Today is World Arthritis Day any other year I would not even known this little fact. Not surprised, there is a day for everything it seems. However this is a cause that has become near and dear to my heart. In one short year my life has turned upside down and inside out and it is in large part to my Rheumatoid Arthritis. I knew next to nothing about RA before I was diagnosed. I was called in and told I tested positive for RA with a high anti-ccp. The lumps and bumps I had discovered the week before my appointment were confirmed as rheumatoid nodules. I was told this indicated severe RA along with my high anti-ccp. There are no cures but medications (DMARDS - Disease Modifying Anti-Rheumatic Drugs) such as methotrexate and plaquinel were prescribed and then other medications to counter act the side effects of the first two. It is important to try to slow the disease down so it calls for heavy duty pharmaceutical intervention. A referral to the Arthritis Society was made for Occupational Therapy and Social Work and I was on my way home.
I was left to learn about my diagnosis on my own. Where does a person in 2011 turn to to get medical information...you got it...the internet! Well that was an eye opener. There is a lot of information out there that is either a) just not true or b) Full of old wives tails or c) out dated and most importantly for me there was little to no Canadian information on the subject. In the midst of it all we had high profile Dr's such as Dr. Phill McGraw who had publicly declared that RA was as a result of obesity, utter nonsense but out there just the same. I am pleased to say the e-mail campaign that RA suffers mounted has paid off Dr. Phil recants his previous statements in todays blog http://blog.drphil.com/2011/10/12/world-arthritis-day/ saying he misspoke...I guess the best we can hope for. At least he stood up and made right the information.
I was already dealing with the Hashimotos and Fibromyalgia diagnosis and two weeks later came the RA diagnosis. I was spinning and my body was and remains out of control.
My emotions have been all over the map since my diagnosis with the primary theme being depression. My body continues to betray me on a daily basis. I am declining quickly and the difference from where I was this time last year to where I am today is so dramatically different you wouldn't believe you were talking about the same person. The chronic pain, the chronic fatigue take a toll so great you cannot begin to imagine unless you have experienced it first hand. I wish that fate on nobody. Nobody should have to live like this.
I have continued to research RA, Fibromyalgia and Hashimoto's and I am thinking about how one person can make a difference in the awareness of all of these diseases. I then look at Kelly Young from RAWarrior and the new Rheumatoid Patient Foundation (USA) and realize that one person can make a huge difference in peoples lives. This inspires me...I just need to slow down to figure out what I am going to do with all of this.
Amazing how little we know unless we are directly impacted by them. Arthritis accounts for most of the disability claims in north america and yet very little is spent on research in comparison to other diseases such as breast cancer which affects relatively few in comparison. I am not comparing diseases just the lack of research funds and awareness. The only difference is the AWARENESS and FUNDRAISING campaigns. Today we raise awareness and with awareness will come the ability to raise the much needed funds towards a cure!
© 2011 Rhonda