Today, is a day to raise awareness. It is a day to promote understanding.
There have been so many misunderstandings over the years partly due to this diseases name.
It is severely underfunded and needs more money for research. There is no cure.
In my 25 years, I have had people close to me act like it is not a big deal. I have sat at events and heard comments such as "the worst pain anyone can ever have is a toothache." In the early days of my DISEASE someone sprayed WD40 on my arm. I'm sadly not joking about this, I didn't have a voice at that time and they were insistent it would loosen up my joints. (I don't recommend it).
It would be wonderful if because of this effort sufferers no longer have to hear, "I have arthritis too." It took me 25 years to start writing this blog due to that kind of treatment. When people hear "arthritis" they think it is no big deal. I can assure you Rheumatoid Disease is a big deal.
I have waited 25 years for this day. That is the amount of time since my diagnosis with RA. I was diagnosed at 24 years old. That day my life changed forever. How do you go from one day being full of energy chasing small children, working crazy hours to being in a wheelchair?
You do if you are hit with full blown RA. Fast forward a bit, appointments, strange doctors with strange titles giving me all kinds of medication. Eventually I got on my feet. I have learned how to live with this disease, it is an ongoing process and it is so much more than just Arthritis.
I love the correlation to groundhog day, it is one of my favorite movies and I have often commented to my husband that having this disease is just like that movie. Living the same day over and over.
Please take the time to visit the Rheumatoid Patient Foundation website to learn more. Share the links. Donate. Take the time and learn about RD. We would all appreciate it.
One last note, I would like to thank my local newspaper, and especially Matt for taking the time to write a story on Rheumatoid Awareness Day. (See my previous post the link is there) When so many don't care, it's nice to know there are some who care to make a difference. To all my fellow Rheumies, Happy Rheumatoid Awareness Day!