Friday, June 27, 2014

Rheumatoid Arthritis Treatment Then and Now

I talk a lot about the revolutionary changes in RA treatment. This week on HealthCentral, I went into some more depth about how, specifically, RA treatment has changed:

"Receiving a diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) used to mean an inevitable deterioration into joint damage, deformity and disability. Receiving an RA diagnosis now means a much better chance for remission or low disease activity so you can lead a better life. Today, I’ll take a look at the changes in the approach to treating RA and what it means for you.


The Pyramid
The traditional approach to treating RA was a stepped up pyramid (1). When first diagnosed, you would be prescribed NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, such as Voltaren or Orudis) and nothing else for a long time. When that didn’t work, you might be upgraded to steroids and down the road, perhaps gold shots. Much further down this road, you might be prescribed Plaquenil. The key phrase governing this approach was “go low and go slow.” Unfortunately, while you were going low and slow, the disease was going fast and furious, eating up the cartilage in your joints, causing damage that affected your ability to move on a permanent basis."

  

Receiving a diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) used to mean an inevitable deterioration into joint damage, deformity and disability. Receiving an RA diagnosis now means a much better chance for remission or low disease activity so you can lead a better life. Today, I’ll take a look at the changes in the approach to treating RA and what it means for you.

The Pyramid
The traditional approach to treating RA was a stepped up pyramid (1). When first diagnosed, you would be prescribed NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, such as Voltaren or Orudis) and nothing else for a long time. When that didn’t work, you might be upgraded to steroids and down the road, perhaps gold shots. Much further down this road, you might be prescribed Plaquenil. The key phrase governing this approach was “go low and go slow.” Unfortunately, while you were going low and slow, the disease was going fast and furious, eating up the cartilage in your joints, causing damage that affected your ability to move on a permanent basis.
- See more at: http://www.healthcentral.com/rheumatoid-arthritis/c/80106/170060/rheumatoid#sthash.EbKdlztz.dpuf
Receiving a diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) used to mean an inevitable deterioration into joint damage, deformity and disability. Receiving an RA diagnosis now means a much better chance for remission or low disease activity so you can lead a better life. Today, I’ll take a look at the changes in the approach to treating RA and what it means for you.
The Pyramid
The traditional approach to treating RA was a stepped up pyramid (1). When first diagnosed, you would be prescribed NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, such as Voltaren or Orudis) and nothing else for a long time. When that didn’t work, you might be upgraded to steroids and down the road, perhaps gold shots. Much further down this road, you might be prescribed Plaquenil. The key phrase governing this approach was “go low and go slow.” Unfortunately, while you were going low and slow, the disease was going fast and furious, eating up the cartilage in your joints, causing damage that affected your ability to move on a permanent basis.
Receiving a diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) used to mean an inevitable deterioration into joint damage, deformity and disability. Receiving an RA diagnosis now means a much better chance for remission or low disease activity so you can lead a better life. Today, I’ll take a look at the changes in the approach to treating RA and what it means for you.

The Pyramid
The traditional approach to treating RA was a stepped up pyramid (1). When first diagnosed, you would be prescribed NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, such as Voltaren or Orudis) and nothing else for a long time. When that didn’t work, you might be upgraded to steroids and down the road, perhaps gold shots. Much further down this road, you might be prescribed Plaquenil. The key phrase governing this approach was “go low and go slow.” Unfortunately, while you were going low and slow, the disease was going fast and furious, eating up the cartilage in your joints, causing damage that affected your ability to move on a permanent basis.
- See more at: http://www.healthcentral.com/rheumatoid-arthritis/c/80106/170060/rheumatoid#sthash.EbKdlztz.dpuf
Receiving a diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) used to mean an inevitable deterioration into joint damage, deformity and disability. Receiving an RA diagnosis now means a much better chance for remission or low disease activity so you can lead a better life. Today, I’ll take a look at the changes in the approach to treating RA and what it means for you.

The Pyramid
The traditional approach to treating RA was a stepped up pyramid (1). When first diagnosed, you would be prescribed NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, such as Voltaren or Orudis) and nothing else for a long time. When that didn’t work, you might be upgraded to steroids and down the road, perhaps gold shots. Much further down this road, you might be prescribed Plaquenil. The key phrase governing this approach was “go low and go slow.” Unfortunately, while you were going low and slow, the disease was going fast and furious, eating up the cartilage in your joints, causing damage that affected your ability to move on a permanent basis.
- See more at: http://www.healthcentral.com/rheumatoid-arthritis/c/80106/170060/rheumatoid#sthash.EbKdlztz.dpuf
Receiving a diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) used to mean an inevitable deterioration into joint damage, deformity and disability. Receiving an RA diagnosis now means a much better chance for remission or low disease activity so you can lead a better life. Today, I’ll take a look at the changes in the approach to treating RA and what it means for you.

The Pyramid
The traditional approach to treating RA was a stepped up pyramid (1). When first diagnosed, you would be prescribed NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, such as Voltaren or Orudis) and nothing else for a long time. When that didn’t work, you might be upgraded to steroids and down the road, perhaps gold shots. Much further down this road, you might be prescribed Plaquenil. The key phrase governing this approach was “go low and go slow.” Unfortunately, while you were going low and slow, the disease was going fast and furious, eating up the cartilage in your joints, causing damage that affected your ability to move on a permanent basis.
- See more at: http://www.healthcentral.com/rheumatoid-arthritis/c/80106/170060/rheumatoid#sthash.EbKdlztz.dpuf
Receiving a diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) used to mean an inevitable deterioration into joint damage, deformity and disability. Receiving an RA diagnosis now means a much better chance for remission or low disease activity so you can lead a better life. Today, I’ll take a look at the changes in the approach to treating RA and what it means for you.

