(ABC) -Living with rheumatoid arthritis is a challenge, however, living with RA as an active person in your 20s can be disheartening.
At first glance, with her infectious smile and positive energy, Arianna Hudnall appears to have it all, but looks can be deceiving. Arianna is in pain on a daily basis. It started years ago with her knee.
"I thought I had twisted it or, unbeknownst to me, somehow injured myself. Then I was bartending at the time, so maybe working on it all night maybe somehow aggravated this unknown injury, and it got worse," Hudnall said.
Soon after, her other knee started to hurt, then her wrists and most of the joints in her body. She went to the doctor and was given a shocking diagnosis…she had rheumatoid arthritis.
"A lot of people think rheumatoid arthritis is just a joint disease, but it's not. It's actually a subatomic disease, which means it can affect all parts of the body," explained Dr. Jefrey Lieberman, rheumatologist.
But for a woman who was just getting started in life, she had to make a decision.
"This is the hand that I've been dealt. I'm not going to sit down and let it defeat me.
I'm going to persevere. I'm just going to go with the flow, make the most, the fact that I have a disease isn't going to stop me from enjoying my life," Hudnall said.
"I think the good message here is that patients with rheumatoid arthritis can lead normal lives," Lieberman said.
In other health news, March is Colon Cancer Awareness Month and the Cancer Centers of Southwest Oklahoma in Lawton, Duncan and Altus are offering free colon cancer screening kits through the end of the month. Visit any of the three locations to pick yours up or inquire about all of your screening options.