My Journey Living with Rheumatoid Arthritis

A diagnosis of autoimmune rheumatoid arthritis can be downright terrifying. But hope is here. Read about my journey living with rheumatoid arthritis, including my tips to not just survive RA but thrive with it.


My Journey living with Rheumatoid Arthritis including the trials and triumphs of motherhood and living with chronic illness for 15+ years. How I went from Surviving to Thriving with Rheumatoid Arthritis. 

My Journey Living with Rheumatoid Arthritis


April 7, 2002. After 6 months of excruciating pain, multiple steroid shots and withdrawal of fluid from my joints, the doctor said “you have Rheumatoid Arthritis.” I was so relieved to have a diagnosis. Finally, someone figured out why as a healthy young woman of 27 years old with a precious newborn baby, I couldn’t unbuckle my baby from his car seat or walk without crying. 


At the time, I did not understand what having an autoimmune disorder meant, I naively thought I’ll take the medicines and the pain would go away. I did not understand RA was chronic. I did not understand Rheumatoid Arthritis was incurable. I did not understand RA would change my life. I did not understand RA would change my young family’s life and how I would be as a mother. 


My diagnosis was 16 years ago and I’ve had my share of ups and downs. I struggled physically and emotionally. I went from thinking I could be Supermom to realizing I can’t keep up. I learned how to read my body and figured out what triggers my RA flares. I found ways to make my life easier and ways to cope with the emotional and physical toll of this disease.Now I can say, I feel the best I ever have in the last 16 years. I went from surviving to THRIVING with RA and I want that for you too.


Of all the topics I write about, it is hardest to write about living with my Rheumatoid Arthritis. Reliving the pain and opening up my heart for you all to see sometimes puts me into a flare. But I have an important story to tell and I hope sharing my journey with RA will help others wherever they are on their path. I hope my story helps you figure out your body and how to go from surviving to thriving with RA too.

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Note: This post contains affiliate links as indicated by an asterisk. Purchases from these links provides a small commission to me at no extra cost to you. In addition, I am not a medical professional and this does not constitute medical advice. I am only sharing my personal experience as an RA patient with you. See my full Privacy Policy and Disclaimers here


Symptoms of Rheumatoid Arthritis 


Coping with Rheumatoid Arthritis

Struggling to understand why your chronic illness is flaring? Subscribe to my newsletter to get tips for coping and thriving with the physical and emotional challenges that come with a chronic illness and get my FREE Food and Symptom printable to track how food, water, sleep and weather impact your symptoms to that you can start feeling better sooner!


My Thrive with Chronic Illness Planner Now on Sale in the Ultimate Productivity Bundle!

Get your bundle now!

Today, I’m excited to tell you about something that might help in your quest for gaining more time and managing it well. A bundle of resources created by people (I’m one of them!) who understand that you’re looking for practical productivity solutions that will work in your lifestyle.


It’s called Ultimate Productivity Bundle* and it was created and curated by people with real life responsibilities just like you: they have families, work part- to full-time jobs or run businesses, don’t have personal assistants or the budget for hiring lots of extra help. They want to help you (and themselves) conquer your to-do list, free up more time for yourself, and reach your goals.

When you buy the Ultimate Productivity Bundle you’ll get access to:

    • 5 eBooks
    • 14 eCourses & videos
    • 26 printables & workbooks



I’m excited to announce that my newest product, the Thrive With Chronic Illness Planner + Journal is included in the Ultimate Productivity Bundle*on sale for a limited time! This planner is a labor of love and brings one of my life goals to reality.

While designed for the unique needs and challenges of chronic illness patients, the Thrive with Chronic Illness Planner + Journal will help you:

  • overcome overwhelm from daily life
  • take charge of your stress, physical and emotional health
  • track your daily health and doctor’s visits
  • identify your health and stress triggers so you can control what you can and let go of what you can’t
  • set realistic, achievable goals
  • get done what you need to so you can have more fun
  • establish a customized cleaning routine and menu plan that works for you
  • track and analyze your budget and actual expenses
  • celebrate your successes and how you THRIVE each week and every day
  • uncover lessons learned so you can improve your method each week

Look at the resources that are most helpful to chronically ill people (and my planner is #3), valued at $176.99, just these 6 are worth the cost of the entire bundle and the rest are incredible icing on the cake! 

Resources for those struggling with a chronic illness

  • It’s About Time by Aby Garvey ($49 value)
  • Quarterly Goal Planner (2019-2020) by Kimi Kinsey ($7 value)
  • Thrive with Chronic Illness Planner + Jounral by me! (planner, $17 value)
  • Brilliant Baby Steps: Make the Most of Your Messy Middle for a Beautiful, Balanced Life by Beth Anne Schwamberger ($47 value)
  • Organize Your Life with Trello by Cara Harvey & Elisa Giorgio ($47 value)
  • Replenish Experience Radiant Calm and True Vitality in Your Everyday Life by Lisa Grace Byrne ($9.99 value) 

Check out the entire Ultimate Productivity Bundle* . At only $37 for over $1,500 worth of resources, It’s an incredible deal for everything you get and the bonuses for early birds! Plus it comes back with a 30-day happiness guarantee so you really have nothing to lose!




Cooking with Rheumatoid Arthritis and Elimination Diet


Motherhood and Rheumatoid Arthritis


Exercise with Rheumatoid Arthritis  


RA Resources and Blogs


Other Autoimmune & Chronic Illness Posts

I have had some guest bloggers come and give us their perspective on their autoimmune and/or chronic illnesses. I think it’s important to raise awareness and support each other in our chronic illness journeys. So here are the guests and illnesses that have been featured here on Mom’s Small Victories.

Arnold-Chiari Malformation

Chronic Pain



Multiple Sclerosis


Type 1 Diabetes (Autoimmune)


Recommended Resources for Undertstanding Your Rheumatoid Arthritis


Recommended Tools to Cope with Living with Rheumatoid Arthritis


A rheumatoid arthritis diagnosis does not have to be an end to your life as you know it. By understanding your body’s triggers and symptoms, finding tools to better manage the pain and frustration, and seeking support from an understanding community, you can celebrate your new normal living with rheumatoid arthritis and THRIVE with chronic illness instead! 


What would you like to see me write about? What would help you in your journey with autoimmune rheumatoid arthritis? What tools or tips would you like to share that helps you cope with RA? Join the conversation and leave a comment or send me an email at tanya{at}momssmallvictories{dot}com and I’ll give you my sincere help and an empathetic ear to share my experience with you.