The Pyramid
The traditional approach to treating RA was a stepped up pyramid (1). When first diagnosed, you would be prescribed NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, such as Voltaren or Orudis) and nothing else for a long time. When that didn’t work, you might be upgraded to steroids and down the road, perhaps gold shots. Much further down this road, you might be prescribed Plaquenil. The key phrase governing this approach was “go low and go slow.” Unfortunately, while you were going low and slow, the disease was going fast and furious, eating up the cartilage in your joints, causing damage that affected your ability to move on a permanent basis.
- See more at: http://www.healthcentral.com/rheumatoid-arthritis/c/80106/170060/rheumatoid#sthash.EbKdlztz.dpuf

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

A Perfect Start to Summer

Summer officially arrived this past weekend and for me, that was reason enough to scuttle all work and goof off intensely for three days. I can highly recommend it.

The adventure started on Friday, when I wandered down to the Redpath Waterfront Festival to check out the Dock Dogs competition. These dogs are incredible and clearly enjoyed every moment of being on deck (dock?) 



This one's called Meadow. She won this part, jumping for a toy positioned at 6'4"! As you can see, her human was justifiably excited.


In the evening, I wandered up to Toronto Reference Library - a big building full of books. Heaven. I wasn't there for the books, though. I was there to see Diana Gabaldon talk on the occasion of Written in My Own Heart's Blood: A Novel (Outlander) the latest book in the Outlander series being released.


For the record, Diana Gabaldon is a very funny woman. If you ever get the opportunity to hear her speak, go. You'll have a grand time.

This weekend was also the start of Pride week. Toronto is host to World Pride this year and that means there are rainbow flags in even more places than there usually is (including rainbow crosswalks in the Village). I love this time of year. It reminds me that my city is an inclusive one.


And this is where I have to ask for your patience. I spent Saturday and Sunday at the Lake, watching the inaugural North American Flyboarding Championships. What is flyboard, you ask? Check out this video and prepared to pick up your jaw from the floor. This is easily one of the coolest things I have ever seen and I very, very much want to try it. As that will have to wait for my next life, I did the next best thing. I watched one day, then came back the day after and took lots of photos on both days. I'm about to share several of these. Numerous several of these. If this doesn't interest you, feel free to walk away and I'll see you for my next post.

For those of you who are still here, are ready to be astounded? Even gobsmacked?





Flyboard is described as a mix of flying like Ironman and the ability to swim like a dolphin. And that is very true. These (admittedly not quite sane) guys made this new extreme water sport look easy. It was like a combination between acrobatics and dancing. We heard facts like the names of the different moves, that they are harnessing 260 hp from the jet ski, that hose management is essential to avoid flipping your boat (which results in disqualification), and much else besides. But mostly, I was transfixed, fascinated and captivated. It just never got old — I could have watched it for several more days, if it wasn't for the fact that despite using SPF 50 sunscreen, I'm looking a bit like a lobster in certain places. I hope the fly guys come back to Toronto soon.




During a break in the semifinals on Sunday, there was a demonstration of a hoverboard, a new invention which will be available to the public in July. It, too, has a video that makes you want to try to fly.


Amazing. What a terrific start to summer!
  

Friday, June 20, 2014

True Catastrophizing



You know how I feel about catastrophizing (here, here and here). It's that terrible term used to belittle the concerns of people with chronic illness and chronic pain. When you’re in the middle of an intense flare, it’s a fairly normal response to wonder if it’ll ever end, yet medical professionals define it as viewing the situation is worse than it really is. Oh, sure. They’re not the ones in the middle of the pain. 

Anyway! To establish a contrast, I’d like to offer up the following moment between me and The Boy that exemplifies true catastrophizing.

He and I like to daydream about places we’d like to go. We won’t actually go anywhere — he doesn’t have the travel bug and I can’t travel. At the moment. I have high hopes for being able to do so again in the future. This past weekend, we were talking about cabins in the woods and then he mentioned a hotel in the Grand Canyon that has a suiteunderground, in a cavern. He explained that you’d be getting down at the end of the day and spend the night. When I wondered how you’d leave again, he stated that there was a call button by the elevator so the staff can send the elevator down for you.

Me: “What?”

The Boy repeats the information.

Me (somewhat panicked): “what if there is a nuclear war?”

The Boy: “???”

Me: “or an asteroid strike?”

The Boy: “um….”

Me: “how would we get out??”

The Boy: “erm, I think maybe if there’d been a nuclear war, getting out would not be our biggest worry…”

Me: “so, we'd just stay there. And starve?”

The Boy: “pretty much. What with the nuclear war and all.”

Me: “but isn’t there another way to get out? What if the elevator doesn’t work? Are you just doomed to stay until someone remembers you’re there? What if you want to leave in the middle of the night??”

The Boy: “…”

Me: “did I mention I’m slightly claustrophobic? I need an escape route! We can't go if there's no escape route!!”

And this is when The Boy put his head in his hands and whimpered quietly. He does that sometimes. I've no idea why.