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Life with RA

From the time Sterling and I returned home from our mission, our plan was to attend at least one event in all the markets and then maybe go on another mission or attend OnStage Local events—just be flexible. As we all know, plans don’t always go our way!

I mentioned in a recent post that my RA (rheumatoid arthritis) has been acting up lately. Well, to be completely honest, my flare started in September and has progressively gotten worse. To keep things short and simple, I’ll just say that I’ve felt worse than I’ve ever felt, and the discomfort (recently turned pain) has almost made me want to go on the prescribed RA drugs; but because it doesn’t feel right to me (and maybe because I’m a little stubborn!), I’ve made it my almost-full-time job to research everything possible and work with anyone who may be able to help me return to full health.

Because of that, Sterling and I decided that instead of planning and preparing for OnStage Live and not feeling well enough at the last minute, it would be best to plan on not traveling extensively for the next few months. Obviously, if things turn around, we’ll get on a plane and go to an OnStage event somewhere in the world. But either way, you’re in good hands!

I want you to know I’m feeling encouraged and hopeful and am trying to patiently trust in God’s timing. I haven’t said much because I don’t like to complain, and this is probably more information than you wanted to know, but I’ve always been pretty open about personal things.  And even though I have felt certain my health would improve any day, this is my current reality.

In the meantime, I’ve been told I’m an eternal optimist, so I’m going to continue to expect improved health every single day! As always, thank you for your thoughts and prayers.

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Reader Comments (132)

Praying for you ~~ Glad you are being pragmatic about travels, keeping your health as the priority <3 Hoping today is a BETTER DAY!!
January 31, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterKim Quigley
Shelli, you are in my thoughts and prayers. I hope you find relief from your pain. In the meantime, may God give you grace and peace while you cope with this disease.
January 31, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterDebbie Koch
Thank you for sharing your struggles with others, as this helps in the healing process and allows other to come along side and pray for you. I have lived with RA for 30 years and have tried many "natural remedies" some good some not so good. In the end, the medication was needed to bridge the pain and prevent further destruction of my joints. I pray you will find a rheumatologist who has an open mind and is willing to work with you on this journey. I pray God will give you strength each day.
January 31, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterAnne Dean
Shelli, I'm so sorry that you have been feeling so bad. Please know that you are loved and prayed for. Praying for God's healing and for patience and peace for you.
January 31, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterAmy Storrie
Dearest Shelli - I think of you daily with gratefulness for all you have done to afford us this wonderful opportunity to create and share. You've paved the path and given us so, so much. It's ok to step back and take care of you. We all understand. God's continued care and blessings. With love and prayers.
January 31, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterKay Kalthoff
Living each day is a gift from God. If may be more difficult some days than others, but enjoying the gifts of beauty and family each day make it all worthwhile. I know; I have been enduring a very rare autoimmune disease for 15 years now (found in only 1 of every 3 million people), but, as one of my favorite stamps says "I look up, for God has never let me down". Continue to be optimistic!
January 31, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterCarol Harris
Yes! By all means, please take care of yourself. You give and give and give to so many, now you need to definitely feel free to give some time for you. Praying for continued health and healing from the pain. May you feel God's strength on a daily basis in your journey together with Him! He's got you in the palm of His hand! Thank you for being so open so that we can know best how to pray for you.
January 31, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterDeb Snyder
Proud of you for putting your health and wellbeing first. It's hard to do but the right thing by far. Wishing you some peace and calm and pain free days ahead xx
January 31, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterClaire Daly
Hi Shelli, I feel your pain, I was diagnosed with RA at the age of 28, I am now 51 and have been on medication since diagnosis, all I can say is keep up your spirits and keep doing what you are doing, one day you will find the right treatment to overcome the pain. I know it's not good when it flares up, I will keep you in my prayers, God bless, Claudette x
January 31, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterClaudette Cambridge-Pratt
Hi Shelli,

My heart goes out to you. I totally understand arthritis pain. I was diagnosed with osteoarthritis in my right knee two years ago. Some days the pain was so unbearable that I would cry, but I did my research and found out that hyalgan injections would help. A year and half later the pain is not as bad and I've made healthier eating options. I wanted to tell you about turmeric. I use it while cooking and I also drink it in tea. I have listed a link below with other information. I will continue to pray for you. May the Lord touch you with his healing hands.


