I’m reluctant to complain because I know that I am one of the fortunate ones who, so far, has a mild version of RA and I can maintain a somewhat reasonably active lifestyle. On an average day, I don’t hurt badly but I am certainly no where close to being pain free. Living with a chronic disease means that we have to work harder at everything than normal healthy people do. It takes more from us to simply get out of bed in the morning, to exercise, to working at our jobs, but this also includes having fun.
Many of you know that I still ride motorcycles, but my riding is often hampered by pain. I always ride with my backpack that includes a 50 oz CamelBak bladder of water, 2 tubes, tire irons, a MSR tire inflation kit, first aid kit, maps, flashlight and ... Tylenol Arthritis. We ride from anywhere between 100 to 260 miles on most trips. On most of the rides we do, we may not see a house, much less a small town for most of the day so we always ride prepared and adjust what we carry for each ride. There have been many rides that even after taking Tylenol Arthritis I am in quite a bit of pain by the time I finish a ride.
My rheumatologist seemed truly shocked when on my last visit I told him that I hurt everyday. I’m not sure which one of us had the more confused look, him that I said I hurt everyday or me being shocked that he had not understood this before. My personal opinion on this is the MTX/Humira combination is working pretty good so far. I do not want to be required to take a pain pill just to make it through the day (other than an occasional Tylenol Arthritis). As the disease progresses, my view on this statement may change. But is this just me accepting what the medical machine has pushed off on us? I often say that I am not going to let this disease dominate me ... truth is it does so more days than I would like to admit. I still work a full time physical job but many days I can barely walk out to my truck at the end of the shift. Would this be acceptable if I had another disease instead of RA? In my opinion, the medical field is content to just push us off in the corner, under the stairway, with the latest, new improved RA drug so they can go back to working on something important. After all ... we just have "arthritis".