VOICE-OVER: I’ve been a car person my entire life. I will get out and wash my car two, three times a week. My neighbors probably think, “Oh my gosh, is she gonna wash the paint off of it?” Washing my car helps to relieve stress and is just a relaxation for me.
My name is Monica and I was diagnosed with moderate rheumatoid arthritis four and a half years ago. When I was first diagnosed with RA, I couldn’t wash my car like I like to. Because of the joint pain, because of the stiffness, because of the fatigue.
I didn’t have my stress reliever and I was dealing with the stress of being diagnosed with RA. So I talked with my rheumatologist about how, uh, I could get back to where I could do those things. Once I got on my medication I was able to get back pretty much to my, uh, same routine.
My current rheumatologist—she listens to me. She spends time with me. The best thing I learned was that if I speak up for myself that probably would have helped speed it up, because I wouldn’t have kept accepting no for an answer. And now, I encourage everyone that you know your body, so speak up for yourself, don’t be hesitant.