Change Is In The Air

“We change, whether we like it or not.” -Ralph Waldo Emerson

Rheumatoid Arthritis Guy currently finds himself surrounded by a lot of changes. Don’t worry, though – these changes are for the better!

Winter has passed, and I am now officially in Spring! (Well, if we want to be really technical I have to wait until tomorrow for that.) Not only was this past winter more severe than usual, but it was also much longer than usual. It started almost an entire month early, and ended weeks late. But the warm weather has finally arrived, and it’s wonderful. I can walk around most of the day without a sweater or sweatshirt. I can open the windows throughout the house. I don’t have to put on scarves and jackets before leaving the house.

Another big change is coming soon, as well. This past week I had my monthly visit with my rheumatologist. He agreed that I should not be experiencing flares as frequently and as severely as I am. While my daily medication (DMARD) has helped, it has not helped as much as we hoped it would. So this coming month I am transitioning over to Plaquenil. I still have a lot to research on this new drug before I decide to start it, but instead of feeling defeated with this change – as I would have felt up until only recently – I find myself cautiously optimistic. If it does not work as well as my current medicine, I can always change back…or try something else still.

I am supposed to start swimming. My rheumatologist also agreed to meet me at the neighborhood swimming pool. (I just found out that he lives in the next door neighborhood.) To be honest, I am not a big fan of swimming. I think it goes back to signing up for swimming as one of my physical education electives during my first year of college. Oh, my dislike had nothing to do with swimming itself…it had to do with the fact that I signed up for an 8am class…BEFORE I knew how cold it got in New York City! I’ll keep you all posted on if/when I decide to start swimming.

Other changes might not seem as significant, but in many ways are just as important. For years I’ve been wanting to rearrange my home office and repaint the walls. When we moved into our current house a few years ago, I paid very close attention to all of the other rooms in the house. But the home office was sort of just the leftover room – get it done quickly, so that I can start using it. I never have really been at peace with the state it is in…so I have decided that it is time to make these changes that I have been yearning for. I’m thinking a light olive color. With the mid-tones of the wood and a few red accents around the room, I think it will turn out nice.

I look forward to all of these, and many other, changes for the better.

Stay tuned…for the next adventure of Rheumatoid Arthritis Guy!

Noone Knows Our Bodies Like We Do

September 19, 2009 at 12:28 am

RA Guy- You’re certainly MY super hero!

I was diagnosed in June with RA after 5 years of going from doctor to doctor trying to get a diagnosis. I felt all along I had RA but I was continually told there was “nothing wrong” with me. I had started believing that maybe I was just crazy and imagining all the things that were going on with my body. That the pain was imaginary in some way, and the unrelenting fatigue was just laziness. In June when the RA was confirmed it absolutely sent me reeling. On the one hand I was relieved to finally get a diagnosis, but on the other hand totally shocked that I really was physically ill (I was starting to accept crazy and lazy!). I literally didn’t know where to turn for answers… I wasn’t even sure what the questions were. After two months of praying and crying and praying some more my prayers were answered when I found your site. Your blog is exactly what I needed, exactly when I needed it. As Mary-Cat said, your website is a “gold-mine of information and support for those of us crawling around in the dark”. Wonderfully stated Mary-Cat… thanks!

And thank you RA Guy for tapping into your super hero powers and doing this everyday! You’re a blessing.

Christie, thank you for your kind comment. I too went through the stage where I felt like all of this was just in my head. I now know otherwise, and I can only hope that the increased awareness to which all of us are contributing will allow others to not have to go through this same process.

RA Guy

Titanium Ankle Protectors

Rheumatoid Arthritis Guy reveals the inside secrets of part of his superhero attire…on the next Inside Edition!

Okay, so my ankle protectors aren’t really made out of titanium…but sometimes it feels as if there are.

Although my ankles do get slightly swollen at times, that have yet to show any signs of permanent joint damage. On some days they are weaker than other days, which used to be a problem – until I started using my McDavid ankle braces. Now if I have a day where my ankles feel particularly weak, or if I am going to be walking more than usual, I make sure to put on my ankle braces.

This pair that I use has a lace system, which allows me to adjust for just the right level of support. I then adjust the stirrup straps (my ankles are already in heaven by this point), which provide a great amount of side support…and then top thing off with the final elastic band at the top, which hides the laces and provides that third level of support.

The best part is that with all of these levels of protection, the ankles are very lightweight and still fit easily into any pair of shoes that I normally use. Their black cover is great, and often allows me to pretend that I am wearing just a normal pair of socks.


