Showing posts from May, 2013

Pain Charts Are Biased

I have come to a conclusion: Pain scales and charts are biased against arthritis. And I have a wonderful argument of why. First of all, it's easy to rate a single pain at its current condition. But when you're asking me of my general condition, most likely you won't get a right answer. You see, if some joints are a 3, two are 5 and my back is at a 9, when averaged out my overall pain is less than 5. However, my back is keeping me from living life. So... How does that work? Especially when your doctor says "Yes, your back is a nine but overall..." But all you can feel is your back? With arthritis there are no zero/no pain days. There are 8/hurts a lot days, 6/hurts even more days, 4/hurts a little more and the occasional 2/hurts a little days when I'm lucky. But by no means are there zero/ no hurt days. I kind of feel cheated that my painful day is only a 8 but it won't be taken seriously. Another person with an 8 will be cared for (and rightly so), but

Arthritis and Social Security Disability

I have heard many stories of people in America having a difficult time trying to get benefits for their disability. This post contains help for any person in the US with arthritis who would like to apply for Social Security Disability. This article is here for my reader's benefit, and I hope you are able to find guidance in this post. It was written by Ram Meyyappan at Social Security Disability Help. Links to Social Security Disability Help are featured at the end of this article. -Elizabeth Arthritis and Social Security Disability   Though various forms of arthritis may allow you to continue working for some time after the initial onset of the disease, as symptoms progress most forms become increasingly debilitating, putting more and more limitations on your everyday abilities to complete normal job functions and tasks in your personal life as well. If you suffer from arthritis that is preventing you from working as you once did, you may be able to qualify for Socia

The Pain of Psoriais

Skin psoriasis. Nobody wants it, but some of us get it. And some may be thinking, "Psoriasis? So what? It's just an itchy elbow." But anyone who has it knows that's not the case. Unfortunately even when diseases are very visable, they are still considered to be 'not a big deal.' I can't understand why it would be thought as not a big deal, but the reality is is that psoriasis is a chronic disease which can cause a lot of pain, embarassement and emotional stress. And far too many people don't see it. I do not have skin psoriasis. I am very lucky I do not have skin psoriasis. I am very thankful I do not have skin psoriasis. However, my psoriatic arthritis had to come from someone and that someone is my mum. My wonderful mum has psoriasis and there is not a day that passes where I wish I could take that away. This was not a life long problem- she got it when I was ten years old during a very stressful time. Regardless, it's a horrible thing to live

Pain in the Neck

I had a cold the past week and I'm ninety nine per cent sure it has settled in my neck. Currently I cannot turn my head, look up, tilt my head or move. It's extremely painful and I can feel the tension in my neck. It's been this way for about three and a half days now. Not exactly a good time right now.  I had called the hospital yesterday asking to speak with one of the rheumatologists but they never got back to me and the doctor I saw Thursday about my neck (and cold symptoms) gave me antibiotics in case I had a virus and told me my neck should get better- that I probably slept wrong.  Yesterday I spent the day in pyjamas and relaxing. When I woke up today in the wee hours of the night in pain, I decided I would relax again today. But after a few hours, I decided enough was enough. I got dressed, did some washing up and I'm getting work done. I had the day to myself anyway, so it's not as if I'm actually missing out on something. If my neck isn't going t

"Did You Know You Can Cure Arthritis with..."

I stand at a family gathering, watching the events around me. I had been sitting all day and just needed to stand for a minute. Also, I had a bit too much chocolate cake and hopped standing would help my over filled stomach. That's when my auntie came over to me. "You shouldn't be standing: it's bad for your back." She means well. "I've been sitting all day, I really need to stretch." I didn't feel like adding the bit about stuffing myself with cake. I began to ponder the reason standing would be bad for my back when she began to speak again. "You know, the other day I read about a remedy that works wonderfully for people with chronic arthritis..." I could feel the corners of my mouth move up. Not into a grin, but into a smirk. The kind of smirk that appeared when my mum asked me if I liked a red and white striped blouse and I began to sing 'The Candy Man Can.' I tried to get myself to stop, but I couldn't help it. She

Horrible Gym Class

I was taught that teachers are there to help us. And typically this is the case. Except for gym teachers.  I used to go to school with very athletic children. Naturally, gym classes were very competitive and intense. And with extremely athletic children comes extremely athletic teachers. The worst was a woman who didn't take 'I can't,' 'I'm sick,' or 'My bone is literally protruding from my skin,' as an excuse to sit out of class or to take it easy. One can only imagine the fun I had in that class: Crying after a horrible game of basketball where she kept yelling at me to push harder. Her encouraging everyone to call me names when I limped heavily. Being treated horribly by her after my doctor made it clear I am not to participate and should do special excersises instead. And my favourite; The time she made me cry of embarrassment when she pointed out how slow I am, how 'stupid' my knees look and why I'm generally inferior. What

The Unspeakable

I did something that's unspeakable. It's the worse thing in the world to do. And even though everyone in the world tells you not to- that it's not worth it under any consequence- I just had to. I know I shouldn't have but I wanted to see what it was like. If I told anyone, especially the doctor, I'll never be trusted again. That's right- I tried Googling my disease... Oh the shame. Now I'm just so depressed and have the idea I'll never get better swimming about in my head, or at least that's what the doctor said would happen. Okay, no more of that. What I did find out is quite a few things that I didn't know and explains quite a lot! Such as, did you know juvenile psoriatic arthritis is a rare form of juvenile arthritis? It only accounts for about ten per cent of cases, where as rheumatoid accounts for about seventy five per cent. I feel somewhat special now. Also, it tends to take years to diagnose since it tends to be very similar to rheu

