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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 (131)

Wishing you all the best...May your prayers, research, and positive outlook result in the best possible treatment for your RA.
January 31, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterKaren Biedronski
Thank you so much for your honesty! I know it is so hard to have RA as my mom has it and I can see her daily struggles. I would love to hear of what works for you as maybe it will help her. She takes the medicines they give her and is regularly going to the RA doctor. Sending lots of prayers and love to you!
January 31, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterPam Steckman
Shelli, I am so, so sorry to hear you have been diagnosed with R/A. I hope you have success in finding "something" that works for you to help with the pain and possibly halt any further flair ups. Please don't feel that you can't take pain medication either. You need to enjoy life without the distraction of pain! :)
January 31, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterJennifer Reynard
Thank you for your message. Knowing the Lord's timing is always what trips me up...but you inspire me!!! If anyone can find solutions...it will be you. Please post any miracles you create. Even if they are little boxes or cards of cuteness!
January 31, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterTamara Bowers
Prayers for relief. I will share my journey and it might help with your pain. I suffer from chronic back pain/sciatic/bulging disc. I was at my wits end when I heard a commercial for Cryo Therapy. At that time, I was taking 3 pills a day to walk and perform daily tasks. I did 5 treatments in 3 days and my pain went from a constant 8-10 to a very manageable 4-5. You get in a chamber and the temp is brought to a negative 160-230 for 3 minutes. It's like ice baths except it is a dry cold. I can't say that I enjoy this but it has brought my pain level in line. Please call me with any questions. 757-877-5094
January 31, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterKaren Bernhardt
I am so saddened to hear about this from such a very vibrant woman who has given so much to so many. I feel for your pain and disappointments that come along with not being able to do as much as you use to but understand and know that you are in good hands with the Lord and he will bless you with the strength you need to carry on. God Bless you. I will certainly miss seeing your smiling face at conventions but will be praying for your comfort and care to help sustain you through all your trying times.
January 31, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterHelen Stosky
Thoughts and Prayers for relief for your pain Shelli.
January 31, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterKelly Agee
I am praying that God will realign your body with Heaven, Shelli. Love and blessings to you.
January 31, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterSandy Hancock
Shelli, I am not one to usually offer advise, but I am going to this time. Have you looked into Essential Oils. I love Young Living. I have had some personal relief from some of their products. I hope you feel better soon. I have many family members with RA so I can say I know how you feel. We will keep you in our prayers if you will permit. Thank you for all you do. Twila
January 31, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterTwila Franklin
Praying for improved health, strength, and your continued postIive outlook for the future . Wishing the very best that life holds for you! You are a true inspiration (to say the least) for all of us!
January 31, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterTammy C.Wilson
So sorry, Shelli, that you've been hit by RA. It hit me when I was about 12 and I'm now approaching 60. My mom waited until I literally begged her sometime during my early high school days to take me to the Dr. to get me help. She couldn't bring herself to accept that her baby could be afflicted by such a disease. By the time she finally got me help, both my wrists had become fused and I had lost all mobility in both. The inflammation had caused that much deformity. So PLEASE, do NOT wait any longer to seek proper treatment, anti-inflammatory(s) and pain medication(s), or you most definitely will lose range of motion.
Besides proper medications, proper rest, and of course prayer, you might find some relief by adjusting your diet. As someone else suggested, I too recommend you keep a diary. You may discover a trend in what you consume causing more discomfort. Sweets, caffeine, dairy, fatty foods and gluten can exacerbate your condition. I'm sure your research will confirm that. Staying at a good weight, like you always have, really helps your weight bearing joints. You're fortunate that you've been able to keep your weight down.
Surely you know that you have the prayers of 1000's of us demo's and other readers. Take good care of yourself. Your loved ones will appreciate it and you'll be glad you have.
January 31, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterMichelle Gray
Shelli, my heart breaks for you. Everyone's experience with this condition is different. I have lived with RA for 20 years now. I spent years working WITH and LISTENING TO my body. As long as I was able to function day to day I put off using medications. But I found that eventually my quality of life suffered due to the cycle of chronic pain creating a downward slide. My life was turned around when I finally succumbed to my Rheumatologist's advise. Through using the recommended medications for the last 12 years I have been able to live as though I did not even have RA. I occasionally have an off day but truly they are few and far between. Your beliefs and your journey are your own but do not hesitate to use medical assistance.
Wishing you well.
January 31, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterLorena Orton
Shelli you are loved!
January 31, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterCarrie H.
Praying for wellness for you today and always. Gluten is my biggest trigger, hoping you find what works for you and can balance your recovery without medication if possible. Sara is doing a fabulous job and she is very much your Daughter!
January 31, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterKathy
When you posted The Card Never Sent, I suspected something wasn't right. I'm thinking of you and hoping that all your research helps you to find an option that you're comfortable with and can lessen your pain. Your positive attitude and your faith will sustain you.
January 31, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterHolly
Sorry to hear things are getting more painful--my mom had lupus and RA for many years. She did all the medications, and they mostly helped. I think the last one she did, that helped a TON was an injectable one. I can't remember the name of it now but I think it started with a C.

