Caroline Wozniacki can still recall the “excruciating pain” she felt before being diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis in 2018.
Detailing her ordeal to People, Wozniacki — who retired from tennis in January after her ouster from the Australian Open — said she was unable to get out of bed one morning, stating it “felt like I’d been hit by a car and had mono at the same time.”
“I looked at my husband [former Knick] David [Lee], and told him, ‘I literally can’t move, I’m so exhausted and in so much pain,’” Wozniacki told the publication.
Wozniacki, 30, who had been competing in the summer of 2018, said alarm bells naturally began ringing amid the unexpected state of her physical health.
“Being a strong athlete and going from playing three hours on a tennis court and then the next day barely being able to get out of bed, raised a lot of question marks,” she stated.
Upon learning her diagnosis, Wozniacki said it was a “big shock” given rheumatoid arthritis had not been part of her family’s medical history.
“I’ve never had anyone in my family with RA or an immune disease — I just couldn’t understand how a fit young person could have this disease,” she said.
Described as “an autoimmune disorder, rheumatoid arthritis occurs when your immune system mistakenly attacks your own body’s tissues,” according to the Mayo Clinic, noting the “chronic inflammatory disorder that can affect more than just your joints.”
In the wake of her diagnosis, Wozniacki has made adjustments to her lifestyle.
“If I feel great, perfect, we go all-out and do everything. If I don’t feel well, then I have to be a bit kinder to myself and my body and not get frustrated if I have a bad day,” she said.
Since calling it a career, the former tennis ace has been enjoying married life with 37-year-old Lee, celebrating their first wedding anniversary in June.
“Happy anniversary my love!! I can’t believe we have been married a year already!❤️👫 I love you more every day and can’t wait to see what the rest of our lives have in store!” Wozniacki posted to Instagram at the time.
In recent weeks, Wozniacki and Lee soaked up the last few days of summer in Monaco, where they enjoyed a day hike and a sweet treat.
“Day hike from Monaco! Now time for some well deserved ice cream,” she shared in late August.
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