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Showing posts from March, 2013

Evidence vs. Experience

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I have what can best be described as a crapload of allergies. Some of them have been around since I was a kid — if I ate too many grapes or apples, I’d get hives — but others are new additions. First came kiwi, then 15 years ago certain kinds of nuts arrived, taking with them all other kinds of nuts due to the risk of cross-contamination (I miss nuts…). Then came Enbrel, which made me allergic to what seemed like the entire world. Since I started Humira, I’ve gradually added back foods, but still have a number of interesting limitations, what between cross allergies — did you know that if you're allergic to kiwi, you probably have a cross allergy to melon? I found out the hard way — aggravated histamine levels thanks to Humira and my body’s just plain persnicketyness.
Living with a crapload of allergies is a pain in the arse, particularly nut allergies. Because of the cross contamination issue, having a nut allergy means being pretty paranoid about other kinds of foods. You can'…

Blog Tour: Getting Closer to Myself

The latest stop on the Your Life with Rheumatoid Arthritis Blog Tour is Getting Closer to Myself, Leslie Rott's blog about living with the double whammy of RA and lupus. Leslie is a graduate student in sociology and asked some great questions. I thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to delve deeper into the topic.

You can read our Q&A on Leslie's blog here.

Better Than Chewing!

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I blame Laurie for this.

A week ago, she wrote about incorporating more fruits and vegetables in her diet by making smoothies. Kale smoothies, in particular. My naturopath has been trying to get me into smoothies for while (a long while), but no luck so far. Then I read Laurie's post and got all excited about her mentioning the NutriBullet. Because the Bullet has intrigued me for some time (and I know some of you out there are now snickering for reasons completely unrelated to the topic of this post). I'm talking about the MagicBullet. The smoothie making blender thing. Anyway! I've been tempted to buy it for a while, but wasn't sure how well it would work and never quite got around to it.

That happens a lot around here.

Enter the NutriBullet. It looked sturdier than the MagicBullet and is specifically designed to have a stronger motor that can get at the fibers in things like kale. Which is good for you. It has calcium, something that I'm more conscious of needing a…

Happy 40th, Janne!

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Today, my little sister turns 40 years old.

It seems impossible. I mean, she looked like this just the other day


My mother has a theory. For as long as I can remember, she's told us that women come into their own at 40.That this is the age where you stop being so worried about what other people think and rely on your own judgement. You get strong, you get opinionated - okay, in the case of the women in my family, more opinionated - and you figure out who you are and what you want in life. And then you go get it.

My mother is always right. Every woman I know has made a shift around the age of 40 and my darling sister is no different. Janne has always been the bestest to me. Although there's 10 years between us, we've always managed to bridge the gap and remain not just sisters, but friends, as well. Every day, I count myself lucky that she's my sister. And every day, she is more beautiful, more self-assured, smarter, stronger, and a woman to be reckoned with.

Happy 40th, Ja…

Real RA: The Great Pretender

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People with RA lie all the time.

How are you?
Fine. You?

How’s the pain today?
Not bad.
Are you worried? Not at all. I’m sure everything will be OK.
It’s a necessity of life with this damn disease. If you're honest, not only will your friends and family start avoiding you, but you'll start to bore yourself, too. There's only so much unrelenting crap anyone can deal with before it gets old and miserable and you want to run screaming for the hills. But when you live inside the crap, there's no way to run.
And so you lie.
You lie to the people you love most because seeing the worry in their eyes makes you want to protect them. You lie to acquaintances because it takes a certain level of intimacy to talk about the true impact of your RA on your life. You lie to the clerk at the grocery store because she doesn't really want to know how you are while cashing out your orange juice, crackers and toilet paper. You lie to your doctor, telling them only the most urgent issues because …

Blog Tour: MyLungsMyLife

Jenni is 16 years old, lives in the UK and has the best Twitter handle I've seen in a while: @pinger_genguin. Brilliant, right? She raises awareness about chronic and invisible illnesses on her blog MyLungsMyLife. Earlier this week, I wrote a guest post for her about juvenile arthritis

Thanks so much for hosting me, Jenni!


Juvenile Arthritis Awareness with Dr. Oz

Something pretty exciting has happened....

"RAHealthCentral is thrilled to announce a new positive way of raising awareness about juvenile arthritis!

We recently had the opportunity to collaborate with The Dr. Oz Show to bring information about juvenile arthritis to his viewers, which number in the millions. An article written by yours truly has been posted on The Dr. Oz Show website! It covers information about juvenile arthritis and what it means for the children and families affected by this disease."

You can read the rest here.

We're also hoping to get the community involved in raising awareness about JA. If you're the parent of a child with juvenile arthritis or have juvenile arthritis yourself, we ask that you hop on over to the Dr. Oz website and tell your story in the comment section on my article. Personally, I hope that by many people posting compelling stories in a positive way, we can demonstrate to the show that there's a good reason to do an episode …

Blog Tour: CreakyJoints Invited Blog

A couple of weeks ago, the lovely people at CreakyJoints asked me to write an invited blog for them. They wanted to hear more about the process of writing the book. I was very happy to oblige. The post is about three factors that are important both to writing a book and living with RA. And my secret friendship with Laura Hillenbrand.

You can read the post here.

Birds of a Feather

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I took the weekend off and it was just lovely. Not just because I wasn't working, but because the weather decided to play Spring. I meandered off with my camera, intending to take photos of construction sites and I did that, too. But somehow I ended up down by the water again. 

I know. Big surprise.

This time, I wandered pretty far afield, further than I've gone in a while. Before I knew it, I found myself at the foot of Yonge Street, the longest street in the world (although something about the Wikipedia entry makes me think that another country has snagged the honours). There were ducks. Interesting ducks, quite different from the regular quackers . Not that I don't love them, too, but as I may have mentioned before, I'm sort of getting into this birdwatching thing.

Everybody were just hanging out, including the guy in a kayak


The cast of characters were several longtailed ducks


and another one that I think was a female Merganser, although I'm not sure if she was Re…

Blog Tour: Living with Rheumatoid Arthritis

I was thrilled to stop at Andrew Lumpe's Living with Rheumatoid Arthritis to have a chat about the book, writing with RA and a disability and a mutual geek out about the state of research and the digital world. Andrew also did a lovely review of Your Life with Rheumatoid Arthritis.

You can read his post here.

Fishing for Cats

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I'm always on the lookout for cool toys for Lucy. Partly because she spoiled and partly because she's pudgy. Toys will make her move. At least theoretically – it's been a while since there's been one she's excited about and to be honest, she'd become a bit of a lump.

And then I discovered Neko Flies.

The beginner kit is a very sturdy stick and a "bug" on a – again very sturdy — string. It attaches with a lobster clasp to a ring on the stick and you can get different bugs separately for variety. I bought the Kattipede. The Boy was with me and asked if I were sure that this was a toy worth $17. I said it was worth a shot. And boy, has it proven to be worth $17!

Lucy has excellent hunting instincts and has been known to hunt, kill and eat an errant fly within a few minutes. This toy activates her hunting instinct, her desire to run and her curiosity. She loves it. To the point that she'll sit expectantly next to my hallway dresser where the magic toy li…