October 23, 2013
Living with a chronic invisible illness such as RA can be tough, for several reasons. Just because you might look “normal” and healthy on the outside, that doesn’t mean you aren’t actually dealing with a lot of pain on a daily basis–physically and emotionally. Sometimes family, friends, co-workers, bosses, and even doctors can be surprisingly insensitive and judgmental regarding this issue. Here’s a recent blog post I wrote for RheumatoidArthritis.net about the pain of living with an invisible illness:
Thanks for reading!
October 23, 2013
Last night I happened upon a fascinating and frightening documentary on Frontline about the rise of certain types of deadly drug-resistant bacteria (also known as “super bugs”). While this is a major concern for healthy people with normal immune systems, it’s an even bigger one for those who have auto-immune diseases and compromised immune systems, such as RA. It’s not just the fact that these certain types of bacteria are resistant to antibiotics, but the gene mutations that are seen to occur in people to transform “normal” bacterial infections into these super bugs–that’s what’s even more terrifying. Watching and listening to the stories of the people who became infected with these super bugs made me shudder, Wow if I get one of these I’ll survive about five minutes. OK that’s probably an exaggeration, but if these infections are ravaging and killing healthy bodies, I can’t imagine that those who have weak or compromised immune systems could survive them. Or can they? It’s a question worth finding out, I think. I also found it disheartening and rather appalling that the drug companies are not very invested or interested in working to create and bring to market new antibiotic treatments to treat these super bugs, according to the documentary. Why? Spending millions (billions?) of dollars on developing and marketing antibiotics isn’t very profitable because antibiotics are intended only for short-term use, compared to say, cholesterol medication you take every day for years. Or arthritis drugs which are also taken on a daily basis for a long time (imagine that!).
Anyway, this is an excellent documentary and I highly recommend watching it. Here’s the link:
Hope you find it interesting, and please feel free to comment!
October 17, 2013
Here’s a link to my latest blog post that was just published tonight on RheumatoidArthritis.net!
I received some really happy, surprising news when I went to my last doctor appointment on Monday. I stepped onto the scale for my regular weigh-in and when I saw the numbers flash on the screen I almost fell off of it. I LOST WEIGHT! Crazy. Well, it seems crazy because for the last month or so (or, um, all summer?) I’ve fallen off the weight-loss wagon and I haven’t been doing anything or really paying attention at all to what I’ve been eating. Actually, I feel like since I started the substitute para job at the high school about a month ago that I’ve been eating much worse and indiscriminately scarfing down whatever junk I feel like eating (gallons of coffee, Diet Coke, fast food, burritos, chocolate, pasta, bread, etc.) But hey, I don’t want to complain about this mysterious drop of pounds. I’m ecstatic that I’ve lost about 4-5 lbs. over the last month and I can feel that my clothes are looser too. Now I just have to keep on losing to finally get to where I want to be, which is about 30 lbs less than I weigh right now.
But anyway–my latest blog post on RheumatoidArthritis.net goes more into the difficulty of losing weight while having a painful chronic disease like RA and my personal struggles with it over the years. But I’m going to use this terrific, inspiring news of my recent weight loss to motivate me to get back on track with healthy eating and exercise. I really do want to be healthy. Losing weight is a smart goal to have, for so many reasons.
October 13, 2013
September 13, 2013
The Upper Midwest Region chapter of the Arthritis Foundation is having its annual ARTHRITIS WALK tomorrow morning, and I’m excited to be taking photos of it again. I also decided at the last minute to join my friend’s team, The Young Adults, and participate as a walker and fundraiser in addition to taking photos. This walk is always a fun event and it’s inspiring to see how supportive people are of the arthritis cause — whether contributing donations, walking in the event, or just cheering others on.
Here is my personal fundraising page for the walk if you would like to support the walk and make a donation to the Arthritis Foundation:
Here’s the link for the home page of the event, which has a lot of general information about it:
Thank you so much!
September 13, 2013
I had my bi-monthly Remicade (infliximab) infusion a week ago which was exciting and fun as usual (not). But I’m thankful for it, especially because my stubborn right ankle and foot have been flaring up worse again lately. Why? Stress? I’m guessing stress. Or else God hates me right now. Maybe both. But seriously, it’s painful and irritating and annoying and I don’t have time to deal with it. I also really don’t want to go back on prednisone, which I’ve been lucky to be off since early June. Will I ever be off of that evil yet wonderful drug for a whole year again? I wonder. But back to stress — there’s been a lot of it going on in my life the last few months. Well, all summer really.
September 1, 2013
August 28, 2013
A new RA website is officially launching TODAY – RheumatoidArthritis.net
It’s a cool site, full of information about rheumatoid arthritis for patients, families, spouses — everyone really! A great part of this site is there is a community of bloggers sharing their personal stories of living with RA. And the exciting thing is, I’m going to be one of their featured regular bloggers! So now in addition to blathering on about medical appointments and swollen joints on this blog, you can read my posts over at rheumatoidarthritis.net too. Whoo! Actually those will probably be a little more organized structurally. And maybe more well-thought-out. Although I do try to not sound like a blubbering idiot on here, too, I swear. Ha ha. In any case, I hope you like the new site and my blog posts.
So check it out! It’s a neat site and I think it will be a helpful resource and source of communication and community for people affected by RA.
August 11, 2013
Well, this is a nice surprise! About a week ago I received an email announcing that my blog has been chosen as one of healthline.com‘s best rheumatoid arthritis blogs of 2013.
Check out the other 19 blogs that were chosen, in no particular order:
July 15, 2013
I went up north (northern Minnesota, for those of you not familiar with the “up north” expression) this last weekend for an annual family event/get-together. The weather was mostly cloudy and rainy which is a major departure from the usual scorching, unbearable heat that happens that July weekend. I stayed with my cousins, aunt and uncle, and some other family friends in an old farmhouse just outside of the town of Osakis. Even if the weather wasn’t perfect, I just loved getting out of the city for the weekend and away from the stress of “normal life.” I’ve always fantasized about living in a small town or out in the country for a summer, and I still think about it. Would I really like it? I know it seems like I’ve been doing a ton of traveling over the last few months, which is true. But I still feel like I need some sort of vacation. I feel like I can think about things so much easier and clearer when I’m away from home. And really, I need to focus and start making some major decisions here. I’m tired of floundering around, feeling like I don’t know what the hell I’m supposed to be doing, or how to do it. Although it is admittedly difficult to stay on track with things when your life is constantly being interrupted and derailed by chronic illness and everything that goes along with it (flare-ups, doctor appointments, physical therapy appointments, sickness, fatigue). But anyway — this post doesn’t have much of a point, I guess, except that it was good to get away, and I would like to go back to Osakis again before the end of summer. Realizing the things that make you feel good and better is an important part of healing and managing your health, I think. I don’t know why it’s such a struggle sometimes.
Hope you all had a happy weekend!