About

I’m a writer and editor, a journalist, a mom and a wife, a cat-friend and a dog-friend. I’ve had rheumatoid arthritis for almost 28 years, but until I started this blog in 2009, I’d never written about it. I figured it was about time.

13 thoughts on “About

  1. Anna C.

    Hi,
    Just stumbled onto your blog from Rob’s Musings/Distractable Mind blog. Just adore him!! I too have RA since even before diagnosis in 1983 and struggle with it most days. I can empathize with you to the hilt since you describe the facts of RA life to the “T”. I was a nurse (critical care) X 35 yrs. and even rode as a “third” on the fire dept ambulance back where I used to live (MS Gulf Coast and New Orleans). RA made my life pure hell! On top of it came diabetes, small airway disease and heart valve problems. I was 33 at diagnosis. I went from being a nurse to being a patient and afterward only able to work very part time. My savings were spent trying to continue to do it alone. My body habitus changed from the side effects of medications, I got depressed as all get out. Most days I could barely move from bed to toilet without weeping all the way. I met an ER doc several months after diagnosis and we were an item for a while. We had a daughter together but due to many conflicts between us, I left him and returned to MS to live and it was downhill from there. I’ve never fully recovered from the financial downturn, even though I eventually returned to critical care. I could only physically work 2 – 3 shifts per week and barely kept a roof over our heads and food in our bellies. But my daughter and I kept on keeping on. However, try as I might, I could no longer physically handle the job as nursing is extremely hard esp. in ICU where there is always some crisis or other to deal with. I went to home nursing but eventually had to do office work for the agency and was a nurse consultant. Getter sicker and sicker and more and more stressed, I finally was laid off permanently and we went to the edge of poverty and jumped off! After a few years I finally was able to get disability but it’s quite paltry. After Hurricane Katrina, I began to have serious problems – couldn’t bathe or dress myself and I was always sick and went into a terrible depression. I’m not able to live on my own anymore so my daughter, who had moved to Atlanta after her freshman college year, came and moved me to Atlanta with her and her partner. So, here I am, and better for it. I have rallied somewhat since living here – less humidity and slightly cooler air than down on the Gulf – but still need help in many things. They have been just wonderful to me here, and Thank God, my daughter loved me so much she truly wanted to have me live with her and has taken good care of me. She is presently about to finish up a degree in business admin. and will also finish up with an advanced degree in nursing in 3 yrs. or so. She has just started her own concierge service and is doing well in it. She’s my pride and joy! We are also dog and cat folks – 2 of each and all males. I am so very happy and pleased to find your blog and hope we can be online friends. Love your attitude. Just as an aside, I let go my nursing license because it was too expensive to continue and boy, was that one of the biggest mistakes of my life. I have tried 2 yrs. to be re-instated in GA but all to no avail since someone with my degree of disability cannot legally get a GA nursing license. They require me to go back to school in GA since I am not currently licensed in any state, and simply start over!! Even if I could afford it, no nursing school will accept me due to my RA, so I’m screwed. I only wanted to be able to have a current license in order to be able to volunteer my knowledge/skills with an organization or other around here. That, alas, is never going to be and I’m just sick over it. Any chronic illness that renders you too weak or ill or stiff to work 12 hrs. a day will be an obstacle to working in direct healthcare of patients. However, you may want to consider training as a health care records specialist, a coding specialist or billing specialist. This might be a route open to you. Hope to read your blog fairly regularly ( I don’t get online but occasionally) as you have really touched my heart as someone who can tell it like it is regarding RA.
    Thanks for taking the time to blog AND to read this long e-mail! LOL
    Anna

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  4. Thank you Wren for sharing your experiences with the rest of us. I never knew about how devastating RA is a until I found out a family friend had RA. I didn’t even know she’s had it for 30 years because she never complained even though she was always in pain. I just thought the things she was going through were diabetes related(?) I guess I just didn’t know and should’ve asked. I think she always tried to hide it. She is now on a natural therapy and her condition has improved dramatically, but it has been quite an experience for me personally to see how RA not only affected her but her entire family. I hope you keep sharing your experiences and educating others.

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    1. Karen Ventura

      Hi katie, I was wondering what you meant when you said ” she was on a natural therapy, and her condition improved dramatically”?

      Karen

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  5. robertaskey

    I am sorry to hear of your condition. I don’t know how it feels to suffer from one, but I have lived with someone who did.

    My wife of nearly 22 years died from an auto-immune condition called Multiple Sclerosis after suffering from it for almost a quarter of a century.

    There is still no cure for the disease, and not really much in the way of effective treatment but the research through the MS Society continues, and it is important that a cure AND effective treatments for the symptoms are found soon.

    I am walking through the entire west coast of Scotland to raise funds for the MS Society in the UK. Please take the time to share my story and encourage others to participate.

    Oh, and thanks for sharing *your* story.

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  6. Hi Karen, Yes, my friend Teri is on a natural therapy that has helped her a lot. I can explain, but it is a little complicated. Feel free to email me katelycho@gmailcom .

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  7. Hi Wren.
    I came across your article https://rheumatoidarthritis.net/?p=12035 on Facebook.
    I too have RA/OA and what I provides me relief is dead sea salt bath soaks. My medical massage therapist says that the salts must be dead sea salt and not epsom, as epsom sits on top of the skin whereas the dead sea salts penetrate the skin. I decided to try the baths, at first I did nightly before bedtime for 1/2 hour, then every other night, now to a few times a week. I’m sure it’s different for each person but hopefully this can help provide you relief.

    Like the parafin it’s temporary but I did find after time, it was quite helpful and also helped with my insomnia. I purchase my salts from San Francisco Salt Company. It comes in a variety of sizes. This is the one I buy and it lasts 3 months. I use about a cup per soak. http://www.sfsalt.com/inc/sdetail/minera-dead-sea-salt—20-lbs/110

    Hope you find this to be helpful and that you have more good days than not.

    Kara

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  8. Rick Phillips

    Hi Wren,

    First I am sorry for dropping in on your blog like this.

    I want to let you know, that I opened a survey this afternoon for RABlog week 2016. I hope you will drop by and answer a few questions about Blog week so I can do some planning. The survey link is:

    https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/QY

    I really value your opinion any insight you have will be greatly appreciated.

    rick

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  9. Hi Wren.

    So great to see people blogging and helping each other out in this worldwide autoimmunity epidemic! Please bear with me if you don’t know me… I am not selling anything or taking advantage in any way. I suffered horribly with psoriatic arthritis and other autoimmune issues, but rejected medication and decided to go my own way with it, studying and experimenting for years until I succeeded in reversing it. This book is my story from diagnosis to success with all the crazy wrong turns and magical discoveries that happened in between (with a foreword by well-known neurosurgeon and biohacker Dr. Jack Kruse). I’d like to just let you know that it is FREE on Amazon Kindle for the next three days from the 26th, so if you’d like a copy, go and grab one. I really hope that my story inspires, and if you’d like to leave an honest review, I’d be very grateful.
    Link below to Amazon US, but it is available in all territories.

    https://www.amazon.com/ARTHRITIS-Psoriatic-Rheumatoid-Arthritis-Autoimmunity-ebook/dp/B01HRLWSRC/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1468398566&sr=1-1&keywords=phil+escott#navbar

    Kind regards,
    Phil.

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