Invisible Disease. What an interesting turn of phrase. Invisible to whom? The patient? Loved ones? Complete strangers? The ambiguity of the expression is confusing, but it is also a perfect metaphor for what it’s like to live with a disease like rheumatoid arthritis and other autoimmune conditions.
When someone says “invisible disease,” most people assume it means physically imperceptible to others, and rheumatoid arthritis is right up there at the top of the list. For instance, I have experienced this myself when parking in the handicapped spots provided for those of us who have trouble walking long distances. Even at 2am, there always seems to be someone waiting to shake his or her head and make that “tsk, tsk” sound as I exit my vehicle. I imagine this is because everyone assumes all disabled people must be horribly disfigured or walk like an employee of Monty Python’s Ministry of Funny Walks. Ironically, these disapproving clucks usually come from healthy individuals who have decided to temporarily take up residence in one of the handicapped spots while a passenger runs into the pharmacy to pickup their anti-psychotic medication or a month’s salary worth of scratch off lottery tickets.
Continue reading “Invisible Illness Article At The NRAS” »
I didn’t want to write this blog. Yup, you read that right, I didn’t want to write this installment of everyone’s ridiculously-titled blog, Dan’s Du Journal. In fact, I even missed the deadline because I was so not feeling things this week. Fortunately, thanks to my generously tolerant editor, I was able to sneak in this post after all.
Please don’t think I’d ever leave you hanging, my faithful readers, without due cause. You see, lately I haven’t been feeling so well, and that really starts to take a toll on both my physical and mental health. This is a phenomenon that many of us who are ill share, but those who are not sick might not understand. Sure, the physical aspects of disease can be horrible, but it’s the mental part that sometimes becomes the most crippling.
Continue reading “Lack Of Desire & Apathy Creeps In – Creaky Joints” »
Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis. JRA. This is the name they gave the disease I was stricken with at the tender age of 9. Back then, doctors were only just beginning to understand the ailment and its symptoms. No one was sure what was going on inside my body, so I became a guinea pig – a receptacle for any treatments thought at the time to be effective. Gold injections, high aspirin dosages, chemotherapy and copious amounts of steroids were all tried. In fact, I have been given almost every single medication and treatment ever available for rheumatoid arthritis, and there is no doubt that these false remedies did more damage than good.
Continue reading “My Article On The Arthritis Today Website” »
Gluten free. You cannot go anywhere these days without seeing a sign that ever-so-pretentiously informs you that the establishment you are currently frequenting provides gluten-free options, if they aren’t gluten-free altogether. Delicatessens, restaurants, supermarkets, car dealership—it seems like the whole gluten-free craze sprung up overnight and now it’s almost inescapable.
Gluten, for those who don’t know, is a protein found in wheat, rye, and barley. In laymen’s terms, it’s what makes bread chewy. Now, there is an autoimmune disorder called Celiac disease that can swell and irritate the small intestine when gluten is ingested, but that’s not why so much of our current world is gluten-free.
Continue reading “Gluten Sensitivity False & The Importance Of Making Your Own Decisions” »