M. Allen

M Allen
Real Profiles of Rheumatoid Arthritis
Photos © M. Allen


M. Allen


35 years


Southwestern Ontario, Canada

How long have you lived with RA?

5 years diagnosed but suffered with systems many years before this.

What advice would you give to someone who has just been diagnosed with RA?

Take a deep breath. It’s not the end of the world, but it is scary. Read all you can. Learn from others. Take it one day at a time.

Do you use any mobility aids?

I do not have any mobility aids yet. I am working on getting orthotics because of my feet issues.

How has living with RA helped to improve your life?
I have been (and sometimes still am) a very independent person. Having RA has forced me to not be “an island unto myself”. I have to take it easy sometimes and give myself permission to take rests. I used to be a perfectionist with my home. Now, I’d rather enjoy my children and take things easy than worry about what my house looks like. Having RA has also taught my children that some people need help and we should help others if we can.

Do you have any visible signs of RA?

I have large nodules on my right hand and smaller ones on my left. I have nodules on my feet, knees and elbows. I used to have large nodules on my elbows but had them removed before I was officially diagnosed. I do not get to wear cute shoes that other women my age wear. I have to wear shoes that do not give me pain. Unfortunately I haven’t found many.

Can you please describe some of your favorite coping strategies for living with RA?

During rough times I really enjoy listening to music that lift my soul.. I also enjoy reading my Bible. I have friends that I can vent to as well.

Can you please describe your current medical (traditional and alternative) treatments?

I am currently on 15mg of methotrexate, 5mg of Folic a week, 20mg of Arava, 200mg of hydroxychloroquine, 10mg of amitriptyline daily. I also see a massage therapist and chiropractor monthly.

Is there anything else about yourself that you would like to share?

I am a divorced Christian mother of three. I have homeschooled all three children for six years, but this year I’m only schooling my youngest. I love my lab-shepherd Ginny. I also love to scrapbook, watch tv and movies, read books, outdoors and the beach.

M. Allen blogs regularly at Making Lemonade…. Please take time to read one of her recent posts, which I thoroughly enjoyed: Year in Review.

For Severely Ill Children, A Dearth Of Doctors

Wall Street Journal | Business | January 12, 2010, 12:00 A.M. ET

Lower Salaries, Reimbursement Rates Create Shortfall of Specialists; Kenneth’s Seven-Month Wait for an Appointment

Specialist Shortage

A growing shortage of pediatricians trained in specialties such as neurology, gastroenterology, and developmental and behavioral medicine is threatening timely access to care for children, according to pediatric medical groups.

As the House and Senate intensify the process of melding their two health bills, pediatric groups are lobbying to secure more funding for training and higher reimbursement for pediatric sub-specialties, in the hope of encouraging more doctors-in-training to enter the field. Specialization typically requires up to three years of training beyond a general pediatrics residency and can pay salaries less than half the rate of adult specialty medicine. At present, 17 states lack at least one physician in one of 13 sub-specialties.

Read More: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052… (Wall Street Journal)

advocacy-boy-doctorShortage of Pediatric Rheumatologists

A new Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) report reveals a severe shortage of pediatric rheumatologists in the U.S. and calls for a 75 percent increase in the number of pediatric rheumatologists.

Read More: http://www.arthritis.org/advocate-news.php (Arthritis Foundation)

Superhero Wall Of Fame

55 people have already signed the Superhero Wall of Fame. The most recent entry comes from GlasgowGal – who has 30 years of superhero experience!

Superhero Wall Of Fame

Jan 10, 2010 4:39 pm

Name: GlasgowGal
Age: 38
Superhero Type: Juvenile Arthritis Gal
Superhero Experience: 30, yes 30, years and counting….!
Superhero Powers: surviving 2 hip replacements; being married ; working full time; employing Personal Assistants; getting on with life; cooking; crafting; educating people that disability is not something to be scared of! independence is a state of mind, not a list of tasks to be completed; watcher of Star Trek, especially Voyager
Superhero Slogan: make it so…..
Superhero HQ: Glasgow, Scotland, UK.

This wall of fame includes brief details about superheros from around the world, each of whom share a little bit about the positive side of living with rheumatoid arthritis and other autoimmune illnesses. Each individual story is inspiring. All of the stories collected together are even more inspiring.

Are you in the Superhero Wall of Fame? If not, please add you name.

New RA Blog

Hearth Light

A little record of those little things that light up my daily life… here you will find me sharing adventures in cooking, a few notes about craft projects I’m working on, the vagaries of my health as I deal with chronic Rheumatoid Arthritis, movies and TV shows, books I’m reading…