It’s actually somewhat funny.
In true AJ fashion, I was ticked at a boy. After work one day (around Nov 2005 I think), I went to the gym to run it out on the treadmill. I ran hard and longer than I normally did because for me, anger is quite motivating. The actual running didn’t hurt but as soon as I got off the treadmill, my left foot was in serious pain. “Great, now in addition to being a douchebag in general, I can blame him for breaking my foot.”
Several days later, when the foot was no better, I went to the doctor. He x-rayed the foot, couldn’t see anything, and advised me that it was most likely a stress fracture which would only show up when it started to heal as scar tissue formed. I was given Lortab (woot!), told to stay off of it, and scheduled to come back in 3 weeks. 4 days later, my right foot started the same throbbing pain in the exact same spot. A week later, I woke up to my left pointer finger swollen to the point it looked like a sausage. Several days later, the right pointer finger did the same thing. I literally couldn’t bend the fingers and started having problems opening doors.
When I made it back to the doctor, I was a mess. He x-rayed everything again (which later proved to be quite useful- not many people have baseline x-rays of all joints affected from the very beginning to track erosions), took a whole lot of blood, and gave me Prednisone and diclofenac (basically super strength Aleve.) When my bloodwork came back, my rheumatoid factor was through the roof and I was set up with a rheumatologist.
Now, to remove all blame from said douchebag for THIS situation only, I had been having strange aches/pains off and on for several weeks prior to this. While nobody knows the cause of RA, stress does seem to play a big role. And the aches and pains started several weeks before when I found out my brother was being deployed to Iraq. And I have a history of severe allergies/asthma which cleared up in college and have since learned that having serious problems with one autoimmune disorder does predispose you to having problems with another. So no worries, D- you’re off the hook too.