September 19, 2021 was the 10th anniversary of A Rheumful of Tips (ART). I can't believe that it's been ten years since I first published ART! For those who don't know, it was a daily (yes, daily!) year-long blogging project. I shared tips, tricks and strategies for living life with a chronic, debilitating and painful disease. From 365 posts it grew to 500 posts and then I just kept going. I'm still adding posts, although less frequently.
Through ART, I was fortunate to travel to New York City, Toronto and participate in last year's World Arthritis Day event courtesy of Pfizer: #ImagineRA. Thanks to the generosity of a number of different businesses, I was able to offer giveaways for products that make life easier for those of us struggling with everyday tasks.
Since then, I have read posts that have taken to heart some of the things that I've shared. Thank you for accepting, adopting, adapting and learning how to live your best self, even in the face of the challenge that is RA! When you are in a better frame of mind and body you do better. The world is better because of it.
Only a Week of Sore Joints?
Recently, a friend shared how her joints ached for a week post-vaccine. I admit, it was hard to be completely compassionate. I felt badly that she hurt, but for those of us with RA, a week of pain would be like winning the lottery, several times over. Yes, I know that pain is relative and that, if it's new to you, or it's unusual, it's of big concern to you. However...
My hope is that one of the COVID-19 silver linings is that it triggers a greater degree of research, treatment and a cure for auto-immune conditions. The spillover effect may end up benefitting people who have RA, much like how some cancer drugs (Methotrexate and Remicade, for example) are used to suppress an overactive and misdirected immune system. But, instead of more drugs, let's get to the bottom of a dysfunctional immune system; an immune system that decides that it's open season on one's own body.
Frustrated and More Than a Little Angry!
A 10th anniversary and I'm not exactly in the celebratory mood. It's disheartening that there is even a need for ART and all the other supportive sites and organizations around the world. I wish I could say that I see a cure on the horizon. However, I don't believe that there will be one in my lifetime. There's too much at stake. (Yes, I realize that I sound like a Negative Nelly!)
Recently, I was told that a lot has changed in regard to medications. That's the problem, isn't it? More drug therapy. More immunosuppressants! Ten years of blogging about this damn disease, plus forty-four years of living with it. Has anything really changed, apart from more expensive medications? It's a damned if you do (take them), damned if you don't scenario.
In my HealthCentral slideshow, I talked about acceptance. But maybe the time for acceptance has come and gone. Shouldn't we demand more from the research? From the stake holders? Isn't it time for a cure?