Good Morning

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12.13.17 – Fridley, Minnesota

It was snowing heavily on my way to work this morning, yet despite the traffic and stress and headaches it caused, it was really beautiful.

Peace, beauty, relief, contentment–they’re not so hard to find sometimes, I think.

Just Say No?

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Self-portrait, circa 2012

If only it were that easy to “just say no” to bread, pasta, bagels, donuts, pastries, sweets, SUGAR–all of the delicious carbs that steroid medication (prednisone) makes you crave.

If only I could “just say no” to my doctor when he advises that I increase my prednisone dosage (once again) to help get a flare-up under control.

The prednisone/steroid battle is a tough one, as many of you already know, because despite its nasty side effects, it’s hard to say “no” to a treatment that is very effective and fast at reducing inflammation and pain.

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Dreamland: The Opiate Epidemic

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Here’s my latest article for RheumatoidArthritis.net about an excellent book I recently read, “Dreamland: The True Tale of America’s Opiate Epidemic” by journalist Sam Quinones.

“Dreamland: RA & The Opiate Epidemic”

The book is a fascinating and eye-opening account of the current “opioid crisis” and  basically the mess that our country is in right now regarding the shockingly high number of people addicted and overdosing on opiate drugs. Quinones, a former reporter for the L.A. Times, meticulously explains the origins of the crisis, including the “pill mills” (pain clinics) of the 1990s, the explosion of OxyContin onto the market also in the ’90s, and the rapid rise of black tar heroin trafficking from basically one small region of Mexico–the state of Nayarit, which is on Mexico’s western coast.

Even though the book deals with a lot of serious and heavy material, it’s definitely worth reading. And it’s a page-turner, which surprised me. For a rather long and dense non-fiction book, I found myself flying through it. I’ve also been recommending it to everyone, even those who don’t personally have a chronic illness or suffer from chronic pain. There’s so much sensationalist media coverage of the “opioid crisis/epidemic” right now that it’s difficult to know and understand what the real facts are. Sam Quinones’ “Dreamland” is a fantastic place to start, I think.

And please, let me know what you think of my article and the book if/when you read it!

Rheumatoid Arthritis Studies!

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Hello everyone!

I’m now a CureClick Ambassador, which means I get information about studies and clinical trials for RA (and other diseases). I hope to help find participants for the studies by sharing them on my blog and social media pages. As many of you with RA know, continued research, development, and approval of new drugs and treatments for RA (and other diseases) is desperately needed for the patients who suffer from chronic illnesses. As drugs fail for certain patients or become ineffective over time, we need to have more options. Clinical trials, and participants in these studies, are therefore crucial in the development and approval of new drugs.

So! I just found out about a rheumatoid arthritis study/clinical trial that needs participants. If you have RA, click here for more info and to see if you qualify:

LOCAL RESEARCH STUDIES FOR RA 

Please consider participating! All of your “rheummates” need you. :)

Thank you!
Angela

I Am Not Lazy

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Image via @girlboss on Instagram

I just posted this all over my social media pages yesterday because I love it! Having RA and an invisible illness, this statement really resonates with me. I often struggle with feeling “lazy” (and then guilty) just trying to make it through each day living with this exhausting disease. I’m NOT lazy, though. None of us are. We’re doing the best we can while living with constant, debilitating pain. That should be enough.

Link: girlboss.com