Rheumatoid Arthritis Guy has a script for a new movie. Desperate to find a cure for his chronic pain and debilitating information, he creates a time travel machine out of an old DeLorean in order to jump half a century into the future. Of course they’ll have developed more effective and less expensive medicines some fifty or sixty years from now!
Unfortunately, when RA Guy is typing the destination dates into the control panel, he accidentally subtracts the years, instead of adding them. (Darn those arthritic fingers!)
ANYWHERE USA – 1949 TO 1961
Even though he has gone back in time, RA Guy is excited to find that there are indeed some new medicines for rheumatoid arthritis. Why are they so expensive, though? (It seems like some things never change.)
Most Expensive Medicine Gives Arthritis Relief
The world’s most expensive medicine, a hormone called Compound E, has been found to give hope to suffers of one of the most painful and crippling disease of the human race–rheumatoid arthritis. It cost $300,000 to make the first supply of the white crystalline material–enough for 16 patients at Mayo Clinic here. Thirty steps were employed by Merck and Co. to produce the hormone, which comes from the outer part of the adrenal gland. The rush to obtain the compound is on, but many thousands of suffers will be disappointed, for the supply is not expected to be increased until next year, and will still be scare and expensive.
By the way, “Compound E” was eventually renamed “Cortisone”.
But wait, this new wonder drug might actually have some serious side effects? No need to worry, just create a commercial and focus on the good parts…you know, the typical “life-you-have” versus “life-you-want” stuff.
(And before you assume that this following article talks about an Enbrel commercial, don’t forget, the year is 1950!)
New Drugs Aid Arthritis Fight, But Produce New Problems
Doctors are taking movies that top Hollywood for drama, and sometimes tragedy. The real-life heroes and heroines of these films aren’t acting. They’re volunteers for research with Cortisone and Acth. the wonder hormones for rheumatoid arthritis. In one scene, a woman is thrilled and happy. She laughs, walks, runs, combs her hair, vigorously wrings water from a wet towel. Moment before, you saw her as she had been three days earlier. She winced when a doctor moved her wrists, swollen with arthritis. She walked with a pain, climbed stairs in agonized jerky steps, couldn’t reach up to comb her hair.
Enough of the medicines, though. One thing that RA Guy is shocked, absolutely shocked, to discover is that some people used to think that the cause of rheumatoid arthritis was mental. Thankfully, this is the past…and people no longer think this way. (Or do they?)
Mental Anxiety May Be Arthritis Cause
They wanted to see how patients suffering from rheumatoid arthritis deal with aggressive impulses. The results were compared with studies of the patient’s brother or sister unaffected with the disease. The doctors said the comparison showed that rheumatoid arthritis patients are overactive as children but become inhibited later in life before their illness. Their sisters or brothers who are free of the illness “seem to be able to use movement and impulsive action successfully in later life,” the report said.
It’s sort of hard to “use movement…successfully” when you’re not even able to successfully move, don’t you think.
What…you’re not able to move? You don’t say. Well, my grandmother’s sister’s aunt’s neighbor’s brother’s ex-wife takes these pills that cured her rheumatoid arthritis overnight. You should try them! They’re called Super Sustamin 2-12. Want more information? Here you go…
Arthritis-Rheumatism Sufferers Wake Up Tomorrow Without Pain!
Doctors at three leading arthritis clinics report that a remarkable new tablet now gives safe, effective relief from arthritis-rheumatism pain 24 hours a day, and doctors were amazed at the favorable response even in cases of Osteoarthritis and Rheumatoid Arthritis. Patients responded to the new super tablet. Even swelling and stiffness of pain-crippled joints were soon relieved in many cases.
Will the future really be much different than the past? Let’s hope so. In the meantime, let’s continue to educate each and every person about the severity of rheumatoid arthritis and the inadequacy of many of the currently exiting medical treatments. We can’t rewrite the past, but we can work towards a better future.
Stay tuned…for the next adventure of Rheumatoid Arthritis Guy!
Usually, the frequency of my blog posts is a pretty good indicator of how I am doing. When I write less regularly, I’m usually feeling better. When I write more regularly, I’m usually feeling worse. The reason for this is twofold. First, putting my challenging experiences down in words helps me process them and cope with them. Second, when I’m not doing so well I become much more bedridden, and am thus limited to certain activities which involve my computer, books, and an iPod.
