Caught in the lonely gap

For a while I was trying to cross-post some of the articles I’ve written for Rheumatoidarthritis.net but I realize I haven’t done that lately. So, if you’re interested, here’s a fairly recent one that I like:

“JRA vs RA: Caught in the Lonely Gap”

It’s about being diagnosed with RA at age 18, and sort of teetering on the edge of being a child or adult patient and the issues that came with that. Loneliness is a major “side effect” of having this often misunderstood disease, and I believe it’s even worse when you’re young and living with it.

“Inflamed” named one of Best RA Blogs of 2015

rheumatoid-arthritis-bestGood news! My blog was named as one of Healthline‘s Best Rheumatoid Arthritis Blogs of 2015. I’m slide #4 on the list: http://www.healthline.com/health-slideshow/best-rheumatoid-arthritis-blogs#4

Thank you so much to everyone who reads my blog and supports me and what I do! I’m forever grateful for the wonderful friends I’ve met through my little blog and for being part of the online RA and patient advocacy communities.

HealtheVoices advocates!

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HealtheVoices 2015 Conference – patient advocates! Jersey City, NJ, April 18, 2015

And in good news…here’s an awesome group photo of us HealtheVoices patient/health advocates with a gorgeous view of Manhattan in the background. What an inspiring group of people! Can you spot me?

(Hint, I’m short)

New York, new anxieties

Hello!

I’m in Brooklyn, New York right now, trying to figure out what the hell I’m doing. And why I’m doing it again. I had a really awful day yesterday, mostly because of my health insurance company in Minnesota admitting that they gave me completely WRONG information regarding me having health coverage here in New York City. It’s a long story and I’m too tired to go into it now, but basically I’m stranded here without health care. And my rheumatologist in Minneapolis is in China now for two weeks, so it’s pretty difficult to reach him. I’m working with his nurse though. Hopefully another doctor can help me.

So, ah, just saying hi from New York. I’m alive…barely! ha ha. Prayers, good thoughts, etc, are very welcome right now. I need them. I was crying my eyes out for hours yesterday. :(

More soon!

HealtheVoices Conference!

I just attended an incredible conference in Jersey City, NJ comprised of health bloggers and advocates from all over the country, who all suffer from different chronic diseases. Wow! What a weekend! I’m sad it’s over, but so happy to have been a part of it. I have a lot of blogging and photo updating to do from this weekend (and in general), and I will post more here ASAP about the conference. I just want to write a little something right now before I head to my next adventure….which is MOVING TO BROOKLYN, NEW YORK! Yikes! More on that soon, too.

If you’re interested, you can look up #HealtheVoices15 on Twitter for lots of photos and posts about the conference. Health advocates coming together with experience that spans across MANY diseases and conditions is a pretty powerful thing.

RA feedback opportunity with YourCareMoments!

About a month or so ago I began participating in an ongoing patient research study about RA called YourCareMoments. How it works is I basically fill out a short survey after each time I see my rheumatologist or get RA prescriptions filled at the pharmacy or have any kind of RA-related treatment. The feedback from the surveys is then used by YourCareMoments to help inform pharmaceutical companies about what’s going on with patients who have RA–their experiences and opinions regarding doctor appointments, getting their RA medications, starting new medications. I do receive a small monetary compensation each time I complete a survey (about $6-7 per survey), which is nice, but what I really like about the program is that pharmaceutical companies are getting feedback directly from the patients who use their products. I think this is one good way to help bridge the gap that exists between patients and the huge pharmaceutical industry (which often has a bad reputation for not being very patient-friendly).

The pharmaceutical companies need to hear from patients and hear what the experiences are in their daily lives living with RA. Because RA is such an unpredictable and ever-changing disease, and it’s very specific from person to person, I believe it’s important for as many voices to be heard as possible, and that’s why I support this program. I want pharma to know what it’s like when I have my rheumatology appointments. I want them to know the hassle I sometimes have trying to get certain medications. They need to know that access to care and treatment and medications is often very difficult for RA patients. So! I want to let you, my readers, know that I’m participating in this program and I would like to extend a friendly invitation to anybody else who has RA who would also like to participate. So far I’ve had nothing but good experiences taking the surveys and working with YourCareMoments. It’s easy, convenient, and fast–I recommend getting involved if you have a few extra minutes to spare each week/month.

You can register to start receiving surveys by going here:

www.yourcaremoments.com

Please contact Keith Olsen (who is extremely nice and helpful!) if you have any questions about participating:

Keith Olsen
Contact@YourCareMoments.com

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