Affordable Healthcare, Now!

Minnesota senator (my senator) Amy Klobuchar posted this on her Twitter feed two days ago. I just reposted it on my RA Instagram page (@inflamed.ra) with this comment:

Thank you to my senator for saying this! It’s not just medication but ALL medical care that needs to be affordable yet still of high quality: doctor’s visits, lab work, diagnostic tests, ER care, surgeries, mental health care, dental care, vision care, preventative care, physical therapy, integrative/functional medicine care…and anything else that the patient needs to be as healthy as possible and live a normal life as much as possible.

I stand by these statements.

Covid-19 Vaccination #3!

August 18, 2021

I got my third Pfizer vaccination two weeks ago yesterday at a local CVS. It was super fast and easy and I was relieved to get it. My first set of vaccinations were back in March, and with the nasty Delta variant that’s causing an explosion of cases and hospitalizations, I had been growing more and more nervous about if or how much I was still protected. I’ve also been holding off on going back on my Humira until after getting a third vaccination (plus a two-week wait). I just really do not want to be on any immunosuppressant medications right now with Delta running rampant and there are still so many people who refuse to get vaccinated or follow safety protocols.

Speaking of the anti-vaxxers and anti-maskers, I am furious with them. I’m disgusted at their stubborn selfishness and unwillingness to DO WHAT THEY’RE SUPPOSED TO DO to protect the health, safety, and well-being of us all. I’m so tired of listening to people, grown adults, yelling about their “rights being taken away,” and spouting off about ridiculous conspiracy theories and dangerous disinformation. If you live in a society, rights are shared. And nobody has the “right” to make me or anyone else sick or dead from Covid-19.

I’ve been saying this since Day 1: Covid-19 is a PUBLIC HEALTH ISSUE and NOT a political one. It shouldn’t be a political issue at all, but it’s too late. It’s become heavily politicized. So while people continue to refuse getting vaccinated, burn masks, and protest against schools trying to keep their students and staff safe, people are continuing to suffer terribly and die. And now it’s not just older people or those with underlying health conditions. No, it’s young healthy people. It’s kids. My mind is constantly blown by all of this; nothing makes sense. And Covid-19 is DEADLY. It’s nothing to play around with. Why don’t people get this?

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Always Fight!

Minneapolis, MN, July 28, 2021

Always fight for your health and care.
Always fight for your rights as a patient and a human being.
Always fight to be listened to and taken seriously.
Always fight to be treated with respect and dignity.

I constantly have to remind myself of these things, because I know that nobody can advocate for me better than I can.

YOUR health and life matter! Don’t ever forget it. ❤️

The High Price of Living With Chronic Pain


I was recently interviewed for Marie Claire magazine about living with chronic pain and what a heavy financial toll it can take on a person. The article was just published yesterday! It’s a bit embarrassing (ok, a lot) having my personal debt and financial information flung into the open for all to see, but I think it’s an important issue to recognize and talk about.

Here’s the article if you’d like to check it out. My friend Leslie is also featured in it!

“The High Price of Living With Chronic Pain” by Alice Oglethorpe

Too many people who live with chronic illnesses are staggering under the stress and weight of years of outrageously expensive medical bills. It’s ridiculous and frankly unethical, in my opinion, that we live in a country where you have to decide between caring for your health or sinking into debt. I didn’t ask or choose to have this disease. I did nothing wrong to deserve it. So why am I and countless others constantly being punished by an unfair healthcare system? It’s more wealth care than health care, if you ask me.

Sadly, for the most part, sickness is an expensive, lucrative business in the United States. And we desperately and urgently need to change that.

P.S. I have paid off even more debt since I was interviewed for this article 😊

An International Pandemic Treaty and Human Rights

This is an interesting and important read via Human Rights Watch.

An International Pandemic Treaty Should Center on Human Rights

“The right to health—Most of the world lacks covid-19 diagnostics, medicines, and vaccines. A new treaty should uphold the right to physical and mental health, and acknowledge the right of everyone to the benefits of scientific progress and its applications, including through intellectual property waivers.”

“The covid-19 pandemic starkly widened inequalities. We must seize this opportunity to reassert the principle of human equality, which must never be compromised; draw on lessons learned from the past year, and chart a better future.” 

Darkness Into Light

Photo: Kinsale, Ireland by Thérèse O’Leary-Dinneen

My good, old friend Thérèse sent me a video of Pieta’s “Darkness Into Light” annual charity event a bit ago from Ireland (link is at the bottom of this post). Pieta House is an Irish organization that helps with the prevention of suicide and self-harm and provides free mental health counseling to people in need. Thérèse was there in Kinsale last night with all of the beautiful lights in the dark. I wish I could’ve been there. I’m crying a bit after watching the video. I should have lit a candle myself last night, too.

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Photo: Getty Images

“Being sick isn’t a fashion accessory.” –Kara Nesvig

Many people in the RA/chronic illness/chronic pain communities are up in arms right now over Kimhēkim’s latest runway show during Paris Fashion Week–where leggy models traipsed up and down the runway sporting minimalist “SICK” T-shirts and IV bags. So…they’re gorgeous models who happen to be “sick” yet can still strut their stuff and look “cool” while doing it? What exactly is the message here? Is it supposed to be funny? Quirky? I don’t see the humor in it.

Since when did “sickness” become a fashion statement?

I’m still trying to figure out how I feel about this. Some immediate reactions include: disgust, disappointment, surprise, anger, frustration, and irritation. It seems like “sickness” is being made into some weird sort of gimmick or caricature, therefore demeaning and disrespecting the real lives of those of us who struggle with illness on a daily basis. I’ve been SICK with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) for 22 years, and I’ve never once thought it was “cool” or anything close to it. It’s been a nightmare.

The following links are a couple of articles about this controversy, if you want to read more:

Teen Vogue“Kimhēkim is Being Called Out on Instagram for Using IV Bags as an Accessory”

The Independent“Kimhēkim: Fashion Brand Criticised for Using IV Drips in Runway Show”

The Inspiration


(PART 2)

Exciting news! I’m partnering with Pfizer to launch a photo-essay series on on what it’s like living with rheumatoid arthritis (RA). In each photo of the series, I want to help lift the veil of confusion and misconception that often conceals the truth of RA by making the illness a bit more understandable. In all of its pain, struggle, grief and frustration, RA is worth being seen and can even impart lessons of hope and beauty.

Exposing RA Through Photography, Part 1 – “Meet Angela”
Exposing RA Through Photography, Part 2 – “The Inspiration”

I’m looking forward to sharing this journey with you!



If you’re not already following me on Instagram, here’s a friendly reminder and invitation to connect with me, if you want. My RA Instagram page is: @inflamed.ra

Feel free to follow me for RA and health-related posts, bad selfies, vegan meals (when I’m not cheating), and lots of other things.

Hope to see you there!