Friday, October 8, 2010

Rheumar Has It: Only Old People Get Arthritis

Hello Friends!
   Welcome to my Blog about Arthritis! Here I will talk about my experiences living with Rheumatoid Arthritis (now the title makes sense, clever right!!) and hopefully I can debunk some myths about arthritis too! First I'll tell you a little about myself. (If you do not know anything about arthritis scroll down to the bottom to the bold heading "What is Arthritis")

About Me!
My name is Kelley and I'm 22 and I have been living with Rheumatoid Arthritis since I was 15. I just graduated from The Florida State University with a Bachelors degree in Family and Child Science and a minor in Psychology. Go Noles! But hopefully I'll be going to nursing school soon! I just got my first job ever today! I'm going to be a nanny for a 17 month old little girl, which should be fun I guess... I'm just excited for the two hour nap time! Oh also something really really exciting.. I'm going to be a Family Pal for Camp Boggy Creek's Arthritis/Rheumatic diseases family weekend! I can't even wait! I feel like I kind of missed out on the camp experience as a child because I got diagnosed late. So this is my chance to go to camp! Here's a link to the Camp Boggy Creek website if you'd like more information on their stuff.

Myth #1
So let's talk about RA. A lot of responses I get when I tell someone I have arthritis is "but, you're too young to have arthritis" and then I tell them "nope! There's over 300,000 children just in the United States with a form of Arthritis!" (there's over 46 million adults with it too) and  then they are always shocked, but at least they are somewhat educated about it now! Some children who have JRA (juvenile rheumatoid arthritis) or other forms of arthritis (Here's a link to all of the forms of it who have it have it so bad that they are forced to live their childhood in a wheel chair or with some other forms of support such as canes or braces. Doesn't that suck! It just isn't fair to those children. But those are the reasons why we need to get out there and advocate, educate and inform people!

What is arthritis?
The clinical definition is (according to Google Health): Arthritis is inflammation of one or more joints, which results in pain, swelling, stiffness, and limited movement. There are over 100 different types of arthritis. This link gives you some more information along with pictures and treatment options

If you ask a younger person what it is they will most like say "it sucks." and it often does. Personally I take about 10 pills a day and do a biweekly injection. And depending on how the bones are doing I put on a lidocaine patch on the area or use a cream, depending on the spot, or use a heating pad. I have also had to change my diet, my rheumatologist put me on Mediterranean diet. (Here's a link about the diet Personally I hate it!! You can't have chips, cookies or crackers. Which is hard to stop since that was basically what I was living off of in college! (Don't tell my doctor that she'll yell at me! Haha) But it is an anti inflammatory diet it helped my mom loose about 15 pounds! We're trying to try out some more natural arthritis helpers such as diet and exercise because my mommy is worried about all of chemicals that have been pumped into my body for the past 8 years. One of the biggest things about RA is you have to keep moving!! Staying still/in the same position is not good for the bones and it doesn't feel good!!

I'll stop rambling for now, I hope this was kinda of helpful or entertaining? Feel free to comment and post suggestions or questions! And if you're into cooking check out my cousin's blog

-Kelley K

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