Author: Sherry Lee Milia
Here’s why I first started taking curcumin, but my journey hasn’t stopped.
An injury to my foot in 2004 triggered the onset of my Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) at the age of 29. What was probably in my system my entire life decided to make its appearance when my immune system did not know what to do with that freak injury. My immune system went haywire! My added stress due to my job, lifestyle, chronic fatigue and significant weight loss prior to my injury did not help my case.
I WAS NOT HEALING. Instead, the pain and inflammation spread throughout my body — head to toe in most every small joint. I had cortisone injections over and over and over again, in my shoulder, sternum, fingers, toes, wrists, etc. I was tested for every disease imaginable. I was scared. I was angry, confused and felt guilt. Most of all, I was still in pain.
I took anti-inflammatories, steroids, arthritis meds – some of which are no longer even on the market due to their severe side effects. I took more meds to deal with the side-effects.
Finally, after nearly 3 1/2 months of waiting to see a rheumatologist, I got the diagnosis within minutes of sitting in that dreadful cold exam room. My blood work continued to test negative for RA for the next 3 years, but my medical team treated my symptoms. That led to an onslaught of different diagnoses just to get my medications covered by insurance. And when they weren’t, one med cost $1,600 a month.
Things got really bad before I even saw a glimpse of hope. There were days I couldn’t get out of bed due to the fatigue, days I couldn’t walk without dragging my left foot, days my fingers were stuck and so incredibly stiff and swollen that my mom would have to massage them for hours. I had a “moonface” to the point that my own grandmother did not recognize me one holiday. I didn’t play the piano for years and feared I never would again.
Even once I started to get my quality of life back, every flare-up since then has caused irreversible damage to some of my joints and bones.
My body has taken a beating. I have had secondary illnesses due to the complications of my medications and my disease. And, I have suffered many ugly, ugly side-effects including the emotional, physical, and mental wear and tear on my body. I had little in me to find what triggered my flares.
But, once I finally accepted that RA would never leave my body and finally let go of the guilt and wondering what I did to deserve this, I started to take control. Sure, I still have really bad days that continue for days on end. And, I do know that stress is my greatest trigger.
But, I’m a mom and have to see the bright side of this so I can keep on keepin’ on. I’m actually grateful that RA reared its ugly head when it did. I’ve since accepted that my current course of treatment still includes an self-injection in my leg FOR NOW. I’ve dealt with having a fused wrist that doesn’t bend when I scoop up my kiddos or play the piano and never will — not to mention the gnarly scar.
I have the motivation to keep fighting for my quality of life that I deserve and my family deserves by trying alternatives to conventional prescription medicine. Curcumin is not something I just take. It is part of my lifestyle. And I hope you will consider it as part of your lifestyle too!
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.