I was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis in Feb 2012 (at age 29) after about 3 years of mild symptoms and 1 year of aggressively active disease. I’ve now developed secondary fibromyalgia as well. It has turned my life upside down. Before RA, I was a full-time student majoring in molecular biology, dreaming of a PhD down the road. I hope to still do that some day, but for now I have to take things one day at a time. Some day I’d love to research climate change and possibly help develop new energy/fuel and bioremediation solutions. I love nature and don’t want to see it destroyed.
Read More: http://cytokineswithin.blogspot.com/
When I was 7 years old I got strep throat, mostly I was disappointed because I was wasn’t able to stay in summer camp that week. Then 2 months later I fell off my bike and cracked my skull, the ER thought I had been hit by a car – I did that good of a number on myself. Before I knew it everything went haywire. My neck began growing a nasty red lump that local docs termed “mini mumps” – that’s not even real. They eventually slapped a gown on me and threw me in the hospital, and when the bump wouldn’t leave they cut it out, still perplexed. After about a month of weird symptoms I finally woke up in the middle of the night with my ankles and wrists locked so tight that I couldn’t walk. Reactive arthritis. Rhuematic fever. But this was all debated! My parents and I were called hypochondriacs and told “we didn’t want me to have this disease.” No shit.
Read More: http://www.thehurtblogger.com/
Ra Ra Rad Life
I was diagnosed with RA in May 2012 and since my world has fallen and crashed into a million pieces. I will write as I pick up, rearrange, and create a new masterpiece. If Steve Wynn can stick his elbow through a Picasso and survive I think I can get through this too!
Read More: http://rararadlife.wordpress.com/
The Life of a Porcelain Doll
I’m 20 years old and I’m a fourth year student at the University of Toronto. I was diagnosed with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis when I was eleven and fibromyalgia when I was fifteen.
Read More: http://kiranchattha.wordpress.com/
RAthlete: An Optimist Blogger
With Arthritis we are confronted with many decisions, many obstacles, and many defeats. However, we are also met with challenges, opportunities to rise above, and moments of pure happiness. Accompanied with defeat is our true self, the person forced to show due to adversity. I have found that in the darkest of moments I discover my priorities; I finally understand why I’m doing what I do.
Read More: http://rathlete.blogspot.com/
I keep forgetting I am ill. I forget it for days at a time. I run around at a speed reminiscent of my 30’s. I feel twenty years younger, which is a nice change of pace. I used to feel ancient, ready for death. Not anymore. My illness brings me up short. Literally. It stops me cold and won’t let me forget for long. It is selfish and narcissistic. It likes to be front and center; it doesn’t appreciate being shoved aside. It derives its satisfaction from reminding me of my limitations.
Read More: http://beatingrheumatoidarthritis.wordpress.com/
RA My Way
A diagnosis of Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) can be scary. Being diagnosed as a child or at a young age can be downright daunting and terrifying. I saw it as a lifetime sentence of increasing pain and immobility compounded with cocktails of medication.
Read More: http://ramyway.me/
Chronic Brevity: Living with Scleroderma
The focus of my blog is going to change a bit and I ask for your patience as I navigate through this new world of “online blogging.” I still intend to spread awareness of these terrible disease(s), keep you posted on my progress and pitfalls and more importantly I hope to now provide a forum where others who suffer from chronic illness can come get support, advice, or just a good laugh cause they know where I’m coming from.
Read More: http://chronicbrevity.blogspot.com/
Rude Awakenings: Life with Rheumatoid Arthritis
My name is Jessica Hawk-Tillman. In January 2010, I was officially diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis. At that time, I knew nothing about the disease, or autoimmune illness in general, but that changed quickly.
Read More: http://rudeawakenings.org/
In a Special Guest Blog Post, RA Guy answers the question he is most frequently asked by his readers: How does he manage to stay so positive, despite the challenges he faces on a daily basis?
“For me, a positive attitude doesn’t mean that I hope my pain goes away; it means that I hope to be able to cope with this pain even better.” —RA Guy
Over the many years of blogging as Rheumatoid Arthritis Guy I have received many messages from readers, more so than most people might be able to imagine. A majority of these messages can easily be divided into two groups. The first are from people who appreciate the sense of humor that I continually apply to my life with RA. (Because sometimes, a wicked sense of humor is the only way forward!) The second are from readers who tell me that they are inspired by my ability to maintain a positive attitude, despite the challenges that I face on a daily basis.
While I make it a point to respond to each and every email personally, I must admit that there are times—especially when my rheumatoid arthritis symptoms are at their worst—that some of these messages start to slip through. So I would like to take this opportunity to respond publicly to the one question that I am asked most frequently: How do you continue to stay so positive?
If you have been diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis (RA), the Reward Your RA Success program is for you! You can earn points toward rewards while learning how to better manage your RA.
Once you have joined, earning points is easy. Use the Rewards Bar at the top of the page to take Educational Quests—auto-guided tours presenting articles, videos and quizzes on rheumatoid arthritis.
Completing the Quests earns you points—and sharing your progress along the way on Facebook and Twitter earns you even more points!
Earn points and you’ll unlock Achievement Badges, found in the Rewards Bar. These track your number of site visits, overall points, how often you post our links to Facebook and Twitter, and how many of your friends click on those links.
I’ve always been a huge fan of incorporating lifestyle measures, stress reduction, mindfulness-everything, gentle exercise (which I’ll admit, is the one item on this list where I can use the most improvement) and a healthy diet into my rheumatoid arthritis treatment plan. What is your experience with these issues and their relationship to fatigue? When my RA is most active, nothing seems to help but frequent naps…but on more mild days, I’ve found that all of the items mentioned above really help. Dr. Irwin Lim–a rheumatologist from Australia–asks the same, in the following post.
By Dr Irwin Lim, Rheumatologist
Rheumatoid arthritis, as well as the other inflammatory arthritides, are very much better treated in this day and age. And yet, it’s common to hear patients speak of tiredness or fatigue. Sometimes, this is profound and crippling.
When the disease is active, and I can detect objective signs of inflammation, the disease activity is an easy scapegoat. The more active the disease, the more systemic the symptoms. Fatigue will likely occur.
However, it’s much harder to explain when the disease seems well controlled. This is especially true if the disease is felt to be in remission.
If I cannot detect swelling of joints, and the patient denies joint symptoms, and the monitoring blood tests are all normal, how do we explain continuing fatigue?
I don’t have that answer.
Sometimes, it’s attributed to a side effect of the medications used. Sometimes, fibromyalgia is diagnosed as a coexisting problem and this is blamed.
I don’t think the answer lies in more medication.
Instead, I think lifestyle issues need to be addressed. Patients who have lived with a chronic disease, become deconditioned. Pain and stiffness reduces normal activity. Over time, muscles, tendons and ligaments become weak. In some, weight gain is an issue. Tolerance of effort reduces.
I believe it’s important to act early in the disease to encourage mindful eating and regular, targeted exercise to address these issues.
Randomised control data? I’m not sure that exists but it does seem to make common sense.
Medications can only improve one aspect of rheumatoid disease. Lifestyle measures remain an important, but unfortunately, often forgotten goal.
If you’re a patient, please share your experience with fatigue. If you’re a doctor, please share how you deal with this difficult symptom.
Dr. Irwin Lim obtained his fellowship with the Royal Australasian College of Physicians in 2003 in the specialty of Rheumatology. As director of BJC Health, Irwin developed the initial clinic in Parramatta to a multisite and multidisciplinary group. He strives to develop innovative, effective treatment solutions for patients suffering from chronic disease.