RheumatoidArthritis.net

In addition to being a mom, a wife, and writing this blog, I also blog for RheumatoidArthritis.net. This page is a list of my blog posts for that site and will be updated as I publish more.
 
SEPTEMBER 2013

Catch- 22: I'm sure I'm not the only person living with RA who has experienced catch-22 situations, where I feel trapped by a paradoxical set of circumstances and forced to make a decision where it feels like I lose either way. I've been faced with dozens of these decisions over the past five years. Read more...

Happiness Is Everything: I used to be a busy, fast-paced, crazy overachiever. After being diagnosed with RA, I suddenly found myself in a body that wasn't capable of that lifestyle. It was then that I decided to reevaluate my life, my choices, and my priorities. I decided to try to keep looking forward, take one day at a time, and figure out what would actually make me happy. Read more...

OCTOBER 2013

Facing Fatigue: I was tired of my joints hurting & making it hard to do everyday things. I was tired of doctors…I was tired of blood tests. I was tired of experimenting with medications …And, perhaps most of all, I was so very tired of being tired. Learning to live with fatigue can be a long, complicated, & frustrating process. Read more...

World Arthritis Day: Did you know that October 12th is World Arthritis Day? And that 1 in 5 (22%) of adults in the United States suffer from arthritis? Or that there are more than 300,000 children growing up with arthritis? Read more...

A Hopeful Guinea Pig: Giving up on Remicade, after struggling to find the right treatment for more than a year, felt sort of like going back to square one... Even though I still felt like some sort of guinea pig, at least my rheumatologist helped me feel like a hopeful one. Read more...

NOVEMBER 2013

Stuck In The Middle: The more I think about it, the more I realize that I belong to a demographic of arthritis sufferers who receive less support, recognition, and resources than they ought to. Read more... 

Jumping Through Insurance Hoops: The hoops we have to jump through to follow healthcare and insurance procedures can be very frustrating, especially when we are already feeling our worst. I wanted to offer a few tips that might help. Read more...

DECEMBER 2013

We Are Not Alone: Did you know that Lucille Ball & Pierre-Auguste Renoir had RA? Read more...

Traveling With Refrigerated Medications: Are you traveling with refrigerated meds in tow this holiday season? Read more... 

The Sleep Problem: Although not technically a symptom of the disease, a lot of people with RA have trouble with sleep. Some people have trouble falling asleep. Some people have trouble staying asleep. Some people have trouble with both. Read more...

That Thing No One Talks About: I’m not a sex therapist and I am certainly not an expert on this topic. But I do think it is important to talk about this issue and share whatever resources and support we can to help each other. Read more...

JANUARY 2014

Book Review: "Spiritual Two-By-Fours And Other Wake-Up Calls" By Kimberly Rooney: Kimberly’s book makes some great points about what you can learn by accepting your RA diagnosis. She also provides prompts, or “dance steps,” that may help you through your own personal journey. Read more...

How To Talk To A Doctor About Sex: It is easier said than done to bring up the intimate topic of sex with your doctor! But, for the sake of your own health and happiness, as well as the health of your relationship with your partner, it is very important to find the courage to talk with your doctor. Read more...

8 Things Not To Say To Someone Who Has RA: Here is a list of eight things not to say to someone living with rheumatoid arthritis – and some facts you can offer in response if someone says these things to you. Read more...

FEBRUARY 2014

Book Review: “Arthritis, Pregnancy, And The Path To Parenthood” By Suzie Edward May: As soon as I started thinking about getting pregnant for the first time, I immediately started researching how living with RA was going to impact my pregnancy (and my chances of getting pregnant in the first place). I was very happy to find this book! Read more...

Expert Advice For Improving Your Sex Life With RA: Many of us with RA understand exactly how fatigue and pain can make intimacy difficult or unappealing. And we can probably all agree that a strained sex life will eventually take a toll on your relationship as a whole. I have compiled a list of all the useful information and advice about actually improving your sex life when you have RA. Read more...

How To Talk To Your Partner About Sex: While it may be quite uncomfortable, good communication is critical to sustaining a healthy sex life, particularly when arthritis places additional obstacles on the path to intimacy. If the idea of talking to your partner about sex seems daunting, here are some tips that may help you foster communication with your partner on this very important topic. Read more...

MARCH 2014

"At Least It's Not Cancer:" “At least it’s not cancer.” On the one hand, I wholeheartedly agree. On the other hand, I think comments like these unfairly downplay the seriousness of RA & other autoimmune diseases. Read more...

The RA Pregnancy Chronicles: My Second Pregnancy Begins (Week 4): I am excited to share stories from my second pregnancy on RheumatoidArthritis.net. I can’t promise that my story will always be uplifting, but I can promise that it will be honest. And though it may not be an easy task, I can promise that I will show it is possible (& wonderful!) to start a family while living with RA. Read more...

The RA Pregnancy Chronicles: Life Without RA Medications (Week 6): Being a parent is all about sacrificing your own needs for the needs of your children. It’s a challenge that every parent faces. But, for those of us living with chronic illnesses like RA, there are all sorts of extra scarifies, difficulties, and doubts we have to face. Read more...