Ankle BraceMcDavid #195 Ultralight Ankle w/Strap
Protection Level III Maximum

Worn by the best players in the game.  Why spend the time and money on taping when the #195 gives you the support you need? It’s the most popular ankle brace on the market today. Used to replace costly tape for injury prevention, it features a lightweight nylon/vinyl fabric shell with two “Figure 6” stirrup straps that may be adjusted at anytime during play without removing the shoe. These straps simulate a professional taping technique that lends additional support and protection for common injuries. Other support and comfort features include a padded lining with a notched front, elastic heel and tongue and a sewn in arch support.

Used and recommended by top professional and collegiate athletes as well as sports medicine professionals nationwide. Guaranteed to last. Fits left or right ankle and any style shoe.

Product Info:…

Stay tuned…for the next adventure of Rheumatoid Arthritis Guy!

Living With Rhuematoid Arthritis…

is about much more than just rheumatoid arthritis!

The Truth About JRA: My New Dream!
This morning I had a revelation. I want get certified as a personal trainer and specialize in movement and exercise for the disabled and chronic pain sufferers.

The Life and Adventures of Cateepoo: Hidden Surprises in Camping Trip
This is kind of cool. I like the feeling of camping out with my dog and having her snuggled up next to me.

Pens and Needles: Update: Singing!
Well, I loved my singing lesson

The Single Gal’s Guide to Rheumatoid Arthritis: I want my RA TV
Over the next few weeks I’ll write up a detailed account of my (second) trip of a lifetime, but overall, I did really well!

Dual Sport Life: Hostile Takeover
Yesterday I went riding with two of my cousins and we put in 90 miles with about 20 miles of it being rough single track trails.

Arthritis Is A Journey: Wheelchair Adventure in KC
I wrote that I wanted to give the new wheelchair its first trial run on a short trip to Kansas City. This is a short recap of that fun experiment.

Thank You!

The only people with whom you should try to get even are those who have helped you. ~John E. Southard

Thank you!On almost a daily basis, someone sends a message to Rheumatoid Arthritis Guy, thanking him for writing this blog. Sometimes these messages come in the form of blog comments and sometimes they come in the form of private emails. I have not always responded to all of these messages personally, so today I would like to write a little about how writing this blog and how connecting with others has helped me on my journey with rheumatoid arthritis.

More importantly, I would like to thank everyone who reads this blog on a regular basis. Whether you have commented or not, I appreciate the support that you have provided – both to myself and to others.

Up until April of this year, I knew no one else who was living with rheumatoid arthritis – even though I myself had been living with rheumatoid arthritis for years. I often felt like I was the only one living with this disease…but I now know otherwise. Hearing about the ups and downs of others has made it a little easier for me to accept the ups and downs that RA brings into my life.

I now know that I am surrounded by a strong community of superheroes – people who also show me that life does go on, in spite of living with a chronic illness. I have learned so much from each and every person I have communicated with, and for that I am grateful.

A few months ago, it was my rheumatoid arthritis – and not I – who was in control of my life. I was spending another day stuck in bed. Having just visited The Single Gal’s Guide to Rheumatoid Arthritis for the umpteenth time, I thought to myself that I should start blogging as well. (Thanks, Sara, for inspiring me to start blogging!)

I started sketching on my tablet computer. My one and only criteria was that I wanted to blog anonymously, because I felt that it would allow me to be more open when it came to discussing personal issues. Who could I possible blog as? I had no clue. Then I started thinking, what is the exact opposite of the way I am feeling at the moment? Superman popped into my head. Perfect! Being a superhero would not only inspire myself, but it would also provide the perfect cover for my true identity.

A few more strokes of my digital pen, and Rheumatoid Arthritis Guy was born. My original brainstorming sketch is shown below.


When I launched this blog, I honestly expected to have an audience of a couple of dozen readers, maximum. If I reached as many as fifty readers total, I would be more than happy. Now, I have hundreds of readers each and every day…and in terms of page hits, I should hit 54,000+ sometime later today. All of this is much more than this humble superhero could have ever anticipated.

That said, the true reward of writing this blog comes not from seeing the counters increase on my WordPress dashboard, or from keeping track of the number of fans on my Facebook page or followers on my Twitter account. In a way, numbers can be somewhat boring, and can actually be a distraction from what they truly represent.

Every new person who I meet online, every new message I receive from someone who had never previously shared anything about living with RA, every laugh and smile that I receive from reading the comments that are posted, and each message of encouragement and support that I receive when I am going through a difficult this – this is what this blog represents to me. All of this would mean nothing, if not for my family, friends, and readers who continue to form an integral part of this blog.

Seeing this online community continue to grow – and being a member of this community – is the best reward of all. I would not exchange this for anything else.

Once again, thank you.

Stay tuned…for the next adventure of Rheumatoid Arthritis Guy!