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Showing posts from October, 2016

Photo Friday: Grasses and Dark Clouds

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Getting Organized: The Desk

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Stopping Rheumatoid Arthritis before It Starts

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I used to think that all the emphasis on raising money for a cure for rheumatoid arthritis was a waste of time. This disease was incurable. All the research in the world couldn't help.

Boy, was I wrong! I now firmly believe that we will see a cure in my lifetime. 

In my new post for RAHealthCentral, I look at the new studies that are exploring how to stop RA before it starts. Doesn't that just blow your mind?

"Wouldn’t it be amazing if we could stop rheumatoid arthritis (RA) before it develops, before it starts wreaking havoc in our bodies?

Does that sound like science fiction or a fairy tale? It isn’t. It’s getting closer to becoming a reality.

A bit of background

Five years ago, I listened to Edward C. Keystone, M.D., F.R.C.P(C) one of the foremost rheumatologists in Canada, talk about how the anti-CCP blood test was leading us toward a bright new future. Because the anti-CCP test can detect RA up to 15 years before it starts, he said it was leading to a rheumatologist b…

Tips to Stop Pretending and Live Authentically with Chronic Illness

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Once a year for Halloween, we dress up and pretend to be someone else. But when you live with a chronic illness, the pretending happens every day, as we tried to act like everything's better than it is. And it can really mess with your life. This week on RAHealthCentral, I wrote about this pretending and share tips on what you can do to live authentically with chronic illness:

"Pretending to be someone you’re not is not just for Halloween when you have a chronic illness. It’s something we do every day, trying to put a better face on life and how we’re really feeling. We do it because of the stigma of chronic illness. We do it because a bit of daily denial can be a coping mechanism, allowing us to get through the day. And we do it because we want our lives to be about something other than just being sick.

The problem with pretending is that it can take over our lives. There is a fine line between putting on a smile so you can get through the day without explaining your c…

Photo Friday: Fall and a Streetcar

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Book Review: The Iron Druid Chronicles

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Restricting Biologics for RA

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We live in an amazing time when there are more treatments for rheumatoid arthritis than ever before. Biologics have had a profound impact on the lives of people with RA and on the field of rheumatology. These drugs are expensive, though, and it can be an obstacle to treatment. Another obstacle is developing. My new post for RAHealthCentral discusses the news that pharmacy benefit managers are attempting to restrict access to these drugs:

"There are ten Biologics currently available to treat rheumatoid arthritis (RA). That does not mean you have access to all of them. 

Insurance companies are famous for the obstacles they place in the way of our access to expensive drugs. For instance, they often use fail-first policies. This means that a number of less expensive medications have to be tried with unsatisfactory results before they will approve a Biologic. We live in an era when rheumatologists treat RA early and aggressively to maximize the chances of remission. But this type …