Rheumatoid Arthritis and Osteoarthritis
As a little girl, Heather Fischer watched her grandma Elizabeth suffer from severe rheumatoid arthritis (RA), and the thought never crossed her mind that one day, she too, would be diagnosed with the same auto immune disease.
At the age of 42 after a bout with strep throat, she began struggling. Something seemed to be wrong with her feet. It was difficult to walk when she got up in the morning, and to walk after sitting for an extended period. The symptoms started in June, by August it was apparent things were getting much worse, and were spreading to other parts of her body. As a first-grade teacher, Heather found it difficult to start the school year and soon sought medical attention.
It took six weeks until Heather could see the rheumatologist. Those were six of the longest weeks of Heather’s life. The pain grew quite severe. It became more and more difficult to function. By the time her appointment came around she felt like her toes might likely crack and fall off her feet. The official diagnosis came on Halloween day 2011.
Since that time, Heather has found that she suffers from both RA and osteoarthritis. She has had four knee surgeries, two of which were for replacement. There have been days that she has forgone going into the grocery store because there wasn’t a close parking space or walking to the office to make a copy seemed more than she could do.
Today, things are pretty good for Heather health wise. Modern day medication has made life easier than what she remembers seeing her grandmother go through. She considers each good day a blessing and lucky that medications work for her as she knows not all who suffer from arthritis are so lucky.
Join Heather in her fight against arthritis, register or donate today!