The bodies of many older Americans are practically bionic: more than 770,000 hip and knee replacements are performed each year in the United States.
Now another aging joint is fast becoming a candidate for replacement. This year, 4,400 patients are expected to undergo surgery to replace arthritic or injured ankles with artificial joints made of metal alloys and lightweight plastic, according to industry estimates.
Four models are commonly used in the United States, with Food and Drug Administration approval. And demand is expected to grow as more and more baby boomers hobble into their 60s and 70s with debilitating ankle pain.
Art on the wall of the St. Regis suite where I spent my honeymoon weekend a year and a half ago. No, the photo is not blurred – note that sharp edges of the canvas.
Yesterday, Rheumatoid Arthritis Guy experienced not one, but two, episodes of blurred vision – each lasting about half an hour. It started sort of like rain drops falling on the surface of a pond…just a few ripples at first, until eventually my entire field of vision was completely out of focus. Needless to say, having these types of vision problems for the first time in my life was quite disconcerting, and pushed me to the edge of an anxiety attack.
But I reminded myself that it would be best to stay calm, and was able to stave off a full blown panic attack.
Could this be my medicines acting up, or my rheumatoid arthritis itself? Within a matter of a couple of hours, I was in my ophthalmologist’s darkened exam room getting my eyes checked. We split my visit into two parts. Yesterday’s showed that my eyes have weakened a bit and that I need to update my eyeglasses. My next visit will require a dilation of my eyes, so that they can be closely examined.
My eye doctor was well-versed on the possible effects of RA and it’s medicines on the eyes, and suggested that I place more attention on the care of my eyes from here on out.
I’m completing my third month of Plaquenil, which I know can be associated with vision problems. This past weekend I also completed my starting dose of 3X100mg of Arava, as I rotate this medicine back into my treatment plan. Maybe it’s one or the other, or a combination of the two, that is causing the blurred vision?
Right now I don’t have all the answers, but I hope to have them soon.
Stay tuned…for the next adventure of Rheumatoid Arthritis Guy!
“I plan on running a marathon a day for approximately four months to raise awareness and $50,000 for the Arthritis Foundation. My ultimate cross-country run is over 2,500 miles long, from the Pacific Ocean along a southern route, to the Tybee Island coast in Georgia on the Atlantic Ocean.
I want to increase awareness about living a physically fit life, especially for kids today. I hope to inspire kids along my route, as I’m sure they will inspire me to keep going, especially the children who are affected by arthritis. Too many young people will never know what running is like because of their arthritis. I also hope to increase awareness about arthritis the disease – it’s not an “old person’s disease” as most think; it affects young and old alike. As I run across America, I will be reminded daily of the 300,000 kids living with arthritis.
My hope is to run a marathon a day for four months, so that kids everywhere can get up and start moving. Whatever we can do for the kids today will improve the outlook for future generations.”
You will be starting a high taper soon in order to knock down the flare you’re currently experiencing, and I know that you usually have trouble thinking clearly when that happens. Your energy will be running high, but you’ll also have a hard time focusing. So here are some thoughts that I hope will help you:
Please join me in sending well wishes to our friend, Rob Moore!
Tomorrow – Monday – Rob will be undergoing a Rituxan infusion, which will require an overnight stay at the hospital due to a previous allergy. We wish you the best, Rob, and we hope that this Rituxan infusion will provide some much-needed relief for your rheumatoid arthritis.