How to Get a Doctor to Listen

"How do you get a doctor to listen to you?" This is the ultimate question. The answer is so rare and secretive, that is it priceless. There is just one secret statement that will make a doctor listen and that statement is.... Well. It's more complicated than that. It's hard to believe but doctors are real people. And like the general population, their personalities differ. You're going to get along with some and you will not with others. Some people are introverts and others are extroverts. We all have our good and bad days. Doctors are like teachers: You loved some and hated some, some loved you and others didn't. And it was for many different reasons. Some saw your potential, and others passed you off as nothing special. And it doesn't mean much at times. For example, Teachers said John Lennon would go nowhere. It's the same basic idea with doctors. First, we have to realise that some people are better at listening than others. This and other p

Yoga... Helpful?

Earlier in the week I asked for some suggestions for posts through Facebook and Twitter. The first request/question I got was from Kate Quantrell-Clarke saying "Yoga... Helpful???" Thank you Kate! For many years I have heard many benefits of yoga. Numerous people have found great results through stretching and strengthing. I think it's important to learn what yoga is and it's original practice. Even though it is presently considered physical exercise, yoga is an ancient practice of strengthing your mind, body, breathe and spirituality. Yoga that is meant to help you physically is called hatha yoga and there are various forms of it. Some are vigorous to build stamina, some are done at certain temperatures, and others are for relaxation and meditation. It can very easily become a life style due to how much it can help one physically and mentally. Gentle forms are highly recommended for people with physical disabilities because of its calm and subtle nature when done a

Confessions of a (Young) Teen with Arthritis

I'm obviously not a young teenager. However, I once was. And I was a young teenager with arthritis too. That was not a fun time at all. Not only was my body going through all those awkward phases, but I had to deal with arthritis, medicines, side effects and a lot of emotional pain from all that. It's hard to forget life back then. Recently I've thought about that time. And I'm willing to share some of it in the form of confessions. And now I present Confessions of a (Young) Teenager with Arthritis. 1. My mood swings were both hormones and medicine. It's not well known that many medications can cause mood changes in people. Thus it's not surprise that I was very moody. Whilst it doesn't happen to everyone, it happened to me. Fridays were my Methotrexate days and the rest of the weekend could be miserable at times. It was very bad at times, so much so I said a lot of things I still regret. 2. I felt alienated from my peers. Okay, I never exactly fit in wi

Dancing Arthritis Away

Last night I went out and did something I haven't done in a very long time- I went dancing. I know, it's an insane thing to do! Especially because I haven't been feeling that well all week. But I went out and did it anyway. And it was amazing. I had a great night and was really sore. But after about three cups of coffee, I was okay. And this morning aside from some stiffness, soreness, and some nausea I am absolutely fine. I'm shocked! My back and hips were killing me all week and then Friday it was like it all vanished. If there is one thing I will never understand, it is arthritis. It has been said numerous times but I cannot emphasise how when you have arthritis, there are days you are miserably ill and others you are on top of the world! This disease is very confusing, especially when you can barely move on Thursday but can go out dancing on Friday night. It can be frustrating when one day you can do something but the next day you can't. It's upsetting w

Encouragment for Arthritis

A letter to Tom, a friend who is going through a hard time with his arthritis. Also, to anyone who needs it too. Dear Tom, Never let arthritis quiet you down. Be loud. Be proud. Be the person you've dreamt of being. A diagnosis defines the way your body works- not the person it contains. A mind is a beautiful thing: Never waste it. Even when your body can't seem to work right, build your mind and you'll go farther than you would ever believe. I know feeling broken can break you, but know that there is always a rainbow after a storm. It's hard to believe it at times, but there is so much hope. You never know what may work. There will be days when you are on top of the world. And sometimes nothing will be accomplished, but does it matter all that much so long as you tried? Don't let it stop you. Keep going on. Never let arthritis get in the way of your visions, your ideas and passions. Pain will never be stronger than your creative eye Tom, and the strength of

Arthritis Edition: Ten Best Things

1. Caps that come off easily. 2. Good days. 3. When someone 'gets it.' 4. Warmth. 5. Hot tubs. 6. Clothes without small buttons or snaps. 7. Comfortable shoes. 8. Doctors who care. 9. When someone remembers your disease and helps before you ask. 10. Medicine that both works and makes you feel good.

Things Healthy People Ask Me

I'm most likely correct when I say people with arthritis or any other chronic illness has probably heard one of these before. And being the very sarcastic teenager I am, I always have a great responce. :) "Autoim- what? Is it contagious?!" Autoimmune arthritis means that my own body is the cause of my arthritis. There are very many types of autoimmune diseases  out there, and most of them are chronic. And no, it's not contagious... sometimes I like letting people think that for a moment though. "Arthritis? Do you have hip replacements?" No.. I don't have hips of steal. Unfortunately, since most people associate arthritis as an old person's disease it is just expected that all of us have titanium joints. "If it hurts so much, why don't you use a wheelchair?" If you're not in pain at all, why aren't you moving all the time? "Why don't you take the medicine I saw on television?" Because it's not a