Last updated: Nov 18, 2009
The ups and downs of treatment
More about rheumatoid arthritis
I hated taking the drugs and didnt appreciate the importance of trying to impact the progression of the disease and the joint deformity that can happen with RA. My doctor would put me on a path of medication and I wouldnt follow it. He and I had a love-hate relationship. I wouldnt go in to see him because I didnt want to take the drugs. I can be stubborn, but I was also in denial that I had a chronic disease that I needed to manage.
Eight years ago, I became the president and CEO of Gingrich Communications. Because I had the flexibility, my desk was in my bedroomtwo steps from my bed. Some days that was too far. I would work from bed and take naps. I never got out of my pajamas and traveled as little as possible.
A biologic changed my life
God bless my rheumatologist. He tried for more than a year and a half to get me started on a biological DMARD. I resisted until one of my ankles was freezing up and it was likely I would lose my mobility. I went back to my doctor and said, “I give up; Im done; Im willing to try it.” So, five years ago, he put me on a biologic, and within a very short period, my pain level decreased substantially and my mobility and energy improved.