Making Biologic Medications Accessible And Affordable: While I was excited to try the medication my rheumatologist suggested, I was shocked to discover that I would need to pay nearly $1,000 a month out of pocket! Learn more about my efforts to support The Patients’ Access to Treatments Act - legislation that makes medications more accessible & affordable. And find out what you can do to help! Read more...

APRIL 2014

Research for a Cure: Update from The National Institute of Health: An update on the current research being performed by the National Institute of Health and National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases to search for treatments and, more importantly, a cure for arthritis. Read more...

Love Your Body: In a strange way, I think my RA pain has taught me just how amazing my body really is. Please don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying that I want this pain or that it is easy to deal with it…but what I am saying is that instead of getting upset and angry at my body for all of the pain, I now try to be more grateful for all the things I can do and any day that I am able to spend without pain, or even with less pain. Read more...

The RA Pregnancy Chronicles: Morning Sickness and Other Unpleasantness (Week 9): Life with RA can sometimes feel like a constant Catch-22, a paradoxical set of circumstances where you find yourself forced to make a decision where it feels like you lose no matter what option you choose...In a strange way, I think these experiences make women with RA uniquely qualified to deal with the completely bizarre things that happen to your body while you are pregnant. Read more...

Arthritis Research at the Department of Defense: Why would the Department of Defense care about arthritis research? As it turns out, arthritis has a major impact on our nation’s war fighters, our veterans, and their families…Our veterans and their families are also impacted by rheumatoid arthritis. RA tends to strike military personnel at the peak of their career. Read more...

The RA Pregnancy Chronicles: The Magic R-Word (Week 12): Despite more than five years of living with RA, sometimes the R-word still seems too magical to say/type! But if you’ve ever read anything about RA and pregnancy, you’ll have read some statistic about the possibility of going into remission while pregnant. Read more...

MAY 2014

May Is Arthritis Awareness Month: Over the past few years I have discovered that there are quite a few widely held and terribly inaccurate myths about arthritis…So if you get the chance this month, try to educate someone about the true facts of life with arthritis! Read more...

Increasing Access to Pediatric Rheumatologists: There are 300,000 kids in the US growing up with arthritis – but only 250 board-certified pediatric rheumatologists to care for all of them. Read more...

The Pain of Invisibility: I’ve been thinking quite a lot lately about the “invisible” aspect of life with RA. How do you make someone realize how much pain you are in when there are no visual signs of your pain? Is it possible to help someone understand your severe fatigue even if you are able to keep going through your day? Read more...

The RA Pregnancy Chronicles: Pregnancy-Safe RA Relief (Week 14): I'm finding my symptoms to be even more frustrating because there are so few options for addressing aches/pains while pregnant. I've been brainstorming what I can do instead & wanted to share my ideas. Read more...

JUNE 2014

The RA Pregnancy Chronicles: RA-Friendly Baby Gear (Week 18): Buying the right baby gear can be overwhelming for anyone, but even more so if you're also dealing with RA. In this article I share my recommendations to make life as a parent with RA a little easier. Read more...  

My Supportive Partner: While it may be my body that hurts when my RA flares, I’m not the only one who has to deal with the consequences of my arthritis. I don’t think there are very many people who truly understand how much my RA affects my life – but there are even fewer who realize how much it affects my husband’s life. Read more...

The RA Pregnancy Chronicles: Getting Pregnant In the First Place: If you have RA and are thinking about starting a family, here are some things you should consider and some tips that might help. Read more...

The Miracle Cure! She didn’t want to hear about my experiences or share her personal experiences with arthritis. Nope. Instead she wanted to offer me the miracle cure. Have you ever been offered “the miracle cure”? How did you respond?  Read more...

The RA Pregnancy Chronicles: Making The Most of Breastfeeding (Week 19): Women with RA can find breastfeeding to be challenging for many reasons. Here are some tips to help you make the most of breastfeeding! Read more...

Meeting a New Rheumatologist: I was scared about the prospect of switching rheumatologists. I felt somewhat overwhelmed at the prospect of meeting this stranger and letting him into my life, hoping he would eventually become a partner I could trust to help me make the right decisions about my health. If you are in the position of meeting a new rheumatologist, here are some things to consider that might help. Read more...

JULY 2014

Kids Get Arthritis Too! July Is Juvenile Arthritis Awareness Month:  Most people who hear the word arthritis probably picture Grandpa walking with a cane or perhaps Grandma’s hands hurting too much to knit. But, in reality, arthritis is not just a geriatric disease. July is Juvenile Arthritis Awareness Month! Read more...

The RA Pregnancy Chronicles: Sometimes Being Pregnant With Arthritis Is Hard (Week 23): Unfortunately I don’t think it can be denied any longer: my RA is officially flaring. I'm also waking up with the most extreme morning stiffness I have ever experienced – it feels like I have been run over with a steamroller. And the fatigue (combined from the RA flare, difficult pregnancy, and chasing a toddler) is beyond soul crushing. Read more...

