Saturday, February 1, 2014

What Would Rheumatoid Awareness Mean To Me?

Rheumatoid Awareness Day is Feb. 2!  RA Warrior is featuring a Blog Carnival to invite other Rheumatoid Patient bloggers to add our voice for awareness of this chronic, systemic, incurable autoimmune disease. 

The first and most important thing that would be different if every one on the planet were aware of Rheumatoid Disease (aka Rheumatoid Arthritis) is that there would be more money for research. More research would lead to better treatments and hopefully, a cure. There is no cure for RD.

On a more fundamental level, if physicians and other healthcare providers were more aware, it would lead to earlier diagnosis, better patient care, and better outcomes. Having to fight for good care is incredibly frustrating, and for many patients, is stymied by the shortage of rheumatologists in their area. Pediatric rheumatologists, like the one who diagnosed me, are very rare. Many pediatric Rheumatoid patients have to travel to see their doctor; some families move for better care for their children with Rheumatoid disease.

On an interpersonal note, if Rheumatoid patients enjoyed awareness among our loved ones and strangers alike, we wouldn’t have to fight ignorance, judgments, and drama at home and out in the world. 

We would have more help and more understanding from our partners, spouses, children, families, coworkers, and community. We wouldn't face invalidating comments like "you're too young" or "you should try such-and-such home remedy."  We wouldn’t have an abnormally high divorce rate on top of the tremendous difficulty of living with Rheumatoid Disease.

In the four years since I began actively promoting awareness of my disease, speaking out as a patient, and advocating for Rheumatoid patients, I have seen the tide start to turn. In my 30th year with Rheumatoid Disease, I have great hope for a future in which all of these will become a reality.


Carry on!
Shannon


Rheumatoid Awareness Day is Feb. 2! Click for info!

P.S. - Check out other bloggers participating in RAWarrior’s Blog Carnival. Express your support by changing your social media profiles to increase awareness of Rheumatoid Disease (aka Rheumatoid Arthritis). Take a look here to find graphics you can save and use in your social media profiles to spread awareness of this 2nd annual event!  

It’s easy to spread awareness on Facebook by joining the online event and sharing to your FB profile! You can also add an RD ribbon to your Twitter and Facebook profile picture.

Importantly, you can make a donation to the RPF to be matched by Crescendo Bioscience.  No donation is too small to help make a difference!

Press Release for Rheumatoid Awareness Day: http://rheum4us.org/press-release-rheumatoid-arthritis-awareness-day 

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