Many days later. No idea how many.

I read all of the horrible things you all are going through and sometimes I feel bad. I will forever be thankful for finding this board - when I was seeing doctors basically telling me I was crazy, the information on this board made me keep asking questions. I wasn't happy with a diagnosis of RA, but it explained a lot. The last three years have been hard, from when my mysterious wrist pain started, when my hips joined the party, when I would need a two hour nap midday after sleeping 8-9 hours a night just to make it through the day. When I reached out asking about it, I had friends tell me I was nuts, stop reading WebMD, if I had RA I'd be in so much more pain. I knew what I was feeling was not normal and I felt so alone.
I struggled with starting medications. My first rheumy was very aggressive - as soon as she was sure of the diagnosis, she started me on methotrexate. When I didn't get much relief from that in three months, we jumped right to biologics. Nothing helped. I finally gave up and went off those meds, just eating Advil on the worst days. Ever since being on biologics, my body heals differently. Cuts take months to heal fully, colds linger (sometimes for months), and I appear to have developed allergies.
When the pain got bad enough again, I found a new rheumy. After all the blood work and X-rays, he told me that my RA was mild. Mild? He started me on meloxicam and Plaquenil. The meloxicam is helping a bit, but my pain is still pretty bad. I do not have a low pain threshold either. I work full time, I try to do things with my husband and friends, and we just bought a house. I just took a medical leave from my masters program and have no idea when/if I'll return. I feel bad that my RA is mild and it affects me so much. I read so many other stories and realize how good I have it. And I worry how bad it will get. Will I get to be one of the people who live with mild RA that never really progresses? Will I end up on disability in a wheelchair in a decade?
Sometimes that's what I plan for: a wheelchair and disability. It's part of why I'm so unsure about school - do I really want to rack up tens of thousands of dollars more in student loan debt if I'm going to be out on disability at some point? Most sites I read say that the day you're diagnosed with RA, your life expectancy is shortened by 10-15 years. Do I really want to do all that work and spend all that time/money for a job that I might only have for 10 years? Both of my parents died fairly young - mom at 56 from cancer, dad at 63 from 'natural causes' (diabetes likely contributed). I'm 36. I figure I'm lucky if I make it until 60 or 65. Call it 30 years. It will take me 4-5 to finish my masters and get my license. That leaves me 25. Take into account the nature of this disease - it's not likely that I'll work until 62. Why should I bother?
It sounds dark and morbid. I don't think of it as pessimistic, but realistic.