When I was first diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis my first instinct was to research it online as much as I could. The first web site that I found described RA as “uncomfortable” and “easily treatable”. For those of you who do not have RA let me say that it is way more than “uncomfortable”, it slows you down and can be very painful, and often does affect other aspects of your health. As I started looking at the more scholarly medical journal side of things I realized that the picture of RA that I had painted based on what I had initially found was grossly inaccurate. I feel that as a whole we have been misled as to what exactly having RA means to an individual and their life. Drug commercials for medications such as Enbrel and Humira show their patients completely resuming normal life as if nothing was ever wrong, but this is not a realistic depiction of treatments.
However when all is said and done there have been amazing advances in the treatment of RA patients even since the 1990’s. With new treatments being developed the way of life that these initial web sites offered does seem to be somewhat in reach but still a ways off. In the long run if I only have to deal with occasional flare ups that wouldn’t be the end of the world.