This meme is from Kelly over at RA Warrior. I think it’s a great idea! I hope ALL the other bloggers who have RA will blog this and then connect it with links to RA Warrior, and posting the link to it on their Facebook homepage. This is so important to increasing RA Awareness.
1. How many other diagnoses (co-morbidities) do you have?
At least two that are related to RA: hypothyroidism and fibromyalgia
2. When were you diagnosed?
Finally diagnosed in early 2005 after 3 decades of symptoms, I went sero-positive (finally had a positive RA Factor test), and began aggressive treatment.
3. How many Rheumatoid Arthritis treatments have you tried?
5 – for now. Early on, before I had the RA diagnosis (but actually had RA), I was treated with the very early NSAIDS – butazoladine (!) and Indocin, then ibuprophen and the rest of the NSAIDS in succession. Each “worked” for a while, months or a couple of years, then stopped working. As I was sero-negative for RA, my docs were reluctant to treat more aggressively than that. I just felt like crap all the time, was tired and ached from joint group to joint group. When I finally went sero-positive, it was almost a relief to go on aggressive RA drugs. I’ve just “graduated” to IM methotrexate (MTX) and will start that in a week or so when the pharmacy gets it in. Oh the joys of self-injection of a toxic chemical!
4. What kind of a reward do you give yourself after taking any medicine that you hate?
After MTX, I may NEED pretzels and gingerale to settle a very upset stomach. I REWARD myself with either ice cream or yogurt. I have to be careful, though, as I’m TRYING to lose weight.
5. Who helps you open doors or jars when you need it?
As all my children are “groan” and have families of their own, my husband and I are on our own. We are in our 60’s, so we “ain’t as young” as we used to be. My wonderful Ol’ Curmudgeon opens jars – but it frequently is a struggle even for him. We have an electric jar opener – the big jobbie that we have to plug in. With our new kitchen renovation, we will have enough counter room that we can leave it out so I won’t have to lift it onto the counter. One of my fabulous RA buddies who lives alone pointed out to me that the people at the grocery will loosen jar caps for me if necessary. For things that will spoil, of course, that presents a problem, but if Himself becomes incapacitated, I’ll have to use the jar opener or wait for children or grandchildren to come over.
My terrific service dog, Emmy, opens doors and picks up things for me. She also helps me with the laundry, turns light on and off, and braces to help me get up out of chairs.
6. What would your ultimate good rheum doc do?
Doc would ask me where it hurts; ask me about my symptoms & my opinions. Then as treat aggressively as I am comfortable with. Also doc would insist pain be adequately treated. And I am soooo fortunate! I HAVE a rheum doc who does just that!
7. What’s your favorite comfort for RA?
Hot shower, warm socks, heating pad, and thick, fuzzy old green robe. My keyboard in my lap and my mouse in hand. Hot tea and a FEW vanilla wafers.
8. What was the hardest thing you have done since being diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis?
Adjusting my life to include RA when I’d really rather EXCLUDE it! It is NOT a welcome resident in my life!
9. What’s your biggest RA-related fear?
That one of my children or grandchildren will get it. Also, I worry about becoming too disabled to function at home.
10. How many pills do you swallow every day?
About 28, counting various supplements and vitamins.
11. Something surprising that you wish insurance would cover for Rheumatoid Arthritis patients?
Definitely massage therapy by certified massage therapists who will be willing to LISTEN to me and follow my instructions as to my bad joints and muscles. Also, access to heated pools for purpose of physical therapy. We are near several pools, but none of them are warm enough for therapy.
12. What do you wish people knew about Rheumatoid Arthritis?
How painful it is to have uncontrolled RA or RA damage. That even so-called “controlled” RA is quite painful. That RA is not “arthritis.” How truly brave the “RheumaMisfits” I know are!!
13. What would you like to say to your RA?
You are the most evil disease known to man. I will fight you in my life or others until the day I die. You are worse than cancer. You shorten the lives of people, and cause more pain that can be treated with pain medications. I wish I had a phaser weapon set to kill and you were right in front of me – and I could pull the trigger.
If you have RA, I would encourage you to answer the questions and post them on your blog. Be sure to put a link on RA Warrior’s blog page HERE in the comments section and by posting a link to it on your FB page and on Twitter.