The RA Pregnancy Chronicles: The Post-Birth RA Flare (Week 32): It is common to experience an RA flare postpartum, but there are several things one can do to make this period of time easier. Read more...

Rheumatoid Arthritis and Social Security Disability Benefits: Have you applied for Social Security disability benefits because of your RA? What was your experience like? I provide an overview of the program. Read more...

AUGUST 2014 

Delicious Flavors With Natural Anti-Inflammatory Benefits! While changing your diet does seem to work for some & is worth a try, there is no scientific evidence that any particular diet will help control your RA. There is, however, a fair amount of evidence concerning the natural anti-inflammatory properties of many herbs & spices. Read more...

The RA Pregnancy Chronicles: Balancing Acts & Difficult Decisions (Week 30): Life with RA can be a near constant balancing act. You balance the benefits of medications against the potential risks. You must balance exercise & continued movement against pain and fatigue. You even have to balance your desires & dreams against your realities & capabilities. Read more...

SEPTEMBER 2014

New Study Brings Hope: Scientists Discover How to “Switch Off” Autoimmune Diseases: Scientists have made an important breakthrough in the fight against debilitating autoimmune diseases by revealing how to stop immune system cells from attacking healthy body tissue. Read more...

The RA Pregnancy Chronicles: Birth Positions (Week 34): The birth instructor kept talking about “using what nature provides” to make the birth process easier, and I couldn’t stop thinking about how unfair it was that nature had provided me with a bunch of inflamed joints and the ability to get fatigued more easily than other women, which wasn’t going to make the birth process any easier! Read more...

The RA Pregnancy Chronicles: The Birth of My Second Baby (6 Weeks Postpartum): It is time for me to go back on the methotrexate because at this point I have been living with partially treated RA for FOUR years. Though I must say it has been totally worth it for my two beautiful boys. Read more...

OCTOBER 2014

"Please Rate Your Pain on a Scale of 1 to 10" I think what I hate most about life with chronic pain is when someone says this: “please rate your pain on a scale of 1 to 10.” Read more...

World Arthritis Day 2014: Many people who hear the world “arthritis” picture grandpa walking with a cane, but arthritis isn't actually a disease of old age. Today is World Arthritis Day. Help correct the misconceptions & set the myths straight! Read more...

How Vaccinations Affect My Family: I've been reluctant to write about such a hot button topic, but it's also an issue that is extremely relevant to the members of this community. So I’m going to go ahead and discuss it: vaccinations. Read more...

NOVEMBER 2014

The Power of Chemo: After hearing I had to take a chemo drug, my friends almost universally reacted as if my RA was much more serious. Read more...

Back To Square One. Again. It has probably happened to everyone who has ever been diagnosed with RA. One day you start to notice that your medications don’t seem to be helping as much as they used to. Read more...

JANUARY 2015

Finding the Beauty in Bruises: These bruises, while certainly not pretty, are very visual representation of the battle I am fighting for my health every single day. Read more...

FEBRUARY 2015

Things I Want My Sons To Learn From Having A Mom With RA: Strength isn’t about being the strongest. Sometimes strength is about getting back up when you fall down. Read more...  

There Must Be A Better Way: I understand that the DEA is trying to discourage abuse and encourage monitoring of people taking these medications, but I can’t help thinking that there must be a better way. Read more...

Biosimilars & Patient Notification: Biosimilars give patients like me hope. If I run out of options for traditional biologics, I may be able to turn to biosimilars once they are approved. Read more...

24 Hours in the Life of an RA Mom: Being a mom is hard work…being a mom with a chronic illness can be even more of a challenge. I chronicle an ordinary day in the life of an RA mom. Read more...

MARCH 2015

How To Try A New Medication In 100 Easy Steps! (Because If We Don’t Laugh, We’ll Cry): Ready to try a new medication? Just follow these 100 easy steps and you’ll be giving it a try it in no time! (Since this is only a slight exaggeration, I hope we can all laugh about it together!) Read more...

My Heart & The Mountain: Balancing RA-related limitations with the desire to live life to the fullest can be tricky, but sometimes the aftermath of an adventure is worth it. Read more...

The Impact of RA on Self Esteem: Physical changes can have a psychological impact, decreasing confidence/self-esteem. This article provides coping tips. Read more...

A "Miracle Cure" With Scientific Promise? Hookworms to treat autoimmune diseases?! As disgusting as it sounds there's some method to this madness. Read more...

APRIL 2015

Facing Forward: If the Rituxan works, I won’t have to have another infusion for at least six months. However, I can’t really bear to think about what I will do if it doesn’t work. Read more...

MAY 2015

The Benefits of Advocacy: This experience has really demonstrated the benefits of advocacy to me. Not only did I help pass a law that will help all patients in the state of Colorado, I also helped myself keep moving forward with a feeling of optimistic purpose. Read more...

Is RA Hereditary? A genetic component that influences susceptibility is not the same as a disease being hereditary. Read more...

1 comment:

Sandy Falk said...

So true. Thanks for your positive attitude.