I’m in Boston at the moment — a long, long way from home but hey, everyone can use a change of scenery once in a while. And what scenery! I’m at a hotel near Faneuil Hall, with skycrapers and U.S. history everywhere I look. I’m a happy camper.
I’m also happy to be taking part in the Joint Decisions Summit*, a gathering of autoimmune arthritis blogger/advocates, members of the SqueakyJoints.org arthritis community, and Jannsen Biotech. The reason for the Summit? To discuss and brainstorm ways for patients, doctors, and others interested in helping people with RA and other autoimmune arthritis diseases to better communicate and work together for help in coping with the disease and come closer to finding a cure.
All this is taking place during the American College of Rheumatology’s Annual Conference, which opens today. We’re surrounded–literally–by rheumatologists from all over the world. Many of us bloggers will be attending the conference tomorrow afternoon as members of the press. I hope to bring back some new and exciting information for you.
And now, here’s the best part: my fellow bloggers. Last night I got to meet:
- Carla Kienast—Carla’s Corner
- Angela Lundberg—Inflamed: Living with Rheumatoid Arthritis
- Amanda John—All Flared Up
- Cathy Kramer—The Life and Adventures of Catepoo
- Dina Neils—The Titanium Triathlete
- Leslie Rott—Getting Closer to Myself
- Mariah Leach—From This Point. Forward.
- Eduardo Flores—Rheumatoid Arthritis Guy
- Rachelle Crow-Hercher—Spoonless Mama
- Brittany Johnson—The Hurt Blogger
I’m sorry I don’t have links to all their websites, but I’ll repost them later, when I’ve got a little more time.
I can’t tell you how delighted I was–and am–to meet all these great people! For me, this is a truly special event. I’ve lived for 27 years with RA without ever meeting–in the flesh, that is–another human being who shared this disease with me. And now, suddenly, there are ten–count ’em–10 of them here with me, eager to talk, share notes, commisserate, and most of all, laugh. They’ve traveled here to Boston from all over the U.S.; Eduardo (RA Guy) arrived yesterday from La Paz, Bolivia, an amazing city nestled high into a canyon high in Andes mountains.
Incredible. Also incredible: how cold it is here in Boston. Our hosts kindly supplied us with a heaping handful of HotHands chemical hand- and foot-warmers. When I first saw them, I chuckled and thought to myself, “aw, how cute. I won’t need them.”
Heh. My achy, persnickety feet, in my new, low heeled pumps, just about froze solid this morning when I went out for a light breakfast and a cup of coffee. So when I got back to my room, I decided to try the foot-warmers.
OMG. They work!
Thanks, HotHands! Thanks, SJ/Jannsen. Wow! My tootsies will be nice and warm all day long. I stuck the handwarmers into my jacket pockets, too–so when my sore fingers feel bleh during the day today, I can just stick them in my pockets for a little therapeutic heat. Incredible.
OK, guys. Gotta go–the summit starts soon. I’ll write more–and post pictures–soon.