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.
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!
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:
Please consider participating! All of your “rheummates” need you. :)
This is happening tonight! Very soon, actually. Join us on Twitter in about 30 minutes if you can! We’ll be chatting about making decisions about treatments, preparing for doctor appointments, and getting involved in healthcare policy work.
My Twitter handle is @aclundberg (if you don’t already know!). See you online soon!
Happy 2017 everyone!
I know I haven’t updated this blog in seemingly forever. Sincere apologies (I’m embarrassed about this)! 2016 was one of the most challenging years I’ve ever experienced, I’d argue, and it used up a lot of my time, energy, and health. I know I’m being vague here, but I’ll explain more in following posts. I’m really glad that a new year is finally here and I hope it will be happy and healthy for everyone!
That said, here’s a recently published article of mine on rheumatoidarthritis.net about the issue of rising and unaffordable out-of-pocket costs for people who currently have health insurance. I know I’m not alone is having to deal with this issue.
I’ve lived most of my adult life being “dangerously uncovered” even while having health insurance. I know that the fate of our country’s health insurance is on shaky ground right now; it will be interesting (and hopefully not alarming) to see what happens in the near future with the Affordable Care Act and the Trump administration.
Hello! I can’t believe how long it’s been since I’ve posted on here. Very embarrassing. So many things have happened regarding my health, work, family, and friends since November. There’s a lot to catch up on and I am going to do it!
Right now, I’m going through a pretty bad flare-up in both feet and ankles and a bit in my hands. The feet/ankles flare started about a week ago and then got quickly worse while I was in Chicago last weekend for a wonderful conference called HealtheVoices. I will write more about that very soon, I promise! Despite suffering through the staggering physical and emotional pain of the flare, I was so inspired and energized being a part of the conference again (I was at the first one held last year in Jersey City, NJ). Just being there with my fellow RA friends and advocates as well as connecting with people who are advocates regarding other chronic illnesses…it was incredibly motivating and empowering. But more on that later! Know that there are a lot of people out there who really care about those who live with RA and are passionate about making lives better. This gives me great hope.
This post is a bit rambling and scrambling, but I wanted to post something now. Finally! I’m still here and this blog and cause are still so very important to me. They always will be. :)
I hope you’re all happy and as pain-free as possible out there…in the Internet universe.
So I just got an email from someone at ABC News about an arthritis Twitter chat happening TOMORROW with moderator Dr. Richard Besser, ABC’s chief health and medical editor. ABC News is looking for people to discuss all aspects of arthritis: symptoms, treatment, etc. And they want to hear from researchers, clinicians, bloggers, and patients.
Tuesday, July 21st
1-2 p.m., ET
Chat hashtag: #abcDRBchat
Here’s also a link explaining more about how to join the chat: Dr. Besser’s Live Twitter Chat.
**The video on the link isn’t about the arthritis chat specifically. But the instructions of how to join one of Dr. Besser’s chats is explained below the video. You can use that information to join the arthritis chat tomorrow.
Please join the chat if you’re interested and pass along the info to others. I’ll be there, tweeting! Look for me at @aclundberg