Saturday, April 14, 2012

There is more to Rheumatoid Arthritis than achy joints!

A new discovery that I will learn to deal with because of having this auto-immune disorder. Living with Rheumatoid Arthritis now for close to 14 years, I can say that after all I have been through, my quality of life is that of someone who does not suffer from this disease. There is a wonderful drug called Humeria, that my husband calls "my miracle drug!"  This drug let's me lead a normal life without getting the crippling damage that comes along with having Rheumatoid Arthritis.  Let me explain what my type of arthritis is, it's definitely not your grandmas arthritis, my body thinks that my immune system is foreign, so my body attacks itself within the joints mostly, but sometimes it can lead to the organs of the body as well. Within your joints you have what is called synovial fluid that protects the cartilage and bone, when my arthritis bears its ugly head, it causes inflammation, which in turn destroys the joints. This is why over the course of my disease I have had over 22 surgeries. Thanks to the research and new medicines that are on the market, they suppress your immune system which keeps this ugly cycle to a minimum. I always say Humeria has given me my life back. 

So what happens if a person on this drug gets a cold? The doctors take you off the medicine so your body can fight back. Remember I have to suppress my immune system so I can make it through my day without pain. Four weeks ago I got a cold, my rheumatologist says to stop the Humeria until I'm all better, after a week I woke up to what I thought was pink eye in both eyes, I go to doctor and get my drops and carry on about my day. After a week of fighting this infection and steering clear of everyone because I thought I was contagious, I decide to call my eye doctor. I walk in and they start flashing all these lights and checking my vision, guess what it's not pink eye, I have what is called Episcleritis, which is an inflammatory condition of the episclera (the connective tissue between the conjunctiva and sclera in the eye.) Thanks to this lovely disease Rheumatoid Arthritis, it can lead to complications of the eyes.  
Who knew that something like arthritis can affect your eyes?
Being off the drug Humeria for a few weeks, let this surface in my eyes. Over the past year, I have been back and forth to eye doctors telling me that the floaters were normal and I have dry eyes due to my disease. So in reality is I have this new thing called Episcleritis.. Sounds scary, especially when it affects the eyes. So who knew your eyeballs could get inflammation and ache? Is there any long term damage? From what I have learned as long as its kept under control when you have a flare up and use the prednisone drops, everything will be fine, more bothersome than anything and people running from me because they think I have pink eye :)

I'm not alone in fighting this disease, there are over a hundred different forms of arthritis, which lead to other complications. An example that hits so close to home is my mom, my mother suffered from Scleroderma which causes hardening of the skin and organs. My mom died of heart disease because the Scleroderma hardened her arteries. 
So I am asking you to please join us on April 28, 2012 for the annual Arthritis Walk at Camp Grace. Let's raise awareness together and make this disease unacceptable! Let's make Arthritis stop hurting!
If you know someone who suffers from this disease, let's move together to keep it from controlling their lives. The money goes to research for new and improved drugs to help people live a better quality of life! 

April 28
2012 Arthritis Walk and Family Fun Day Begins! - Camp Grace 11081 Wanda Dr. Mobile, AL 36608
10:00 am - 3:00 pm
see you there!
Cindy Ross

1 comment:

  1. I can't afford to go to the dinner and would love to, but my husband and I will be there for the walk.. Can we bring friends? And is there a fee for the walk?


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