According to the National Institutes of Health, chronic pain is “any pain lasting more than 12 weeks. Whereas acute pain is a normal sensation that alerts us to possible injury, chronic pain is very different. Chronic pain persists—often for months or even longer.”  Acute pain is considered “a warning of disease or a threat to the body” and identified as sharp or sudden, according to Cleveland Clinic. In contrast, “(c)hronic pain persists despite the fact that the injury has healed. Pain signals remain active…”
Rheumatoid arthritis pain is typically considered to be chronic pain; however, in many cases, this is a flawed assumption. As I’ve observed patients’ reports over the past several years, it has become clear where the misunderstandings may be. Let’s look at some facts.
True, rheumatoid disease (RD) is a chronic disease (lasting for many years, with no known cure). And disease activity causes various symptoms and sensations in the joints of people living with rheumatoid disease (PRD), often including varying degrees of pain. RD can cause pain in any joint and sometimes other places. However, the model of chronic pain often does not apply because concepts associated with the term “chronic pain” are not readily applicable to RD pain.
1) Most joint pain of RD is not constant. Most people experience periodic flaring of affected joints (with accompanying pain as one symptom). Even PRD who experience a persistent flaring pattern often feel relief when inflammation is reduced by medication. And pain that is a result of permanent damage is often relieved by surgery.
2) The notion of chronic pain as being “post-injury” ignores the reality of ongoing inflammatory activity in the body of people with RD. Additionally, structural damage or functional loss in PRD contradict the chronic pain paradigm that pain is not reflective of a definite physiological problem.
3) PRD tend to have a high tolerance for pain and practice various pain management strategies. Large surveys reveal that high percentages of PRD have residual pain due to disease activity, and often conceal pain instead of discuss it in ways that would bring attention to themselves. [3,4]
4) The nature of rheumatoid pain is often sharp and emerges suddenly, making it more characteristic of acute pain. RD pain is also often related to physical activity, making it similar in nature to injury (acute pain).
5) The explanation of RD pain as chronic pain ignores the effect of increased activity on inflammation and resulting pain . (See usage principle).
6) When physical pain caused by RD is alleviated, PRD tend to quickly return to activities of normal living, which contradicts notions of hypochondriasis, pain processing disorders, phantom pain, or various synonyms for chronic pain syndrome.
A little humor never hurt anyone. A sassy response to the ridiculous assertions of those who spend rheumatology research dollars trying to prove PRD are exaggerating about pain. “If they call me a drama queen for saying it hurts, then I get to have a crown…” Click to continue reading… Do Rheumatoid Arthritis Patients Have a Low Pain Threshold?
Not seeing is not believing, sometimes. “All around me, life goes on as normal. In the midst of seeming normalcy, I can’t walk properly or open a car door or whatever. It’s frustrating. Or I look down at the toes that I feel pulling and there’s no rubber bands on them. Or at the ankle that’s being stabbed. And there’s no blood. Nothing to see. When my shoulder won’t move an inch from my side for two weeks, an ER doc says it’s perfectly fine because he can’t see…” Continue reading RA Reality Versus “The Lie”
The Swedish Epidemiological Investigation of Rheumatoid Arthritis (EIRA) enrolled 1296 people diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis between 2005 and 2012. People with rheumatoid disease (PRD) were compared with 2661 randomly selected controls matched by age, sex and residential area.
People who had been diagnosed with RA were asked about the food they ate during the year before being enrolled in the study, including Western diet, Mediterranean diet, vegetarian diet, vegan diet, or other specific diet. “9% of the RA-cases (n=122/1296) reported to consume a Mediterranean diet the year before enrolment compared with 12% (309/2661) of the controls, and 4% (n=47/1296) of the RA cases and 3% (80/2661) of the controls reported to consume a vegetarian diet.”
Questions of diet and lifestyle are often tangled in controversy when considered in the context of chronic disease. The onus is often placed on individuals to prevent developing chronic diseases that increase healthcare costs. However, “common sense” does not always parallel scientific evidence; we must ask even the questions we consider “obvious” and examine evidence objectively.
Here’s what the study concluded:
1) PRD who said they consumed a Mediterranean diet had a lower risk of being diagnosed with RA in an unadjusted analysis. However this association disappeared after adjustment for potential confounding factors such as body mass index, smoking, formal education, and physical activity.
2) PRD who were ACPA (anti-CCP) positive or rheumatoid factor positive had a tendency toward lower risk with a Mediterranean diet.
3) There was no relationship found with PRD who consumed a vegetarian diet.
