Ray’s Story

Ray’s Story

Tell us a little about yourself and your family -- where you're from, what you do, what your interests are, etc. *I am a 39 father of two ages 2 & 5. I have been married to my best friend for 8 years and we are living in NC. I enjoy running, reading, playing video games & drinking coffee.
When were you diagnosed with RA/Rheumatoid Disease?I was was diagnosed back in August of 2014 just before my son was born.
What was your first symptom?The first symptom that got me into the doctors office was swelling in two of my fingers to the point where I couldn’t make a fist. However looking back my first symptom was actually swelling in my feet and ankles that I chalked up to the amount I was running.
What is the biggest way rheumatoid disease has affected your life?They biggest way my life has been affected is by not being able to play with my kids in the way I envisioned. Ankles and wrist inflammation stop me from running around as much as I would like.
What has been your experience with treatments for rheumatoid disease?I have been on mtx and a biologic and I am better on the meds then off but I am not pain free. I have some form of inflammation at all times
What do you want the public to know about rheumatoid disease?That it takes a lot of strength and work to walk around every day and look like you are not in pain.
How have you worked to overcome challenges presented by rheumatoid disease?I have just learned to adapt and do things a little different. I use compression socks to help with inflammation in my feet, keep wrist wraps on hand just in case I need them and adjusted my workouts to not over do it.
What have you learned through living with rheumatoid disease?The most important thing that I have learned is the importance of a positive out look and finding the sliver lining. Also there is a large threshold of pain your body can take when you have to.
What encouragement or advice would you give to someone who is newly diagnosed?Take it in day at a time and enjoy the good days.
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