Showing posts from September, 2017

Tips for Wheelchair Travel

I have always loved travelling, still do even though I can't do so at the moment. But when you use a wheelchair, travelling can have some extra challenges. In my new article for HealthCentral, I share tips to make wheelchair travel easier. Which includes photos from some of my travels!

"Having physical limitations does not have to prevent you from seeing the world. Whether you use a wheelchair full time or have one for backup and going for longer distances, travelling is not only possible — it’s also fun.

I’ve used a wheelchair since I was 16 years old and in it, I have visited several countries in Europe, Romania when it was under communist rule, Las Vegas and California, both coasts of Canada, and more. I’ve seen the ocean, the mountains, and the desert, been to cities and the countryside. Every trip was an adventure and I treasure the memories.

That said, once you add the extra coordinating required for mobility equipment, it can get … shall we say “interesting?” In…

The Invisibility of Pain: The New Ontario Opioid Strategy

Sometimes, sharing the chronic pain voice and perspective on opioids feels like shouting into a gale. But you have to keep trying. Thank you so much to the Canadian Arthritis Patient Alliance for the great work they do and for hosting my article about the new Ontario Opioid Strategy and the missing missing voices of people who have chronic pain therein:

"Ontario has a new opioid strategy and it’s missing the voices of Ontarians who live with chronic pain.

One in five Canadians have chronic pain. The cost of chronic pain is more than the combined cost of cancer, HIV and heart disease. Direct healthcare for those who live with pain exceed 6 billion annually, and lost productivity is $37 billion.

For many who live with chronic pain, opioids are an important part of their pain management program. Without these types of medications, so many of us would be unable to function and participate in our families, communities, and work.

“I was struggling with the pain of unmanaged RA (rheu…

Too Much Work and a Pile of Books


Michael Kuvula & CreakyJoints Team Up to Spread Awareness About RA Through Fashion

This was one of the most fun interviews I've done in a while. Michael Kuluva premiered his 2018 Spring/Summer Tumbler & Tipsy collection at New York Fashion Week last Wednesday. And I got to interview him and get a preview of the collection! In a video! I also talk to Seth Ginsberg of CreakyJoints, the official sponsor of the show.

I can't pop the video into this post, but I promise it will be worth your while (I want that jacket!):

"Lene Andersen gives us a peek into fashion designer Michael Kuvula’s 2018 fashion line, debuting at the fall 2017 New York Fashion Week—and talks about how he’s continuing to use his fashion platform to spread awareness about RA. CreakyJoints president Seth Ginsberg also shares why they’re happy to support Kuvula, and how he’s a shining example of pushing past your chronic illness to do big things in life."

You can also read the accompanying article where Michael talks about his fashion line, Tumbler and Tipsy, and his journey wit…

Breaking the Rules of Being a Chronic Illness Patient: Attitude, Ability and Advocacy

And... mic drop!

In my new article for HealthCentral, I get the teensiest bit opinionated about how breaking the rules of being a "chronic illness patient" can actually be good for you. It includes profiles of some fantastic people who are breaking rules all over:

"A diagnosis of chronic illness brings a host of new things into your life. Some of the obvious include frequent doctor’s appointments, multiple medications, and symptoms that affect your day-to-day life. Not so obvious are the unspoken rules of being a chronic illness patient. Although they are well established, breaking these rules can actually be good for you.
AttitudeOur culture values independence, but that goes out the window once you get a chronic illness. All of a sudden, you’re expected to be meek and passive — a patient rather than a person. Compliance is actually the term used in medicine to describe a “good” patient. That is, someone who complies with what their doctor tells them — someone w…

Emergency Preparedness, First Rheumie Appointments, and Gluten-Free Diets

Sometimes, my writing and the site production gets a little out of whack. And then flurries happen. To wit, here are my last three articles for HealthCentral:

First, and the last kind of timely I ever want to be, a slideshow about what you need to do to be prepared for an emergency when you have a chronic illness. Which reminds me that I have to go get a couple of extra things organized:

"Getting ready for a potential emergency such as a hurricane, tornado, or blackout involves planning ahead in several different areas of your life. Some of your emergency plan will be the same as your healthy and able-bodied neighbors, but you will also need to make plans that specifically address your chronic illness."

Second, being the new to life with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) can be incredibly overwhelming. So I created a slideshow about 11 things you can bring to your first rheumatologist appointment that can make it easier:

"Your family doctor suspected you have rheumatoid arthrit…

The Frantics and Other Fun at Fan Expo