Through all of this I’ve learned that I have to be my own best advocate. This means taking time out of my busy day not only for doc appointments but to make phone calls between the various providers and organizations. Sometimes I feel like a pest…call the pharmacy to check, call the doctor’s office to check, leave a message with the busy nurse, call back, request a fax, call the next week to check on the status of the prescription, check with the insurance company, repeat information multiple times, check the status of a shipment through the parcel company, fill out a form for copay assistance, and the list goes on. As much as the people show care and compassion, they don’t have the time and/or personal interest to always go to bat for me. So, in addition to fighting RA, I find that I have to expend energy navigating the multiple layers of the medical system. I don’t have solutions but am keenly interested in the debate around national healthcare for the first time in my life.