Amanda Ramer's arthritis story began as she entered college to pursue her dream of becoming a pediatric nurse. “Between the classes, studying and working two part-time jobs, I figured the fatigue was normal," said Ramer. The end of her freshman year, things began to worsen for Ramer. She noticed severe pain and stiffness after waking up in the morning and after naps in the afternoon. “These weren’t the typical aches and pains that would go away quickly,” said Ramer. "This pain would last for hours,” she added.
Ramer’s hands were one of her biggest challenges. Her fingers had become so red and swollen that she had difficulty taking notes and writing papers for her classes. One summer evening, while Ramer and a friend were crossing a busy street, Ramer’s legs stopped working. “I almost got hit by a car because the pain was unbearable,” said Ramer. “Eventually I made my way home, slid down the stairs and curled up on my bed. That whole night felt like waves of electricity and sharp needling pain everywhere,” she added.
Ramer's list of emergency room visits, doctor appointments, specialists, blood draws, x-rays, CT scans, MRIs, physical therapy, surgeries, and medications is a long one. “Eventually I found the right mix of doctors and a workable treatment," said Ramer. "And I learned how to live with Rheumatoid Arthritis rather than trying to run from it,” she added.
"Even with my rheumatoid arthritis in remission, my tribe and I are still living with this disease," says Ramer. "That is why I believe Arthritis Warriors need to surround themselves with a supportive tribe, those who can give encouragement when needed and just be present and understanding on bad days,” she added. “My husband Shawn and I started Team Awesome in 2012 to help make a difference," said Ramer. "We also want to raise awareness about arthritis and its many forms and to show others that they are not alone. It’s ok to have bad days and it’s ok to celebrate the good days, too.”
To support Team Awesome - Holiday Style, visit her fundraising page today!