Happy World Arthritis Day!

dontgiveup
Source: Instagram (anonymous)

In case you don’t know, today, October 12th, is World Arthritis Day. It’s late afternoon right now in Minnesota and the day is nearing its end, however I didn’t want to completely forget or ignore this day. Other RA friends and acquaintances of mine have been posting stuff all day long on their blogs and social media pages about how arthritis affects their lives. Regarding my own RA story, I recently (well, three months ago) reached an important milestone: the 20th anniversary of my RA diagnosis. I wrote an article for rheumatoidarthritis.net about it, if anybody would like to read it. Click on the link below to read a bit about what it feels like to have RA for 20 years.

“Happy (?) Anniversary, RA”

Thank you for reading it and this blog, despite how little I seem to be posting here. I hope you can find something worthwhile and good to take away from my story.

And, if you know anybody with RA, or have it yourself, please give that person (including yourself) a gentle hug today.

-Angela

Summer Update

Happy July, everyone!

Once again I can’t believe how long it’s been since I posted on here and how fast the time is speeding by. Can everything slow down a bit, please? Even though I haven’t been posting on this blog that much lately, I’m still keeping busy updating my RA Facebook page–“Inflamed: Living with Rheumatoid Arthritis” (like this blog)–and writing for RheumatoidArthritis.net. If you’re on Facebook, please check out and “like” my page! I’d love to have you there. I do plan to start posting a lot more on this blog, too.

In other news, I started another new biologic medication this spring, Rituxan, and my rheumatologist and I are now waiting to see if it’s going to work. I really hope it does because I’m running out of biologic options–which is worrying. I’m also desperate to finally get off of prednisone (and stay off it) after taking it regularly for about three years.

Here’s a recent article I wrote about starting Rituxan for RheumatoidArthritis.net: “Rituxan Ready?”

In exciting/wonderful news, I’ve recently lost about 9 lbs! This makes me so happy and relieved because I feel like I’ve been trying to lose weight forever, and nothing seemed to be working. I’m glad to find out that my body and metabolism isn’t totally broken/defective. Whew.

How’s your summer going? How’s your RA? The heat and humidity drive me crazy and make my RA (especially swelling) a lot worse. If this also happens to you, I hope you can find a way to stay cool and comfortable right now. I’m sick of breathing in central air conditioning day after day, but I’d rather do that than be miserable and in worse pain.

I really need a relaxing beach vacation, I’ve decided.

Anemia & RA

Yesterday I had my first iron IV infusion since last December because my hematology labs are still abnormal; my hemoglobin is 10-something. I’ve been dealing with anemia or borderline anemia ever since my RA diagnosis 18 years ago, I think. During all of those years I knew my anemia was somehow related to RA, but it’s not until just recently that I started doing some research on it.

Here’s a recent article I wrote for rheumatoidarthritis.net about the anemia-RA connection.

“Anemia & RA”

I’m willing to bet that there are a lot of other people out there with RA who also struggle with anemia. Is your fatigue from your RA and pain or could it be from low iron levels? Good question! :)

I’m still here!

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.

ABC News arthritis Twitter chat TOMORROW!

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.

DETAILS

Tuesday, July 21st
1-2 p.m., ET

Chat hashtag: ‪#‎abcDRBchat‬
Moderator @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