Amani Mckinney 05/31/22
What is Rheumatoid Arthritis? Rheumatoid Arthritis is an autoimmune disease that causes someone’s joints to lock up throughout the body, which causes extreme pain. When I found out I had Rheumatoid Arthritis I was nervous because I never heard of this disease and I was afraid of the possible outcomes, such as death, sickness, and pain. I put my faith in God and believed in only the positive. My family continued to uplift me and encourage me. Eventually, I began to feel pain and On December 23, 2021, I fainted, and I was diagnosed with COVID-19.
In December 2021, I was pronounced with COVID-19. I had experienced extreme abdominal pain and nausea. From that point forward, I was diagnosed with lupus by one doctor but was referred to another specialist for a second opinion. The specialist I began to see explained what is causing this pain and I did not have lupus but only symptoms of it. Later, the doctor began to run more tests and shortly found out I have a positive (ANA) and symptoms of Rheumatoid Arthritis that I will later on develop.
As well as that, I would miss many days of school because of the pain and doctor appointments, which caused my grades and attendance to go down tremendously. Furthermore, I had to quit playing sports due to the unbearable pain. Shortly after that, I went into a dark place because I couldn’t play sports at this time. Even though I couldn’t play sports at the time I started to draw to clear my head. Lastly, I got a phone call saying I didn’t have lupus and to come in as soon as possible.
It should be noted that lupus mainly affects black women. As many as 1 in 250 African American women will develop lupus. In fact, there is no cure for lupus, but current treatments focus on improving quality of life through controlling symptoms and minimizing flare-ups. At this point, the doctors have concluded I didn’t have lupus which was a stress reliever. Furthermore, I was told I could begin to play sports again which gave me a sense of courage to persevere through all the obstacles I’ve faced to reach my goals. Although I was slowly overcoming my sadness, it returned because I received a phone call saying my uncle just passed away due to lupus. This took a turn because my uncle’s death had me doubting if what the doctors told me was true.
Even though I’ve experienced these issues I am determined to persevere, push through, and look forward to a better future. Nevertheless, having this disease just motivates me to push harder to accomplish my goals. Also, I will not let this deter me from my studies or sports but only encourage me to give my all. Furthermore, I am fully dedicated to learning more about my disease. Finally, I am at peace with knowing my condition and what steps to take further in life from here on out. My plans for the future are to finish highschool, build my branding business and play basketball in college. A goal of mine is to get 3 basketball scholarships before the summer ends. Another goal of mine is after graduating high school to play at a D1 college.