The Blame Game

Yesterday morning, Rheumatoid Arthritis Guy sat in the bath tub and waited and waited for the water level to rise. (I haven’t taken a shower in years, as I find it so much easier to sit instead of stand.) I couldn’t figure out why the water level was not increasing, as I had already been there for quite a few minutes.

It then dawned on me – I had not placed the plug into the bath tub drain. So simple, I know, but on days when I wake up in pain these little actions that we perform during the day, often without thinking, are often the ones that I overlook the most.

A few minutes later, I was taking my usual bath. I used to kick myself over these “silly” mistakes – how could I possibly do that? Not anymore, though. When I discover that I have overlooked something, I simply work to correct it, without entering into the blame game.

If there is one thing that I have learned while living with arthritis, it has been to be very cautious when it comes to the topic of blame. So often I want to place the blame somewhere for my chronic disease – for all of those times I wake up in excruciating pain, and don’t even get a “breather” before I start my day.

Sometimes, this blame exhibits itself in the wrong way. I snap at those around me. I am in a bad mood. I know this is not an excuse, but I really cannot help it at times. Recently, I have started asked for some space when I wake up and it’s obvious I am in a foul mood. I know that within half an hour I will get over it…but during those thirty minutes I have a hard time not getting angry at the most trivial things.

So I’ll continue to try to think less about “blame”, and think more about how me and those around me can continue to get through the daily challenges that rheumatoid arthritis brings into our lives.

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

Living It, Loving It: Having Rheumatoid Arthritis And Being A Mother

Raising Children in this day and age is tough enough, but add chronic illness to the mix, and you have a whole of emotional and physical challenges to deal with in addition to what you already have to do.

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Cathy from The Life and Adventures of Cateepoo also wrote a guest post on Parenting & RA, for anyone who is looking for more information on this topic.


70Yesterday morning, Rheumatoid Arthritis Guy once again attended one of his regularly scheduled physical therapy session. I used to go to PT three times a week, but recently have been able to reduce this to two times a week. On Tuesday and Thursday mornings, after I finish my yoga class, I head over to physical therapy. Luckily, my gym and the clinic are relatively close together.

I sometimes feel like I am a theater actor, running off stage every few minutes to change my costume. Normal clothes. Yoga clothes. Normal clothes. Physical therapy clothes. Normal clothes. (Just the fact that I can change so many times on my own, in half a day, is a good sign!)

Yesterday, out of curiosity, I asked to see my physical therapy file. I was wondering: exactly how many physical therapy sessions had I attended since I started this past May? I soon found my answer.

70. Seventy sessions of physical therapy, in a little over half a year.

Needless to say, I know all of the physical therapists quite well. At the start of most sessions, I rank the three areas that are hurting or bothering me the most, and they tailor my session accordingly. Yesterday, we focused on my left ankle, my left leg, and both knees.

Of course, on my ride home, my right hand let me know it’s displeasure at being ignored during the day’s physical therapy session. Within a matter of minutes, my hand curled up and all of the joints turned red. Even to this day, I continue to be surprised at how quickly things can go from “normal” to “intensely inflamed”.

But that’s okay…on Thursday, I’ll ask my physical therapist to please spend some time working on my hands.

That will be session 71 – but who’s counting?

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

Home For The Holidays

Home For The HolidaysMy parents arrived yesterday morning, after an almost 24 hour door-to-door trip. It is great to have them here in the house with us, and their visit serves as yet another reminder that even though things don’t always turn out how we planned them, they eventually do turn out in the end.

You see, they were scheduled to spend last Christmas with us. The tickets were purchased months in advance, and their bags were packed days in advance. 48 hours before they were to depart, my father received a phone call from his cardiologist, telling him that it was critical that he go in for an angioplasty as soon as possible. (Tests showed an almost complete blockage on one of the main arteries.)

Two days later he went in for the procedure, and spent one night recovering in the hospital. Due to the fact that they had to place a stent during the procedure, air travel was ruled out for a couple of weeks. Due to the fact that I live two miles up in the sky, travel here was ruled out for months. Even though I was happy that my father was doing well, I was heartbroken that my parents were not able to spend Christmas with us.

Last year, when one of my sisters heard that my parents were coming down for the holidays, she was hoping that she might able to come as well – even though she knew that in the holiday rotation cycle with her and her husband, they were scheduled to spend it with her in-laws (which they ultimately did). When my parent’s visit was canceled in 2008, I think all of us privately started thinking that maybe we could work something out for 2009.

My sister and her husband arrive in a week. All of us will be together for two weeks, overlapping Christmas. (My parents are staying through the new year.) It would have been nice if we were together last year, but I think it will be even better that we are together this year. It has been a particularly rough year in terms of my rheumatoid arthritis, and spending the holidays with my family is just the gift that I need.

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

Biologics Legislation

Eshoo bill huge boon for Silicon Valley biotech

Buried in the giant health care bills in Congress is a multibillion-dollar bonanza for Silicon Valley’s biotechnology and venture capital industries, sponsored by Rep. Anna Eshoo, a Palo Alto Democrat.

The provision would grant “biologic” drugs, a new class of drugs based on gene splicing and grown in living cells, 12 years of protection from competition by the generic drug industry, in addition to their patents.

A scathing report by the Federal Trade Commission in June said no added protection, much less 12 years, was warranted, and warned that the Eshoo legislation would ensure sky-high drug prices and stifle innovation on the most promising frontier of medical research.

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