Anyone who has been keeping tally over the past week would have noticed a considerable increase in my online presence, followed by an almost complete drop-off over the past couple of days. I’d love to associate this with a rapid improvement of my condition, but the exact opposite is true. Things have been so difficult that I have not even been able to blog. In my 60-Second Guide to Rheumatoid Arthritis, I liken the pain of RA to being run over by a Mack truck. Allow me to extend the metaphor by saying that yesterday was a multiple-vehicle collision on a Los Angeles expressway.
My worst episodes (and by episode I am referring to anything above and beyond the usual chronic pain and inflammation), which on average happen once a day, have now started occurring two to three times a day. On good days these episodes last about half an hour each, on bad days they can last up to three hours each. If you do the math, we’re talking about nine hours (three episodes times three hours) of extreme pain and disability. Add in the almost twelve hours that I’ve been sleeping (fortunately, I have been able to sleep), and that leaves me about three hours in the day.
I’m barely recovering, emotionally and physically, from my previous episode when the next episode already starts to approach. My ride on the rheumatoid arthritis roller coaster has once again become all too real.
But like I said, even though things are overwhelmingly difficult at the moment, not everything is bad. I am able to sleep, which is a good thing. I do have a few hours of each day to do stuff that I enjoy, like watch television, read, and surf the Internet. I have been able to bathe and dress myself without any help (when I can do this, I feel so…well, successful). And despite the endless nature of my illness, I remain bright-eyed.
Yes, I continue to get knocked down more that I might wish, but all this means is that I just have to pick myself right back up. True, I might not always be able to do so physically, but I will always be able to do so mentally and emotionally…and this counts for a lot.
Stay tuned…for the next adventure of Rheumatoid Arthritis Guy!
Illness has changed my life in tangible and intangible ways. For all I know, it may be simultaneously the best and worst thing that has ever happened to me. It has given me perspective.
I think it’s easy to think about the things we can’t do because of illness. But it’s harder to think of the things that illness has allowed us to do. This is a much more introspective task.
Illness has shown me that I possess strength within me, but I do get tired of hearing that such and such experiences will make me stronger. Maybe I’m strong enough already, maybe I’m not that strong at all.
Having a sense of humor is essential to health, says singer-songwriter Carla Ulbrich, who has found laughter to be a lifesaver during tough times. Under the stress of multiple illnesses and constant health “care,” Ulbrich one day snapped—and became the Singing Patient. She channeled her hard-won victories, set about reclaiming her health, and penned How Can You NOT Laugh at a Time Like This?, a collection of short, inspiring, funny essays that help people thrive and celebrate life despite illness.
As Ulbrich spins her tale (and shares some songs), she lampoons common fears and prejudices about illness and lovingly lambastes the foibles of the medical industry. She offers heartfelt and humorous advice for navigating mainstream and alternative therapies, and she guides partners, families, and friends who wish to help their loved ones. Her candid insights, wisecracking commentary, handy lists, hilarious song lyrics, and gentle camaraderie will put a smile on the face of anyone who wants to face illness with courage and humor.
The Top Ten Annoying Things to Say to Someone Who’s Just Been Diagnosed • “On the Commode Again” (lyrics included!) • This Is (Not) Your Life • Disease Envy • Lessons from the Nudist Festival: How Much to Reveal • Survivor: Kidney Island • Doctors Are People, Too • Fibromyalgia: The Other F Word • A Good Vein Is Hard to Find • My Other Body Is a Porsche
Lupus and Humor
I write and perform ridiculous songs about things like wedgies, Waffle House, Klingons, and- oh yes- Illness, recovery, doctors, and medicine. Thus, my moniker “The Singing Patient.” I have recorded 5 CDs, one of which is called “Sick Humor”- all humorous medical songs. Yup, that’s my “day job.” I am also a published author.
Read More: http://lupusandhumor.blogspot.com/
My Life Works Today! Book Discussion Group
This group is for anyone living with lupus, lupus-related diseases/syndromes or other chronic illnesses looking to explore the many facets of our lives without illness taking it all away. Although we are located in the Pacific NW (Oregon, specifically), this group is open to all who are looking to live their lives on their own terms and teaching others about their illnesses by living with them well. We will cover a variety of books and topics, because, afterall, we have a lot to offer ourselves and others.
My sister-in-law, who lives with a yet to be determined autoimmune disease, is having rotator cuff surgery tomorrow in order to repair some torn tendons in her shoulder. Please join me in sending her best wishes for a safe surgery and speedy recovery. If you have undergone this procedure yourself, it would be greatly appreciated if you could share a few words about your personal experience.