Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Soapbox Today

I really hate it when I see "arthritis" commercials on TV. You know the ones I mean. The ones that say if you take a simple medicine you will be able to run up and down the stairs, run a marathon, live a pain free life. It also bugs me when someone finds out I have Rheumatoid arthritis and they comment, "Oh, my Grandma has that". Of course they usually mean osteoarthritis what comes with aging and the wearing down of joints. I do not negate the pain of or the ability of a medicine to help Osteoarthritis. I have OA in my knee. But RA is a systemic autoimmune disease that attacks the whole body not just the joints. It can affect infants, small children, young adults. I have dealt with the symptoms since I was twenty one.  I read recently of a writer who had died. The cause of death was listed as RA. Some might find this weird considering people think of "arthritis" as a joint disease. Yes it attacks the joints but it also affects major organs including the heart, lungs and liver. Since I take Remicade I have to have my liver functions checked every eight weeks. Last year I had such problems with my eyes I started having to use special drops to relieve the pain and inflamation. RA makes me feel like I have the flu most of the time. Even with my great meds I still have pain in some form everyday. I try to function like a normal person. That leads me to people who aggravate me by saying or thinking that because I am functioning I am "well". So here I am on my soapbox saying I hope there comes a day when Autoimmune diseases are not seen as just "arthritis".

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