What caused the small difference in people who were antibody positive? Were there other differences at their disease onset?
Some who have been diagnosed with RD fit a profile that is considered typical; and others of us developed the disease despite the lack of what are sometimes considered risk factors. Personally, I should’ve been safe from RD since nursing babies is considered protective from it… Exercised, never smoked, and ate a healthy diet. What about you? Do you think diet or another factor impacted whether you developed rheumatoid disease?
 Johansson K, Sandberg M, Saevarsdottir S, Neovius M, Alfredsson L, Askling J, Bengtsson C. Do Mediterranean or Vegetarian Diets Influence the Risk of Rheumatoid Arthritis? Arthritis Rheum Abstract Supplement [Internet]. 2014 Nov 16 [cited 2014 Nov 23]: Abstract #2018. Available from http://www.acrannualmeeting.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/2014-ACR_ARHP-Annual-Meeting-Abstract-Supplement2.pdf
 Pikwer M, Bergstrom U, Nilsson JA, Jacobsson L, Berglund G, Turesson C: Breast feeding, but not use of oral contraceptives, is associated with a reduced risk of rheumatoid arthritis. Ann Rheum Dis [Internet]. 2009 Apr [cited 2014 Nov 23]:68;4:526-530. Abstract available from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18477739
Modeled after Food Network’s Hell’s Kitchen, the original RA Kitchen project started because “we need easier –FASTER – recipes. We often need different tools. We need ideas for getting more of those certain ingredients into our food: Omega 3’s, anti-oxidants, and vitamins to fight infection…” Click to continue reading Rheumatoid Arthritis and the Kitchen: Hey, We All Eat!
Cigarette smoke and other toxins contribute to the risk of RD. Smoking is one of the few risk factors that emerges consistently in studies of rheumatoid disease, and has led to the study of other environmental risks. Specific studies are beginning to untangle the risks from the myths of What Causes Rheumatoid Arthritis Disease to Trigger? Read more on Smoking and Rheumatoid Arthritis: 6 Things You Need to Know.
In an immunology teaching lab class this semester, my daughter Katie Beth (KB) learned how to perform a rheumatoid factor test (latex agglutination). Prior to that lecture, KB read through the professor’s slides in the syllabus. She noticed the material included several common errors about Rheumatoid Disease (RD). I was so proud to read the email she sent to her teachers in an effort to correct the misconceptions (such as age and pattern of onset).
While not perfect, the presentation about the rheumatoid factor test and RD itself was improved. KB pointed out that hundreds of students in different lab sections heard a more accurate explanation of RD. I was so proud of her. Still, the speaker included a few “RA facts” he’d found from sources that many consider trustworthy. But they aren’t necessarily all accurate.
Furthermore, the images on the slides (see right) were only of the most extreme rheumatoid deformity. As fate would have it, that error didn’t go undetected either. Another girl in KB’s class exclaimed, “That’s not what Rheumatoid Arthritis looks like. My mom has RA.” A surprised KB had someone to compare notes with. I wonder whether the professor recognized that with a disease as common as RD, there’s bound to be people affected by it sitting in his lecture hall.
Rheumatoid disease is pretty complicated to be demonstrated by a photograph. Severe deformities do occur, although many believe they are less common now, for debatable reasons. What’s a good picture? Is it possible for a photograph to show the pain, functional loss, or health impact of RD?
What do you think? Can a picture accurately represent RD? Is severe deformity the best way to teach about RD? What do you think will correct the common misconceptions about RD?
Have you DISCONTINUED Cimzia in the past year? Click here to read about how to help other patients with a short interview.
Is there such a thing as “seronegative RA”? What is or is not meaningful using rheumatoid factor as a label? It’s confusing, but we should remember that tests are tools to help people, so they should never be used as weapons. Continue reading… Seronegative Rheumatoid Arthritis
Telling the truth about what’s a “complication” and what’s just the disease. It’s not that complicated to grasp: these are secondary Rheumatoid Arthritis symptoms… If I’m driving to Wal-Mart, and I get a flat tire, that is something that “complicates” my trip… Click to continue reading… 3 Reasons to Stop Saying “Complications of Rheumatoid Arthritis”
“You’re limping worse,” the trustworthy podiatrist noted.
“I forgot what you said it’s called, but it keeps coming back,” I said. He answered, “It’s the posterior tibial tendon.” (Until recently my ankles had previously swollen on the outside, so this is different.)
