Instead Of Surviving With RA, I Chose To Live

Published Sep 8, 2018 • By Léa Blaszczynski

Discover the story of Eric, now 51, who has suffered from rheumatoid arthritis since he was 47. Learn about how his life with rheumatoid arthritis and how he changed his life after this diagnosis.

Instead Of Surviving With RA, I Chose To Live

image of interviewee

Hi Eric! Could you please introduce yourself?

Hello. I am a former athlete (2 years as a professional), a commercial executive, and divorced. I am affected by raging rheumatoid arthritis, associated with psoriasis after rheumatoid arthritis, especially in my legs and scalp.

After 3 years of pain and suffering (3 months of chemotherapy, 2 years of corticosteroids, 2 years of Arava) and after a saturation of other drugs and many side effects, I decided to stop all medical treatments and medical protocols. Going on about 25 years, I have completely suspended gluten and casein since my AP (80% of the composition of cow's milk) and I have read a lot about it and especially about autoimmune diseases, especially on the internet.

I watch my lifestyle a lot: yoga, meditation, spirituality ... and I'm going to start a one-week fast to refresh my stem cells, but I'm not overweight (164 lbs, 5’9”). I live in pain, of course, but I manage my daily life as best I can. Recently, I have had small heart-shaped nodules appear in my hands ( rheumatoid nodules ) great, right?

I have a lot of paralysis in my hands, and more in my feet. I am in a complete healing phase though: avoiding stress and conflict and taking care of my diet. You are what you eat.

I have gone beyond the stage of money for money, consumption and everything that goes with it. Good car, good house ... that pressure and stress are in the past.

I worked and still work on letting go, my self-esteem, compassion and gratitude.

I left everything, I changed my life, my country, my work. I live now on the other side of the globe, in the Pacific, in the sun, on the edge of a magnificent lagoon ...

Instead of surviving, I chose to live closer to nature and its benefits.

How did you find out you had rheumatoid arthritis associated with psoriasis?
Suddenly, I experienced a great bout of fatigue and pain in my joints and finally in synovial effusions. After undergoing a puncture of the liquid, I was diagnosed. The psoriasis appeared after I stopped treatment. Disappeared completely after 6 months.

What was your reaction to the diagnosis? Did you expect it?
I jumped for joy. No, seriously, you go through all these stages: my lifestyle is healthy and I am healthy, so why me? Why now? The anger and the fear sets in, and the ignorance knowing the disease is. They announce it to you so plainly. Nobody expects being diagnosed with such a disease. 

My first rheumatologist was too attached to his protocol and nevere listened to his patient. I changed doctors immediately... 3 times in total, to end up being faced with the “Cautions” for a BI therapy that I never did... I left to the mountains just after six months from the diagnosis. I stopped processing, I deleted the hard drive to rebuild myself, and 5 years later I consolidated.

What were the different treatment stages and medicine used?
I took corticosteroids for 1 year and 2 months, one injection once a week. Arava 20mg for 2 years, I think. My insides and liver were annoyed; I had headaches and other pains too, but they were bearable. The alarm clock would be nightmare.

Today, you have decided to stop treatments. Why did you make such a decision?
I felt there were too many side effects for my likeing and it goes against my philosophy of life and my vision of medicine. The proof, I live well without it...

Do you have anything your are working on now?
Finding love. Today I sent a "hint": if there is a candidate for a cure and love ... I will search for it here where I live now.

I earn my living and I enjoy every moment. Here on the Pacific...life is nice.

Is there a message you would like to give to other members and readers?
Listen to your body, breathe, and change what you need to change in order heal. Practice mind-body exercises, such as Yoga, Tai Chi or Qi Qong; Meditate; and eat healthy ... Love yourself so you can love the rest. The solution is in you, find your voice, be happy and healthy. I wish you much courage!

Listen to your body, breathe, and change what you need to change in order heal. 

Love yourself so you can love the rest. The solution is in you, find your voice, be happy and healthy.

avatar Léa Blaszczynski

Author: Léa Blaszczynski, Health Writer, Communication Expert

At Carenity since 2013, writing health articles holds no secrets for Léa. She has a particular interest in the fields of psychology, nutrition, and physical activity.

Léa holds a master's degree in... >> Learn more


on 10/30/18

Sounds like you got in touch with your body and learned what it takes to live, not just survive.  Kudos!

on 12/30/18

do i reply to eric's story right here?

on 12/30/18


im looking for someone anyone really, to talk ,or computer texting..i was recenly diagnosed with psoriatic arthritis i went through a terrible thing and as a result i broke out 98% of my body, the bottoms of my feet in between my toes i lost my hair it went everywhere. i am 55 recently moved and im anxious to meet people with simular intrests.

i liked youre story Eric..


on 3/20/19

@Mousie How are you doing? I too want to connect with others.

I do not have psoriatic arthritis, but do have rheumatoid arthritis, which in some sense we have similar symptoms and complaints.

I hope you are doing OK and look forward to connecting with you.

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