I have a different issue, it's called Trigeminal Neuralgia. It's nerve pain, I've had it for 20 years now, had it for 8 years straight when it started. Tried all the medications, that just gave me other health issues, had a brain surgery but the effect only lasted 10 months. Finally I went to an upper cervical chiropractor 3x a week for like 5 months and was pain free and medication free.

Recently I've had flareups that chiropractic has not alleviated, and just TODAY I started something new to me. It's called COLD LASER THERAPY. I think they are called Class IV lasers, and even though my pain is not instantly gone, the pain has changed, sort of calmed down. It's rather inexpensive, and I mention it because I think the same mechanism of inflammation is what's perpetuating my pain. You might want to check it out, I'm very optimistic about it :-D

I also take a lot of supplements each day, and there is one called Silymarin that I think you might benefit from. They say all disease comes from the liver...so if you can help support your liver then it can help move all the icky stuff out of your body and bring back balance.

Good luck on your journey--and thank God for the internet, right?!?
January 31, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterKimberley Morris
Shelli, you have always been an inspiration to all of us! I would have been surprised if you didn't exhaust every natural way to fight this disease. I'm sure I join all other demonstrators in lifting you up in prayer for healing and relief from the RA pain. May God continue to walk with you! Hugs!
January 31, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterGail
Praying for you. My mom had RA so I have an idea what you're going thru. It may be worthwhile to investigate some of the Essential Oil remedies on Pinterest and Crystals for healing.
January 31, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterTeriann Johnson
Lots of love to you. May the right answer for relief be found very soon.
January 31, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterRebecca O'Gorman
My heart goes out to you. Sending prayers for strength and healing!
January 31, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterGwen Edelman
I'll keep you in my prayers, Shelli. You have long held a dear spot in my heart and that will always be true. I truly understand battles that we must sometimes fight stoically and without true cure in sight .. there are good days and there are days that are outright challenging. I'll pray for your good days to be far more plentiful than the challenging days for you. Hope to be able to see you again at a future event. I'm not traveling this year either ... funny how you've come to a very similar decision. Makes me feel better about my own 'stay here' plan until things improve. (((((huggsss)))) from Texas!
~Bev Gerard
January 31, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterBev Gerard
Prayers for you God Bless
January 31, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterBarbara Johnson
Shelli, I'm so glad you are taking care of you first. It's the most important thing you can do for yourself and your family. Praying you will feel well and comfortable soon. Best wishes!
January 31, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterPatricia
Hi Shelli, so sorry to hear you are having such a rough time. My father had it now my daughter of 51 has it too. She's had really difficult times.
Medications have helped and she's researched food etc.
What has made a huge difference is an injection she receives bi-monthly.
This has given her back her life.
I believe God creates the minds that create and research medications.
I too can feel resistant, but it's helped my daughter so much.
Blessings to you and your family.
January 31, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterIrene
My goodness Shelli. Prayers from me are headed your way.
January 31, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterBeverlee Morales

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