I’ve never given a nickname to my foot doctor, but I’ve been with the same podiatry practice almost nine years. It was his partner that first identified my RA diagnosis – from my feet. I’m thinking Dr. Dependable would suit him because he says things like “We’re here if you need us.” And they do work me in whenever the RD makes my feet desperate.
According to PhysioAdvisor.com,“The tibialis posterior muscle is responsible for moving the foot and ankle towards the midline of the body and pointing the foot and ankle down (plantarflexion)…” That’s exactly what I couldn’t do whenever I showed my ankle to my doctor recently. (Click on that link to see a picture of how the foot won’t turn inward.) “Whenever the tibialis posterior muscle contracts or is stretched, tension is placed through the tibialis posterior tendon.”
My ankle has been so painful it wakes me up at night. Then I can’t put any weight on it on the way to the bathroom. Some days it’s very puffy looking and other times there’s no visual satisfaction. Even then, trying to turn my foot inward is very painful. “I don’t know you don’t want to hear it again, but this is what happens in rheumatoid,” said Dr. Dependable.
“You’ve seen it a lot?”
“Yes of course.”
The past few weeks, I couldn’t step on my left foot on a hard surface without soft shoes. Even with prednisone, the feeling of a rock under the skin wasn’t going down. Dr. D examined the two middle joints I complained about and noticed right away the Tailor’s bunion / bunionette was also bigger. He gave it a little squeeze, asking: “This hurts?”
“Okay,” he told his assistant, “bring me 3 small and one larger needle.”
That was two days ago, and it’s feeling much better now. I have my bony ankle back and barely notice any lump under my foot, although a bare foot on a hard floor is still uncomfortable. Doc recommended I also use a lace-up brace when it gets inflamed, so we’ll see how that works.
What about you? Has your ankle ever swollen on this side? Do steroid injections in your joints help? Do you ever wear an ankle brace?
A prominent rheumatologist wrote to me a few years ago about RA that “Some few are crushed by it, some succeed and are happy in spite of it… it is difficult to have a chronic illness, and for some people it is too much to handle.” I didn’t fully agree with him because physical symptoms are sometimes perceived as personal weakness. Apart from pain, most people experience a loss of function that can be hard to comprehend… Click to continue reading The Pursuit of Happyness When Part of Your Life Is Called Rheumatoid Arthritis.
How wonderful to hear a simple “God bless you” when your feet are bright red and can barely walk. A small act of sympathy is a reprieve from the dismissiveness so common to RD. Continue reading Red Feet, Frankenstorm, Unexpected Sympathy, and Travel to PCORI Workshop
Have you ever been afraid of taking medicine? I have. Who knew that there’s actually a name for a fear of medication: pharmacophobia.
As if I were once again the 19 year-old girl who quit taking thyroid medication, the day I learned I was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA), I was convinced there must be a simpler answer – that did not involve long-term medication. I had no idea what an RA diagnosis meant: rheumatoid disease (RD).
And I had no idea what Dr. Laptop thought of my questions – until years later when I requested my chart. His notes showed he thought I sounded silly. Really, I was ignorant of a lot of things. Since they hadn’t let me know my lab results during the month I waited for them, I still hoped maybe I did not have RD, and asked whether I could be treated with antibiotics.
A few weeks later, my podiatrist helped me get in to see a more reliable rheumatologist. Dr. KBC prescribed DMARDs as treatment and explained to me how they work. I was afraid of them, but at that point, I could barely move, and I knew I had RD.
After that, every time I had a Biologic shot or infusion, I had to face down fears, usually with great encouragement from loved ones. Pain medicine was another great hurdle that I eventually had to overcome. And my fears weren’t unreasonable either. The first pain med I tried caused the room to spin for 16 hours. (Or at least it seemed like it.)
Then there was this little bottle that I still have, with the little dose of a medicine I thought was so potent it was dangerous. Prednisone.
When I look at the dose, and remember what the nurse told me, it’s hard to fathom. They were 5 mg. tablets. And I was told that while I was traveling with family before I began the DMARDs, if things became completely unbearable (worse than they were? I couldn’t imagine), then I was to take one tablet with breakfast. One.
That episode created a misconception that would last for years. I’ll tell you the rest of that story very soon.
Fears of medication can be based on information – and they can be perfectly reasonable. Or fears can be based on a lack of information or even misinformation. Each of these fears could be handled in various ways.
A person might decide not to take a medication because the risk seems to outweigh the benefits. Sometimes more information is enough to moderate fears. Other times, we decide to take the medicine in spite of fears – hopefully with some support – because that’s our best option.
