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Macon Chronicle-Herald - Macon, MO
Rheumatoid Arthritis and Fibromyalgia
Myths and Facts about RA
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About this blog
By Pamela Engelhard
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Nov. 14, 2012 9:40 a.m.



Myths and Facts about RA 

Let’s see how much you know about Rheumatoid Arthritis.

http://www.webmd.com/rheumatoid-arthritis/rm-quiz-rheumatoid-arthritis-myths-facts - http://www.webmd.com/rheumatoid-arthritis/rm-quiz-rheumatoid-arthritis-myths-facts

I have the disease and I made a couple of mistakes on the quiz. I was not diagnosed with RA until March 2006, after my ‘child-bearing’ days so I am a bit unaware of the risks associated with RA and pregnancy. Believe me, with the continued research I do, if this was something I would have had to handle, it would have been thoroughly researched as well.

I don’t pretend to have all the answers about Rheumatoid Arthritis. I am not sure that anyone does. RA does not have the funding that some other medical conditions have simply because there are not enough people talking about it as yet. But that is changing daily. If you Google (or use a different search engine) rheumatoid arthritis today, you will see a more extensive list than I saw when I was first diagnosed. Its victims are getting the word out now but it has taken advancements in social media to do this and there are still so many people in the U.S. who have no idea what RA is.

If you learn nothing else from my blog than this, then I will be happy…when someone tells you they have a medical condition, don’t just assume you know what it is based on one word being familiar. Having people tell me they have RA and they are speaking of osteoarthritis (OA) or when they say, “But you don’t look sick…” is hurtful and very frustrating. I have even been told it is all in my head and that as I am getting older, aches and pains are a part of life.

People with RA are twice as likely to die as people their age who do not have it. Since it is an autoimmune disorder we are more likely to succumb to infections and with the biologic medicine I take to control the RA, the risk increases even more.

Many of us take cancer treatments (chemotherapy) to control the disease and have to take steroids on a daily or monthly basis. This disease is unpredictable and it loves to remind us that we are not in control of our own bodies. Things will be going along great then you wake up in the middle of the night almost crying from the pain, sometimes actually crying. 

I had to end this with two pieces of good news. #1: I FINALLY slept after a week of little to no sleep. You can’t imagine just how good I feel today!!! #2: Studies are showing that use of biologics treatment in RA patients is decreasing hospitalizations. Find out more in the article: http://www.everydayhealth.com/rheumatoid-arthritis/1113/use-of-biologic-drugs-for-rheumatoid-arthritis-cuts-hospitalizations.aspx?xid=aol_eh-arth_8_20121112_&aolcat=AJA&icid=maing-grid7|maing7|dl11|sec3_lnk3%26pLid=234349

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