fbpx

An Education #RedefiningRA

Elizabeth had just finished her master’s degree in education and was ready to start working when she began to feel that something was wrong. “I couldn’t sleep well. I was stiff when I woke up, and I had a hard time walking. I was tired all the time.”Se went to the doctor, who ran blood tests, but her rheumatoid factor came back negative, and Elizabeth was left with no answers beyond a suspicion of Lupus. “Sometimes I got the feeling that people thought I was looking for attention with all of these symptoms and doctor’s visits,” she said. “Meanwhile, I was in so much pain and sleeping all the time. It was awful!”

Looking for a second opinion, Elizabeth went to a different rheumatologist, who not only confirmed her Lupus diagnosis but also diagnosed her with RA. “I was floored. Yet it was a relief because at long last I felt that someone was listening.”

Leaving her doctor’s office after being diagnosed, Elizabeth felt scared. “I went home with so much medicine, and I didn’t understand why I had to take all of it,” she said. She began to research RA and to understand the condition and the medicines. Through her research, she gained the confidence to be more open with her doctor about what was working and what wasn’t.

Elizabeth and her doctor check her disease activity every six months with the Vectra test. “Upon diagnosis, I came back with a score showing very active disease. Since then, it’s gone down – and sometimes it bumps up – but it’s always been helpful to guide my treatment and to confirm what I’ve been feeling before the test.”

A single mother, Elizabeth homeschools her daughter. She is part of a co-op that meets weekly to share some of the teaching responsibilities and has found support within that group through other parents who also manage autoimmune conditions. Additionally, she’s very active in online support groups.

Her daughter recently was diagnosed with Juvenile RA, which further compels Elizabeth to advocate. “I am redefining RA by working to educate patients and doctors about rheumatoid factor negative RA. I was dismissed for a couple of years, and it can be daunting when you’re not being heard.”

“Every day I look for opportunities to find joy and purpose in my life. Recently I’ve been having a great time teaching children in China to speak English. I wake up every morning at 5 am and spend a few hours with them via Webcam before starting my day in America. They are so much fun, and I’m able to follow my passion for teaching.”

Recent Posts

Switching Gears and #RedefiningRA

Slowing down wasn’t easy for Lori. For more than 12 years, she put in 70-hour weeks as a program director for a home health care agency. “I loved my job!” she said. But there was another side to the story. After long hours by day helping others get the care…
Read more

Imaging Tests: What Do Scans Say About Your RA?

Vectra Score Imaging Scans
Imaging is one of the powerful tools your rheumatologist can use to confirm your rheumatoid arthritis (RA) diagnosis and track disease progression, or changes to your body caused by rheumatoid arthritis disease activity over time. Newer, more sophisticated imaging technologies may show signs of RA very early on. This is…
Read more

The Infant & Toddler Years: Flaring While Mom’ing

Stephanie Aleite Her Baby
Stephanie and Santiago Followers of Vectra Voice already know our Vectra® Ambassador, Stephanie, who has shared her desire to become a mom and the unexpected challenges she faced as an RA patient during her pregnancy. As part of our Parenting with RA series, we sat down with her to get…
Read more

New Year, New You: Wellness Resolutions

Wellness Resolutions
At the end of the year, many of us take some well-deserved time off to celebrate the holidays with family and friends: baking and decorating cookies with the kids, shopping for last-minute gifts, or watching football. It’s a time to reflect, relax and replenish your spirit. No matter what you…
Read more
Menu





Newsletter Signup






Order Vectra Test