What about you? Have you been so afraid of medication that you had a hard time taking it? Or decided not to? Have you ever decided to take a medicine even though you were afraid?
The day I learned I had rheumatoid disease is a day I’ll never forget. We met a guy that we came to know as Dr. Laptop. He walked around with his laptop in hand, and never looked up. It was 2006 – it wasn’t some mini laptop or tablet… Continue reading It’s Ok to Laugh if You Have Rheumatoid Arthritis
I learned the hard way – a very hard way – that thyroid medicine is not an option for me; it’s a necessity. After becoming very ill a couple of times, and suffering consequences, I ultimately learned to be grateful for it so I can… Continue reading Can I Delay Treatment for Rheumatoid Arthritis? part 1
Did you ever have the flu or a fever and your bones just ached? It can be enough to make you forget all about what your knees and wrists were screaming about. I’ve heard a doctor say that bones “can’t hurt,” but I’ve also heard patients say they do.
For years it was believed that only the surface layer of bone is innervated.2 I stumbled on some articles about bone pain this summer when I was reading about broken bones after being diagnosed with a rib fracture. It was interesting to read that bones have plenty of nerves of various kinds that can ache deep inside or hurt sharply on the surface.
It’s easy to find information about bone pain with stress fractures or sickle cell disease, or cancers such as myeloma, lung cancer, or breast cancer. Bone pain is even associated with other “rheumatological” diseases such as Paget’s disease, osteoarthritis, or transient osteoporosis.
It’s not as well recognized that RD can cause bone pain, but some realities support its likelihood:
1) Rheumatoid disease can cause bone damage. And other conditions that cause bone damage are recognized as painful.
2) Bone inflammation is associated with several conditions (including RD) and known to cause severe pain.
3) Bone edema in RD is associated with pain, disease activity, and poor prognosis.
4) People living with rheumatoid disease (PRD) often say their bones hurt.
Have you ever experienced bone pain with RD? Were you able to determine the cause? How did your doctors respond?
Taking head-on the claims that it’s a “well established” fact people with rheumatoid disease (RD) have a lower pain threshold. Reasons this claim falls flat, and why it matters. Continue reading… Does Rheumatoid Arthritis Pain Really Hurt That Much?
The list of symptoms in people with RD is long, and fortunately not every patient has every symptom. PRD often wonder “Is this from the rheumatoid?” or “Am I the only one with this symptom?” To explore the 51 posts about “Rheumatoid Arthritis symptoms,” click here.
1 Johnson DR. University of Leeds: Faculty of Biological Sciences [Internet]. Leeds (England): Introductory Anatomy: Bones. 2001 Feb 1; [cited 2014 Sep 1]. Available from: http://www.leeds.ac.uk/chb/lectures/anatomy3.html
2 Jones KB, Mollano AV, Morcuende JA, Cooper RR, Saltzman CL. Bone and Brain: A Review of Neural, Hormonal, and Musculoskeletal Connections. Iowa Orthop J [Internet]. 2004 [cited 2014 Sep 1]; 24: 123–132. Available from: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1888423/
One of the biggest problems with getting care for rheumatoid disease is that symptoms do not look exactly the same every day. Of course along with that is the fact that many symptoms aren’t clearly visible anyway, hence the term “invisible illness.” Anyway, it seems like it would be a great thing to actually see a doctor on a day when joint symptoms are very noticeable. And I had one of those lucky days last week.
Sometimes my hand swells up so that it can’t be used and screams in pain (like here) if it’s even brushed against. It starts as intense stiffness down the center of the hand and up the middle finger. Then the middle finger swells. Eventually the whole hand is puffy and the skin on the palm side is smooth. (When not swollen, my hands have deep lines and fairly loose skin, shown in my right hand here.) So last week, my left hand did its thing and I called the orthopedist office to see whether the hand specialist had an opening in the schedule. They did.
So it was my lucky day. I drove to the doctor that afternoon (and did everything else) with my right hand, the one I usually have to guard. I hoped to finally learn what causes my hand to swell up like that – other than “just one of those weird things that happens with rheumatoid.” And what to call it – other than “painful.”
But the hand doctor didn’t know. He said he could tell the tendons were inflamed, and he identified a nodule on the tendon of the middle finger along the knuckle that seems to be the epicenter of it all. But a reason the hand swells up, or what to call it? No idea. What to do about it? He said to try ice, and increase my prednisone, and we could inject the joint with steroids if I wanted to… all familiar of course.
