Hi L. - I was diagnosed with RA in Nov 06. I'm a mom of a 6 yr old. So I truly understand what you are and will go through. First there are some wonderful resources that you should check out; Arthritis Foundation http://www.arthritis.org/; and a wonderful support website Daily Strength http://dailystrength.org. There are 2 books that are wonderful Good Living with Rheumatoid Arthritis, and The First Year: Rheumatoid Arthritis: An Essential Guide for the Newly Diagnosed by MEA McNeil.
A lot of people don't understand what Rheumaotoid Arthritis (RA) is. They often get it confused with the common form of Arthritis, OsteoArthritis, they don't realize that our's is an autoimmune disease. Be prepared for all kinds of stories and remedies. Do you have a good Rheumatologist? That's key. A Rheumatologist will get you started on medication, but don't expect it to cure it or be a miracle drug. There isn't just one medication for RA. What works for one patient, may not work for another. But something will work, so don't give up.
A supportive family and friends are also important. They need to understand what RA is and what to expect. The hardest part for me was asking for help, my family and friends have been so supportive. They also need to understand that plans may have to be changed last minute. With RA, doing everyday activities can be hard, so you will need to learn to pace yourself and prioritize. Another thing that has been hard is saying "No". I can't do everything now, so I have to determine what is realistic.
I know this may be more information than you wanted, but I hope it helps. You are welcome to email me directly if you have more questions. I truly know what you are going through, so please feel free to ask.