(CNN) – Living with rheumatoid arthritis 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.
Hudnall says, “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.”
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.
Rheumatologist Dr. Jefrey Lieberman says, “A lot of people think Rheumatoid Arthritis is just a joint disease, but its not – its actually a subatomic disease, which means it can affect all parts of the body.”
But for a woman who was just getting started in life, she had to make a decision.
Hudnall says, “Well, 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.
Lieberman says, “I think its a good message here is that patients with Rheumatoid Arthritis can lead normal lives.”