3 Easy Steps To Increasing Rheumatoid Arthritis Awareness

Step 1: Present The Problem
What’s Wrong With This Picture?
And before anyone gets upset, I am not trying to compare the diseases mentioned above, all of which are serious. I am merely trying to make a point about the uninformed comments and lack of awareness that RA Superheroes encounter on a regular basis. We have all received these responses, plus many others, at one time or another during our journey through chronic pain and debilitating inflammation.
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Step 2: Provide An Explanation
60-Second Guide To RA
Hi! This is me, Rheumatoid Arthritis Guy. I am a superhero who lives with rheumatoid arthritis. My illness will last a lifetime, but reading this guide to rheumatoid arthritis will only take a minute – I promise. (I’ll even use a countdown timer, just like they do in the action movies!) Can one get a better understanding of rheumatoid arthritis in just 60 seconds?
Let’s give it a try!
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Step 3: Unite & Inspire
Show Us Your Hands!
An Autoimmune Arthritis Community Collage Project. Autoimmune arthritis hands are a visible sign of the enormous strength of people who experience so much pain, that their hands are literally being pulled out of shape. We are proud of our hands. They have endured a lot, and they will continue to endure even more. We will never be ashamed of our hands, no matter what they look like!
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‘I Won’t Let It Beat Me:’ Venus Williams Opens Up About Being Diagnosed With Incurable Sjogren’s Syndrome At 31

The two times U.S. Open winner explained to People: ‘I couldn’t raise my arm over my head, the racket felt like concrete. I had no feelings in my hands. They were swollen and itchy. I realised it would be a miserable show.’


After she sensationally dropped out of the U.S. Open in August, tennis star Venus Williams revealed she was suffering from an incurable immune system disease that threatened to end her career.

Less than four months later, as she learns more about Sjogren’s Disease and makes the adjustments in her life to better deal with it, the 31-year-old opens up about how it has affected her life.

Speaking to People magazine about her illness, she said: ‘I’ve been going hard the past few weeks and it scares me, I need to avoid stress or I’ll get sicker and go backwards.’

Read More: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2079539/Sjogrens-Syndrome-Venus-Williams-opens-incurable-disease.html

The New York Times: The High Cost of Failing Artificial Hips

The most widespread medical implant failure in decades — involving thousands of all-metal artificial hips that need to be replaced prematurely — has entered the money phase.

Medical and legal experts estimate the hip failures may cost taxpayers, insurers, employers and others billions of dollars in coming years, contributing to the soaring cost of health care. The financial fallout is expected to be unusually large and complex because the episode involves a class of products, not a single device or just one company.

The case of Thomas Dougherty represents one particularly costly example. He spent five months this year without a left hip, largely stuck on a recliner watching his medical bills soar.

Read More: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/12/28/business/the-high-cost-of-failing-artificial-hips.html

Rhian Welham

Real Profiles of Rheumatoid Arthritis
Photos © Rhian Welham


Rhian Welham




Llanelli, Wales, United Kingdom

How long have you lived with RA?

1 year.

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

Research it as much as possible, especially via support groups online and locally such as the NRAS in the UK.

Don’t despair. You will feel better in the future.

Try to explain it to family and friends in simple terms and how it affects you every day, so they can begin to understand how much it affects you and what you are able to do at this time.

“Accept that you have a disease beyond your control. Do not judge yourself based on what you used to do or what people expect you to do. Life has changed. Your life will be better if you ask people to help. When your life is better, you will find joy again….”

Do you use any mobility aids?

Have podiatry insoles I use everyday in whatever shoes I am wearing, and also have resting splints for both wrists to sleep in and wrist supports for daytime use.

How has living with RA helped to improve your life?

Helped me to be less judgemental of other. You can’t tell by looking at someone how they are feeling or if they are ill.

Do you have any visible signs of RA?

Swelling of my fingers and hands, a limp.

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

Talking to my husband, venting on social networking sites, reading about others’ experiences online.

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

Methotrexate, diclofenac, Enbrel as of 2 weeks ago.

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

I am a mum to a 2.5 year old girl who keeps me going, without her I don’t think that I’d be getting up each morning to try and have a decent day. My husband couldn’t be more supportive, he is an angel, and I have wonderful parents who also help me whenever I need it. I am very grateful for all my family.

Rheumatology News: FDA Advises Caution When IV Methotrexate-PPI Used Together

Administration of a proton pump inhibitor with intravenous methotrexate may result in elevated serum levels of methotrexate, with toxic consequences, according to a statement issued on Dec. 21 by the Food and Drug Administration.

Case reports and published pharmacokinetic studies “suggest” that concomitant use of proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) with methotrexate, primarily high dose methotrexate, “may elevate and prolong serum levels of methotrexate and/or its metabolite hydroxymethotrexate, possibly leading to methotrexate toxicities,” the statement says.

Read More: http://www.rheumatologynews.com/single-view/fda-advises-caution-when-iv-methotrexate-ppi-used-together/2dc8f226f5.html