Wednesday, May 12, 2010


Noblesville, IN
Diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis at age 30.
How has your condition affected you? My condition has affected me in several ways.  The worst part of all of this for me was waiting for a diagnosis.  I feared that I had a deadly disease that would rob me of my opportunity to live a long and full life with the man that I love and our beautiful children. I have resolved to never take my time with them for granted.  I have also become more aware of toxins in our homes.  I have tried to shift towards buying organic food and green cleaning products, though the strain on our budget is difficult.  I am truly less energetic than I used to be, which is far more frustrating than the constant pain in my hands and feet.  I feel that despite great ambitions for my life,  I am somewhat limited by the constant and overwhelming fatigue.  This makes me sad or angry more often than I would like to admit.

What would you like for other people to know about Rheumatoid Arthritis? People should know that having Rheumatoid Arthritis is more than pain in your joints.  It is experiencing all of the feelings that I described and more. It is nearly invisible to an outsider, but the pain and fatigue are real and intense.

What would you like to tell someone who was recently diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis?  If someone was recently diagnosed with an autoimmune disease, I would tell them to always look for the silver lining in any bad situation.  Although it is hard to believe, having RA has had a positive effect on my life in some ways.  My husband and I have grown closer after my diagnosis.  I feel overwhelming love and gratitude when he steps up to the plate, when I am too tired to handle something.  I cherish every moment with him and our children.  I have become a better mother by being very aware of my children's nutrition, with the hope of preventing them from developing an autoimmune disease.  I have been a better friend by providing support to my other friends with similar conditions.  When I am sad, I try to focus on these things and spoil myself with my favorite coffee, of course!

Thank you so much Katy!

Monday, May 3, 2010


Louisville, KY
Diagnosed with Fibromyalgia at age 14.  Also suffers from Epstein-Barr and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.
How has your condition affected you?  My condition has played a huge role in my life through the years. My lack of energy and increased pain has led me to isolate some and not participate in activities that I enjoy. In school, my pain made sleep and participation in sports challenging. As an adult I find completion of the basic of tasks (like laundry) almost impossible at times. I have missed some work, canceled on friends and have become a needy wife during flare-ups. Not to mention the emotions attached - mostly depression. Some days I feel like an observer of my own life - feeling so detached from all around me (due to pain, brain fog, fatigue, etc.) However, now I am learning to be more mindful of my body and to pay more attention to how I am feeling in a positive way - using my body as a barometer of sorts to see what positive behaviors need to be implemented.

What would you like for other people to know about Fibromyalgia?  I want others to know that it is a REAL condition and that just because you can't visibly see problems with the body doesn't mean that everything inside is working spot-on! 

What would you like to tell someone who was recently diagnosed with Fibromyalgia?  Learn from your body - take this opportunity to truly connect to your physical and emotional self. Be an active participant in your life - learn what's important to do (like relaxation exercises, stretching, sleep, vitamins, being w/ friends etc.) and what you can live without - Don't watch your life pass you by!

Thank you so much Heather! xo