Mother is going to take a brief departure from calling out the A**holes of the world to write about a health topic.
Everybody and anybody (or is that everyone and anyone?) who has a TV has seen ads about medical conditions. From Cancer to Diabetes, to Parkinson’s, to Depression – these are all illnesses that we need to find cures for – they devastate and rob many people of leading long, functioning lives.
In this post though, Mother wants to make you aware of the challenges and frustration people face when they suffer from a different disease – Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA). Often misrepresented, underrepresented, misunderstood, generalized, and allocated to the old folks, RA cripples, destroys, and while not directly a killer, it can lead to a shortened lifespan and a mountain of medical complications.
Mother has been learning about RA out of necessity. Along with the general population, she was ignorant about what this disease was all about.
Rheumatoid Arthritis Fiction:
– RA consists of general aches and pains in the joints that go away or feel better just by taking some Arthritis Strength Tylenol.
– RA is something only old people suffer from or “get” when they’re old.
– RA is a disease that only affects the joints.
– RA is curable.
Rheumatoid Arthritis Facts:
– RA is an autoimmune disease that attacks the lining of the joints, causing swelling, pain and joint destruction.
– RA can cause problems with other major organs including the heart, lungs, eyes, and even the brain.
– RA is an incurable disease that can strike young and old. Read this story about Jennie Garth’s five-year-old daughter being diagnosed with a Juvenile form of RA. She even talked about it on Access Hollywood.
– RA is a disease that needs regular treatment and monitoring.
There is nothing glamorous about RA, no official spokesperson, and perhaps what irks Mother most of all are the comments people make:
“Oh, yeah, I have that in my shoulder from an old sports injury.” Wrong.
“Well, at least it won’t kill you.” At least not directly.
“You don’t look sick.” But I feel like shit.
“There are all of those new drugs to treat it.” This is great, but it can take months to find the right drug.
Thankfully, there is a growing population of younger RA sufferers that have had enough of the Enbrel, Humira, and Orencia commercials featuring people Kathleen Turner’s age (a real RA sufferer) and older. Two sites that everyone should visit are the new Buckle Me Up and Single Gal’s Blog.
RA isn’t for sissies. So get off your ass and learn something about this disease. Start here.