An odd thing happened – the doctor kept asking me whether my red swollen hand hurt. Of course my words said “yes,” but I didn’t flinch in front of him (even though I cried in the car). So he kept asking. That old rheum stoicism keeps us from openly showing distress. (For me it started with the embarrassment of crying through a 29-hour labor.) Why does there seem to be honor in appearing strong enough to remain silent?
Even when my hand finally cooperated to display its pain in front of a doctor, the rest of me couldn’t cooperate.
Yes, it hurt.
WHAT ABOUT YOU? Has your whole hand or foot swollen up at once? Did a doctor tell you what to call it? Do you ever have a hard time telling others how much rheum disease hurts?
People – even famous ones – can have a hard time disclosing what it’s like to live with rheumatoid disease. Maybe that is part of the reason RD is not well understood. Being open about RD is hard – I try to avoid it. “Disclosure is our necessary evil. But RA is more evil, so we’ll…” Continue reading… The Tug of War of RA Awareness: Privacy of Pain & Agony of Disclosure
We are quiet about pain for good reason – but maybe it backfires. A woman living with rheumatoid disease says one reason that “it’s hard for anyone to understand how much we suffer” is that we “hide the pain the best we can,” and press on to do “everything we can to enjoy life.” Continue reading… When Our Strength Works Against Us
I stopped short when I saw this Nike t-shirt display in a mall recently. I had to get a picture of these t-shirts and ask the salesman, “Do you sell a lot of these? Do people like them?” He said they do. I just smiled and thanked him for holding up a shirt.
Not being able to run does “suck” (a gross word I never use in real life btw). I used to run for an hour on the beach, and there is nothing like it. I miss it like I miss gardening and a million other things. (Like turning my neck to be able to back my truck out of a parking space.)
Of course the “Not running sucks” t-shirt wasn’t aimed sympathetically toward those who can’t run. It means: “Get off your butt and run.” And maybe “If you don’t, YOU suck,” since the companion shirt says, “Don’t just RUN your mouth.”
Another Nike t-shirt reads “Man up or shut up.” They’ve come a long way from “JUST DO IT.” I was never a huge fan of “Just Do It” anyway. It’s sort of a rip-off of Yoda’s unforgettable words: “Do. Or do not. There is no try.”
As much as I respect the Jedi master, that makes me uncomfortable too. A painful change in living with rheumatoid disease (RD) is that I’m often forced to answer with “I’ll try,” instead of just “Sure.” And, as pitiful as it sounds to admit, with RD, I’ve often tried my heart out – and failed. (Yes, even to run).
Yes, not running sucks. Constant pain sucks. Taking medications sucks. A calendar full of doctor’s appointments sucks.
There, I said it: sucks, sucks, sucks. Now what?
I don’t think Yoda (or George Lucas) meant any harm. Nike’s ad execs probably mean well too. But the culture can always use a reminder, and Yoda himself said: “Luminous beings are we; not this crude matter.” Regardless of what our physical bodies are able to accomplish (or not), we are certainly much more than that. Limitations in our physical bodies (none of us can grow wings to fly) can compel us to reach beyond ourselves, transcend our physical limitations, and grow spiritually.
WHAT ABOUT YOU?
How have you adjusted to “try” instead of “just do” sometimes? What senseless slogan bugs you? How have you transcended your physical limitations?
Very early in my RD journey, I lost a friend to the just do it approach. “Like I said, this was early in my living with RA process. So I did not think about how my friends would react to the Rheumatoid Arthritis. I assumed that they would accept me as they always had, and perhaps even sympathize…” Continue reading… The Use It or Lose It Approach to Living with Rheumatoid Arthritis
I’ve tried to quit living with a chronic illness – who wants to spend her life fighting? “My odd list of things that keep me going: God, patients, mean people, and children.” Continue reading… Perseverance in Fighting Rheumatoid Arthritis
Some of you may remember last year when we met Dr. Shrug who gave my foot an ultimatum: Show me a bone erosion, or no more DMARDs. We only ever saw the doc once (more than enough). It was Dr. Tylenol’s partner, who they scheduled us with since Dr. T was out.
We saw the report from the MRI. It said my foot was unremarkable. That foot does not have my worst affected joints, but they are obviously affected. I knew the MRI was wrong, but I was helpless to object: I called the imaging center to be sure it had been read properly, and not mixed up with someone else’s scan. End of story.
A few months later, I was copying records for the physical medicine doctor that my GP sent me to… and what I did I happen upon? Old foot x-rays notating joint space narrowing and early erosion.