Yogi Joint Comfort Tea - Amazon
January 31, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterCharmane Hopkins
Hi Shelli,
I am so sorry to hear this, and you are in my prayers!
My sister also has RA, so I am familiar with the symptoms and how it has affected our life (and our family!)
It is the strangest of diseases, where some days you can feel on top of the world and some days you can't even get out of bed!
I am praying for wisdom for you in choosing the best path to go down to get the help you need.
Extra hugs and thanks for sharing. I love that about you!
~Lorri Heiling
January 31, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterLorri
Although I have not been diagnosed with RA, I do have, and continue to find more arthritis, in my body. Working with exercise and pain medication is helping but not at all what I expected for my life at the age of 70.
I still have classes at my home and enjoy cooking and crafting. I can understand all too well how difficult it is to plan big outings and vacations when you never know when your body is going to say NO.
I hope your RA can stay under control and you are able to do all the things that make you the most happy in your life.
January 31, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterDorine Harris
Dear Shelli. I'm so, so sorry that you are have to fight with RA.
But do not leave your optimism! And be sure to take the medication. Be healthy!
January 31, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterKeane Darren Storm
I am sure that this was a difficult post for you to write. I have noticed that you have not been posting as much recently and I wondered if your RA was the reason. While I hope that you recover quickly, it is good to know how you are. Prayers have helped me through my most difficult times and I hope mine aid you.
January 31, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterCarol B
I have IBS and we HAVE to be eternal optimists! The alternative won't get us anywhere! Good luck and good faith will carry us through. I hope you find improvement and happiness every day!
January 31, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterMary Lee
Dear Shelli, prayers of love and healing being sent your way. Consider avoiding sugar, caffeine and nightshade vegetables to help keep the inflammation at bay. Alternative therapies and prayer can certainly help. I am living proof! I thank you and your family for the blessing of this wonderful SU family! God bless!
January 31, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterDebra Jeanne Henault
I was diagnosed with RA at the age of 27 - this was 31 years ago. When I have a flare up, it presents in my ankles, wrists, and wherever my immune system wants to attack. I've been on plaquenal, methotrexate, enbrel. Currently I am off of RA meds as the side effects interfere with another autoimmune disease I have.
Shelli, sending prayers and hugs in the hope that you find relief and that your flare subsides - and that you can have your life back to what it was.
January 31, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterNan Tonelli
Dear Shelli,
I'm thinking of you and praying for you. My sister was diagnosed with RA about 30 years ago and the drugs are very tough. I'm glad you have been able to manage without them for a while. I am currently being "evaluated" and do not look forward to the journey, but with role models like you, my sister and all the wonderful people here who have responded, the journey is a little bit easier.
Keep that wonder positive attitude and God Bless!
January 31, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterMarlene Calisi
Dear Shelli, I too have RA and get flare ups even taking the medication. Stamping is one thing that keep my fingers moving and my mind focused on something other than the pain. I can empathize with you and I hope you feel better soon.
January 31, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterLori Wiest
Love and prayers for you! I have been having health problems for the past 14 years and was just diagnosed with Lyme disease last year. I resisted pain medications for a long time but it got so bad last year that I finally started taking them. And I am feeling much better. I hope you find healing and comfort on this difficult journey. You are much loved and appreciated!
January 31, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterElaine Schader
Shelli ~
I so admire your tenacity to be the best "you" that you can be! Since being diagnosed with Fibromyalgia (a cousin to RA), we share many of the same symptoms. I wholeheartedly agree that it is wise to do your own research. I stand with you in the belief that things can be better, and medications are not always the best answer. I like to look at things from a holistic approach. There are certainly some triggers to flare ups; some of them we can control, and some of them we can't. I most certainly will offer prayers for your journey on the path to fuller health. I'm excited for you, and I believe in you! Take gentle care...
January 31, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterBeth Steel
Prayers Shelli. My mom suffered with RA, too. Not severe, but annoying. Were you diagnosed before or after your fall from the horse? I ask because I fell in August and broke my upper arm. I am now feeling the effects in my hand on that side. Please know that we all wish you the best and send prayers for more pain free days!
January 31, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterJeri
Shelli, praying that you can find the right medicine or approach to feeling better. I can't imagine living with pain every day and know many friends that suffer from RA. We will continue to lift you in prayer.
January 31, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterKimberly Van Diepen
Thank you for sharing from the heart - chronic illness is a tough road. I hope you'll be feeling better soon and find effective treatment that fits your needs. Blessings to you!
January 31, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterEvie G
Shelli, I am so sad to hear that your RA has taken a turn for the worse. RA doesn't "get better" so the only thing you can do is try to prevent permanent damage of your affected joints.There are options out there that give you a better quality of life while decreasing the joint damage. I have SA and my son (now 22) had JRA at age 5. Getting him treatment quickly has given him a pain-free life and no permanent damage. It's a miracle that I am thankful for everyday! My prayers are with you!!
January 31, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterDebbie

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