hope that appt. and the endoscopy don’t reveal any more issues for me, because I can’t take much more. I am only 46 and have so much more to do.

Just venting. Thanks for listening.


Hi Donna -

I’m so sorry to hear you’ve gotten this bad news. It’s got to knock the wind right out of you. :frowning:

Nothing anyone can say or do will really take the sting out of it. I will just say that I’ve admired people who can handle difficult diagnoses with grace - Michael J Fox comes to mind. He didn’t handle it well at first (Parkinson’s), but he has come around and is an amazing example of someone who even finds the “blessing” in his illness. I don’t know if I could be like that - that’s why I find him so admirable. I think, wow, could I ever get to such a place if I were in his shoes? You might want to pick up his book, “Lucky Man” if you haven’t read it.

I did try to get myself out of my “funk” when I broke my leg a few years ago by forcing my thoughts back to a “counting my blessings” frame of mind (though I didn’t include breaking my leg as one of them!!). I had to have surgery, and was totally non-weight bearing for 6 weeks, and sitting around with your leg elevated makes you a little nuts and not just a little depressed. So I kept thinking about soldiers who had a leg - or two - blown off, and reminded myself that at least I still had a leg, and would soon be able to walk on it again. I kept trying to remind myself of what I still HAD instead of focusing on what my losses were. No, it wouldn’t ever be the same, but it would be in one piece. I might have discomfort or develop arthritis in that area (my surgeon warned me about that), but I’d still be looking at my own foot at the end of my leg.

It took effort to keep steering my thoughts in the direction of my blessings (my negative emotions wanted to subvert this plan), but I was able to get keep from crying for long or staying poopy for long stretches.

Again, I’m so sorry that you got this news, and I wish you hadn’t. But I hope that with treatment, it won’t bother you too much. I know research is ongoing and treatments improving all the time. Take care.

Hello Donna
Rheumatoid arthritis is not the news you want to hear, esp as you are so young. I understand how upset you must be feeling. Last year in the midst of bad MAV I was diagnosed with psoriatic arthritis which was ‘out of control’. It has taken a year and several trials of meds to find one that works without bad s/e. I’m taking 25mg methotrexate once a week and now I’m stablised things are clearing up and the psorasis & arthritis a lot better. My specialist assures me that many of his patients take metho for many years without bad side effects. I also had an endoscopy which showed an ulcer so that was another hurdle to get over!
Like MaryAlice I try to find at least 10 things to be grateful for each night before sleeping but sometimes things get so overwhelming you just have to have a vent/good howl to get a positive attitude back. I know did! :roll:

So sorry to hear your news Donna. Sometimes it just seems that life is like that - one thing after another, blow after blow and you wonder how on earth you’re going to cope, how you’re ever going to get through it. It’s quite overwhelming and soul destroying, not to mention scary. Been there few times. What I’ve learnt is that somehow we’re all stonger than we think and as time passes we find ourself coping and dealing with stuff in a way we thought we never would, or could. But we’d never believe that if someone had told us it when we first get the bad news about whatever.

Like Mary Alice says you’ve had the wind taken out of you right now and of course you need to vent - best idea of all in the circumstances, we all understand that - and there’s no denying you’ve been dealt a tough hand and then some, but eventually you WILL find a way through. Via various means - suitable treatments, family and friend’s support, this forum, postive thoughts, whatever means are at your diposal. Use them all.

Meanwhile, as it all sinks in, a big hug and lots of love…

Good luck for Friday


Thanks for all the kind comments and advice. It all seems so unreal to me still and am still struggling with all of this.

MaryAlice ~ I completely agree with you about Michael J. Fox. He has dealt with his illness with such grace and diginity and I do admire him and his wife for standing by him. He is very open about his illness and does tv appearances, which I don’t think I could handle if I had his disease.

I’m trying to let everything sink in and realize that I still have life left in me and I can make it through this too.

Barb ~ It sounds like you have been through quite a bit also. I am so happy that the meds are working for your psoriatic arthritis.

I will be having my endoscopy on August 13th because the one last year showed some metaplasia (possibly pre-cancer) and I don’t want to go through cancer again in my life (I had stage 2B breast cancer at 28).

Brenda ~ Thanks for listening to my vent. I feel like I am wearing out my family and friends will all my various illnesses and feel like they have a hard time dealing with everything. I usually use the forums more, because everyone understands when they don’t.

Thanks for the hugs and love.