Michelle Bratton Races for Rheumatoid Arthritis

Michelle Bratton races for a cure with ANRF

Michelle Bratton Races for Rheumatoid Arthritis

Michelle was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis five years ago and since then, has been prescribed three different medications to help remedy the pain, inflammation and exhaustion that has accompanied her day to day life. Instead of succumbing to the effects of her RA, Michelle decided to fight back and combat the disease as best she could in an effort to live a normal life. Not wanting to be reliant on medication to function normally, Michelle went off of her prescription for nine months to try and control the disease herself through diet and exercise. However, her RA came roaring back, solidifying the fact that she needed her medication to live a life of reduced pain and suffering. Check out her full interview:

Age: 49

Age first diagnosed: 44

What are you diagnosed with? Rheumatoid Arthritis

What is the status of your disease?  Active

What treatment protocol have you undergone and what has been most effective for you?
I have been on 3 different medications. I have also tried no medicine and managing with diet. I was off medication at 2 different times for as long as 9 months. But the unbearable pain, fatigue and exhaustion seems to come back. So I find myself constantly trying to figure out which is better -Dealing with the potential side effects of the medication (which can be serious) or trying to manage with diet and dealing with the pains of the disease.

Describe yourself. A few character traits.
Hard working, Honest, Happy & Active.

How has your arthritis affected your outlook on life or changed you?
At times it is depressing; I have always tried to take really good care of myself by watching my diet and exercising. Having RA makes you think, “what good does it do?”  I used to love to have friends and family over for dinner or to play games or go out to dinner. But I have found I am not as social as I used to be.

Discuss the impact of this disease in your life:
I had symptoms for about 18 months before being diagnosed and during that time I missed a lot of work, so my job changed from a full-time job that I loved to a part-time job. So it has changed my financial situation as well as the other aspects of my life.

How has it affected your family?
I think my husband and my children could tell you better how it has affected them.

At the Arthritis National Research Foundation we feel research is the key to finding new treatments and a cure. This is why we focus our efforts strictly on funding cutting-edge research. How do you feel about the research underway and what would you like to see happen?
I just recently found ANRF, so I am not that aware of all the research, but I very interested in finding out more. I would love to see cure!!
I would also love to know what causes this crazy disease.

How did you hear about ANRF?
Surfing the web!

What made you want to share your story?
I like to read other peoples stories to see if they have come across something I might want to try. So maybe my story can do that for someone else.

What are words of wisdom you’d like to give to people living with arthritis?
Keep moving, get plenty of rest and stay connected. Connected to the people you love…

Anything you would like to add that was not covered please put here. Feel free to let it all out!
I haven’t found a lot of activity in the area I live that brings awareness to arthritis or other auto-immune diseases. Or the need for research dollars…I hope I change that. Maybe I can inform the South about ANRF.

General Information: About 2 years prior to being diagnosed I went to the doctor for chronic low back pain. He said I had beginnings of Arthritis. I thought I was too young for arthritis and he did not give me a treatment plan for arthritis. I just went on with the pain coming and going. About a year later I had the low back pain + my feet were killing me + my knees hurt + my shoulders hurt…I waited and waited thinking this would go away. I went to a different doctor and got the diagnosis of RA.. I knew nothing about arthritis except that I had a great aunt that had RA many years ago.

After being diagnosed I really didn’t do much physical activity. I liked to run but I was afraid if I did it would make things worse. After awhile I realized not moving was not doing me any favors, so I started walking/jogging – we call it wogging.
Now we are wogging 5k’s.

I joined Racing4ACure to help raise awareness for ANRF and I hope we can find a cure!!

Arthritis-Research-Foundation-footer We at the Arthritis National Research Foundation share your arthritis stories in an effort to make a difference by giving arthritis patients a voice, raising arthritis awareness and raising awareness about the need for more funds for research. Awareness of arthritis and the need for research are key components to the quest to finding a cure for arthritis. Please consider making a donation today in support of this critical research. To share your arthritis story, contact us.
Article Author
Arthritis National Research Foundation

The Arthritis National Research Foundation's mission is to provide initial research funding to brilliant, investigative scientists with new ideas to cure arthritis and related autoimmune diseases. Writing articles about the patients affected and the science being done to find a cure shows why we need to come together to #CureArthritis!

  • Avatar
    Kim Pearson
    Posted at 19:19h, 11 June Reply

    Go, Sis. Keep on wogging.

  • Avatar
    Tracy cooper
    Posted at 09:13h, 16 October Reply

    What a powerful lady you are! Bring awareness sister.

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