Showing posts from June, 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 g

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. Th

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 suite underground, in a cavern . He explained that you’d be getting down at the