This I Believe

Karen - Nicholasville, Kentucky
Entered on February 14, 2008
Age Group: 30 - 50

My Story

Awakened from my fingers locked together and can’t move them. My knees feel warm and swollen to the touch. I want to roll over so bad, but I can’t. As I put my feet to the floor, I can’t stand up. What is wrong with me? I felt fine yesterday, I said to myself as my hands started to shiver.

I was taken to the emergency room and was later told that I had Rheumatoid Arthritis. I wandered why I would have a disease that only existed in the elderly. I am only 23 years old. As active as I was in cheerleading and softball, I couldn’t possibly have arthritis, the worst kind at that. My rheumatologist inspired me to keep persuing my dreams. I wanted to be a nurse and help people like myself. In 2005, I had a total hip replacement on both sides. I was then told that it would be a lot of wear and tear on my new hips and should think about a different degree. I believe my dreams could come true.

After almost ten years, two hip replacements, both knees worked on, my shoulder fixed, and now my fingers needing replaced, I will graduate with a bachelor’s degree in Journalism. I have turned this dark, destroying enemy into my friend. I believe I have a disease, not given a life sentence.

I have a husband, a son who is 12 years old and a 6 month old little girl. I have no extra time to get experience to go along with my degree. I can’t call in sick if I have a headache. Because I will always feel that I will have something to prove. Nor can I worry about what I will have to have fixed later on down the road. I don’t even have a five year plan; I have a right now plan. I believe I am amazing.

A guy named Fred Smith has inspired me so. He dropped out of college because he failed a midterm paper on overnight delivery service. “Guess What”! He is CEO of FedEx. So when you get down on yourself because you aren’t passing in school or you got fired from your job, just look around. We all have a story…..this one is mine. I believe that if I can do it, you can to.