I don’t read MRI’s for a living, so I can’t tell you whether the MRI itself or the radiologist was in error. But I can tell you that my feet – and the rest of my body – are affected by Rheumatoid Disease (RD), so that the past eight years of my life are entirely different from what came before. Whether or not any particular MRI identifies that.
Of course deep down I knew the MRI report had to be wrong, but there was nothing I could say. They stood by it and I didn’t want to pay for a new scan. If you do a little digging, you can find that radiology is an art, machines differ, and mistakes are common (such as in the x-ray story below).
Last week, I was collecting my son DJ’s records related to his Mondini diagnosis and I had to pick up a disc of a CT scan at another imaging facility. It came with a report. I brought the disc and the report to Roo’s doctor and never thought to look at the report – I knew what was in it – his cochlea only has 1.5 turns instead of 2.5… old news. But then I slid the paper out from the disc jacket and read: “cochlea have an unremarkable appearance.”
I’d already read the other specialist’s evaluation “The cochlea bilaterally appear hypoplastic… The cochlea bilaterally are incompletely developed. They have approximately one and a half turn and this is symmetric.” That is one of the three features of classic Mondini.
The local doctor had misinterpreted the scans. The other specialist who evaluated them had commented to me about the poor quality of the scans, and I remember being surprised that MRIs and CT scans (we had both) could be done poorly. They tell me the magnets are various sizes and machines have to be calibrated, but that’s all I know. Maybe a radiologist or radiology technologist would like to comment.
1) Test results may be informative, but can also be subject to error.
2) Don’t dismiss a patient’s symptoms based on a test. Treat the patient, not the test.
1) Imaging is very expensive unfortunately, so it’s not likely that people can get scans repeated easily. However, if you doubt the results of any scan, ask your doctor to request it be re-read. If you have a supportive doctor, that would be a good first step.
2) Save your old reports so that you can compare them to new ones. This is also true for lab reports. When one lab said I had a zero anti-CCP level, my GP and I both new it was an error since I had a half a dozen noting “>250.”
We’re not the only ones who’ve met a Dr. Shrug. It’s so important that you don’t give up. I clung to that after Sara commented “My doctor shrugged it off after the blood test. If the pain in my hands wasn’t so debilitating then…” Continue reading… Don’t Give Up
It’s an important lesson – don’t let the x-rays fool you. A few years ago, we helped a friend after a terrible fall. “None of the doctors doubted the x-ray machine or x-ray technician or the doctor who read the x-rays. I am afraid that the only one who was doubted was my…” Continue reading… Hysterical Symptom Diagnosis, Part 1
Today at 11 a.m. EST, I’ll co-host a Twitter chat in honor of Rheumatoid Awareness Day with EveryDay Health. Click here to read more or see how to participate. The hashtag is #HealthTalk. AND tomorrow, February 4, I’ll be on WomensRadio’s Speaking of Health with Dr. B. for a live online radio interview. To listen, click here and then click on Speaking of Health.
The biggest impact you can still make is a donation, including a membership donation to the Rheumatoid Patient Foundation which will be DOUBLED by Crescendo Bioscience this week – click here to give now.
Rheumatology Network covered the day for healthcare professionals; you can read their story here. There were a few errors in the article, but it is still a good thing to get the word out to doctors who might not know yet that there even is an awareness day for Rheumatoid Disease.
On a personal note, it seemed a little silly to put Rheumatoid Disease in quotation marks, but I guess whoever did that (an editor?) was unaware that the term rheumatoid disease is not new and is used in various academic journals, and by many healthcare professionals. Click here to read about how I did not invent this ball – I just picked it up and ran with it!
Of course you can create your own event as many others have, but here’s a few ideas on how to participate –
Eric printed RPF awareness images and posted them at work. Others made jewelry or cut ribbons to wear. One person posted about handing out the Awareness Cards, and another brought RPF brochures to her doctor’s office. Please email me and tell us what you did so we can share it in a recap of this year’s events for others to be inspired.
Scroll through and read the 300+ comments on the Facebook Rheumatoid Awareness Day chat with Dr. John Davis – click here.
See the 50+ images people posted about Rheumatoid Awareness Day – click here. Or share your own image by uploading to Facebook or Twitter or emailing it to me kelly@ this website.
Check out the thousands of messages and images posted on Twitter #rheum for the awareness day – click here.
Thousands of stirring comments by people touched by Rheumatoid Disease: patients, family members, and caregivers. Be inspired by joining the Facebook event – click here.