Everyone’s journey is different. I’ve never been a conformist and this new journey is no different for me.

Looking back now, the symptoms have been there. Overlooked, explained away, ignored. I’m extremely active so most of the joint pain was, in my mind, something I “did in the gym.” My dry eyes, and inability to wear any of the contacts my eye doctor gave me…probably from my high protein diet. My sore and swollen knuckles…my workout gloves must be rubbing them and making them sore.

The elevated rheumatoid marker a couple years ago which when retested was normal was a warning sign.

I could no longer ignore the signs when the joint pain became widespread. When it became difficult to walk when I got out of bed in the morning.

I honestly thought it was Lyme’s disease. We camp and hike all the time. Probably a tick bite. I’ll get a course of antibiotics and be on my way.

When my blood work came back in July my primary care doc called and gave me the results. She told me the possibilities, and what she thought I had. She referred me to a rheumatologist. I began to research.

I was devastated. The reality of being diagnosed with an incurable disease is overwhelming. I’m still trying to wrap my head around it. How is this possible? I’m in the best shape of my life. I’m in the gym 5+ days a week. My diet is clean. I’m gluten free. Strict with what I eat. No processed foods. I lowered my cholesterol 100 points through exercise and changing the way I ate. How is this possible?!

The joint pain has been escalating over the past several months to the point that I was unable to walk in the mornings.

My hands hurt all the time now.

The only relief I get is when I’m lifting in the gym. A few precious hours where the pain goes away.

I saw a rheumatologist in August and discussed with her my hesitance to take the immune suppressants that I’ve been reading about.

More research.

I found some information about CBD oil and RA that I’m taking to my rheumatologist next week. NIH article 1 NIH article 2

After completing a 10 day course of prednisone (I agreed to try it) and flaring only 2 days after stopping, I decided to start taking CBD oil. I am taking 200 mg of CBD oil daily. I started on August 31st.

I’ve stopped taking the prescription NSAID – Meloxicam that I was taking sporadically when I just couldn’t take the pain anymore to see how the CBD oil affects the inflammation.

I am going to see if my doc is comfortable with me trying it for a few months and monitoring me. My hope is that she will be willing to do this, and then order blood work to see if my rheumatoid marker goes down.

If she’s not I’ll be finding a doc who is willing.

I will continue to research and educate myself about RA and share my journey here.

Please share your comments and stories of your journey with me.

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