I fought hard the first 12 years after being diagnosed. Back up ... I was lucky the first 12 years after being diagnosed. The last 3 years has been pretty brutal on me.
At diagnosis, after being reduced to just barely being able to walk, the drugs took over and did a remarkable job of battling my immune system and awarded me with many extra years of active life. I would read how others struggled with this disease, diagnosed around the same time to even after I was and were not able to do much if any. I, despite living with this disease, didn't get it! I know that everyone is different and what works for one may not work for the next person. I'm not talking about that. I'm talking about being faced with the fact that whatever med you try ... nothing really works any more. I am just now coming to realize how fortunate I have been the first 12 years or so after diagnosis. I rode hardcore off road for about 4 years before that got to be too painful. I then switched to dual sport riding which is a mix of hardcore off road and dirt roads. I rode that for the next 3-4 years before having to go to adventure riding. I wouldn't have enjoyed this style of riding 15 years ago, especially if I had remained healthy, but it's been a lot of fun. But that too has slipped away from me. Change ... that's what we do to keep enjoying ourselves living with this disease. The cold hard fact is that after 15 years, I'm merely a puppet to this disease. It is calling the shots now but I'm still enjoying the good days that it gives me.
RA was killing me Sunday morning but I drug myself out of bed to go see the sunrise anyway. I went out to a site that I had scouted on the Arkansas River for a sunrise. Nothing like having anglers (the guys that get up in the middle of the night to put a boat in the water) look at you like you're crazy for dragging a camera and tripod out of your truck in the middle of the night. Then using a flashlight to walk down on the bank of the river!
I will leave you with a few photos that I have shot over the past couple of weeks.