5.05.2008

A Little More About Me

May is Arthritis Awareness Month so I thought I might post a few facts so you can learn more about me! Also, how cool is it that the awareness ribbon is blue? If you know me at all you know that anything blue makes me have a goofy smile. Even my arthritis ribbon!

Okay....on with the teaching!

Here are a few common misconceptions about arthritis:

1. The most common misconception is that arthritis is an old person's disease.

Arthritis is not age or gender specific. There are over 100 different types of arthritis and related rheumatic conditions.

I have Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis and was diagnosed at ten years old. It started out with my one of my wrists hurting and then it went from one joint to the next until everything, but my back was affected. I am so thankful for this!

2. Arthritis is induced by a cold, wet climate.

The truth is that climate is neither the cause, nor the cure.

People have theorized that arthritis is caused by a cold, wet climate. Moving to a warm, dry climate has been regarded by some as the cure. So my question is - Does anyone in California have arthritis? Yes, they do. I have relatives out there that have it. And bone rubbing on bone after cartilage has worn away causes pain in any climate! Ouchers!!

3. Arthritis is caused by a poor diet.

There is no scientific evidence though that specific foods prevent or cause arthritis. Good diet does not prevent arthritis. Unless a person is found to have a particular food allergy which causes their arthritis to flare, there is no proven direct link between a particular food source and arthritis.

This of course does not mean that I can eat whatever I want such as Triple Layer Chocolate Mousse Cake and endless bottles of NOS! I know that when I am eating healthier and have some of this weight off me it certainly makes things easier! But then again, we're all like that, aren't we?

4. Arthritis can be cured.

As of today, there is no known cure for the disease. Much has been discovered in terms of better treatment options and slowing down the disease progression, but nothing yet has been found to successfully halt the disease. Since there are so many different types of arthritis, the prognosis varies.

I would love to see a cure for arthritis, especially for our future children! But I would love to see a cure first for Parkinson's, cancer, Aids and so many other life threatening diseases.

5. Arthritis consists of only minor aches and pains.

Honestly, it drives me crazy to see those commercials where the person can't play tennis or ride their horse until they've taken their pill! Reality for many of us is we can't walk to the bathroom or put on a shirt or even scratch an itch until we've taken our pills. No, no. We are not looking for sympathy or pity. Just an understanding that a pill can't make us run and jump, etc. That would be nice, but it ain't gonna happen!

6. "You felt fine yesterday....why so tired today?"

Since arthritis is a disease characterized by periods of flares and remissions, it is difficult for family and friends to comprehend why they feel so much better or so much worse on any particular day.

The inconsistency of arthritis can even lead some people to believe the disease is "all in your head".

For me something as simple as lifting a pitcher of Kool Aid (strawberry is my favorite!) can make my shoulder go berserk and hurt for days. The thing is I just don't always know what's going to make it better or worse. Sometimes I have to just do and pay the price later. I'd rather have fun and enjoy life and be laid up for a few days then constantly afraid of doing anything. A little pain never hurt anybody! LOL.

7. "You have arthritis.....you can't....."

"The limitations which arthritis imposes on an individual can cause people closest to them to become overprotective. Sometimes people do too much to try and help the person with arthritis. The disease does interfere with some physical ability, but certainly the arthritic person should not be viewed as totally dependent and invalid.

A certain amount of help and dependence is likely to be required. It must be remembered though that it is best to maintain as much independence as possible for both physical and emotional reasons."

We arthritics can be quite stubborn and proud too! I like to try, even if it's going to hurt. And then if I cry or pout you can scold me. ;o)

For me personally....I know God doesn't give me anything more than I can handle. Some days are rougher than others, but He provides the resources. It's up to me to seek them out.

Hugs to one and all this fine day!

4 comments:

Faith said...

WOW...so glad I read this. My grandpa had arthritis and he was pretty active. But..looking back, I can now see where he was probably in alot of pain and just didn't complain! Arthritis is one of the first things I was tested for when I first had lyme disease and the drs couldn't figure it out...they assumed my joint pain was arthritis. My reply was "but I am only 42!" thanks for clarifying this. I still pray for you, too!

Goofy Girl said...

This is a great post for this month, and for letting people know more about arthritis :)

In His Grip, Mama j said...

Thank you for taking the time to write that post.
It is always helpful to understand someone else's world more fully.

Michelle said...

thanks for sharing more about yourself and what you go through; it helps to debunk those myths too and educate people.