Electrical See-SawNormally, I would right now be declaring that I am once again in a flare…but after a few months of being in this situation, I have started to realize that it’s no longer “just” a matter of  being in or out of a flare. The entire baseline of my disease activity has dramatically shifted, and continues to do so.

Neither my rheumatologist nor I are ready to declare that my current treatment plan is not working, but we have already to discuss such a possibility. Even though we are technically in summer here in the southern hemisphere, living at 12,000 ft. above sea level on top of the Andes during rainy season is basically the equivalent of winter, with lots of cold, cloudy, and rainy days. With “real” winter just a few months away, climate continues to be a major issue.

My Prednisone taper has again been extended/increased. On Monday, I was given a very strong analgesic injection. (Which honestly, did not seem to provide any relief.) There was one comic moment during my consultation, when my rheumatologist (who I have a wonderful doctor-patient relationship with) asked me if the pain was “unbearable”. I chuckled in response. I myself used to used phrases such as “my pain is unbearable”, but have stopped doing so in the past couple of years. The way I see it, when it’s present I have to bear the pain, no matter what. (And no, my goal is not to be a Stoic.) What sense is there in thinking that I can’t bear the pain, when I don’t really have a choice?

And my professional life has undergone some radical cuts during the past week. I will continue to teach, but on a much smaller scale than I have been doing during the past year. On one hand this is quite frustrating, because my mind is so capable even though my body continues to fall behind. I could interpret recent events as a blow, but I am instead approaching them as another example of personal success while living with chronic illness: My body continues to demand more care, and I am prioritizing its needs above anything else. I am recognizing and accepting my limitations, hard as that might be. I continue to look forward to the future, and will start focusing more in tutoring, which will allow me to continue to work from the comfort of my house.

As I continue to live with rheumatoid arthritis, I realize that the re-balancing never ends. Sometimes I can add a little, other times I have to remove a lot. The one thing that does remain constant, however, is that as long as I continue to do so, I will always be able to find that moment of balance…that moment of peace.

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

Power Of Movement: Yoga Challenge To Beat Arthritis & Autoimmune Conditions

Rheumatoid Arthritis Like Ticking Time Bomb, Woman Says

Sherri Smith believed she must have banged her finger when she noticed some discolouration resembling bruising on her knuckle about 15 months ago.”I’m the kind of person who runs into things,” joked the 30-year-old North York woman, who thought she may have injured her hand moving boxes at work.

“First, it was just a knuckle. It looked like I had whacked it.”

Smith, who will participate in her second fundraiser in support of arthritis and autoimmune disease research this month, wasn’t overly concerned when she was later unable to get rings on her fingers when she was heading out to a party.

Read More: http://www.insidetoronto.com/news/local/article/953627–rheumatoid-arthritis-like-ticking-time-bomb-woman-says


Power of Movement – Yoga Challenge to Beat Arthritis

“You must be the change you wish to see in the world.” -Gandhi

It all started in 2005 when Dorna Chee made a phone call to the Arthritis and Autoimmunity Research Centre (AARC) Foundation in Toronto with an idea.

As a yoga teacher, Dorna had turned to her yoga breathing exercises to help her get through a long stay in hospital after being diagnosed with lupus, and she wanted to share her experience with other people who might benefit from yoga to manage an autoimmune illness. Dorna found support at the AARC Foundation and along with the passion and help of Erin Moraghan, the event was born.

In 2007 all initial expectations were surpassed. The inaugural event was hosted at the Wellesley Community Centre with 250 in attendance raising more than $50,000. Since then the event has outgrown the Wellesley and Toronto. In 2009 it became a National event and was hosted across Canada, from Nanaimo to Halifax.

To date the Power of Movement has raised over $700,000 with hopes to reach the $1 million dollar goal through the 2011 campaign!

Power of Movement was founded on one women’s dream, the passion of volunteers and supporters and a lot of community engagement. The small seed that Dorna’s phone call planted has now grown into a movement about movement. None of this would ever have happened without her courage and spirit.

We thank everyone who has been involved since the beginning and to those who continue to join us and watch as we grow.

More Info: http://www.powerofmovement.ca/en/

NRAS Celebrity T-Shirt Auction

On Thursday 3rd March, we will be launching our very own eBay auction to give you the opportunity to bid on NRAS t-shirts and running vests that have been signed by celebrities such as The Saturdays, Michael Parkinson and Rolf Harris!

The Celebrity T-Shirt Auction will begin at 7pm on Thursday 3rd March and will run for 10 days, ending at 7pm on Sunday 13th March.

Please bid generously and support those who live with the painful and debilitating disease rheumatoid arthritis (RA).

More Info: http://nras.org.uk/support_us/nras_online/celebrity_tshirt_auction.aspx

NRASNational Rheumatoid Arthritis Society provides support and information for people with Rheumatoid Arthritis and Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis, their families, friends and carers, and health professionals with an interest in Rheumatoid Arthritis.

More Info: www.rheumatoid.org.uk.