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Sonny’s Disappearing Digits: a Fairy Tale of #Rheum Disability


A few weeks ago in the car, Roo and I were talking about how hard it is to explain and understand rheumatoid disease (RD). Roo is alone among my five children in that he has no memory of the strong, healthy woman I was before full-blown RD onset when he was 6 months old. I […]

Hardest #rheum Question From a Reader: Where Do I Go From Here?


Your comments, I’ve said, are a special blog in themselves, rich with insight and passion. Let’s talk about a recent comment by Paul on What’s Your First Symptom of Rheumatoid Arthritis: Hi All , my nanna was critical with it my Mum has spur’s on her spine her fingers are twisted and knarled and can’t […]

Frozen: Ice Pack Princess


Little blue friends Roo still sleeps with stuffed animals – actually today there’s a more dignified word for them: plush toys. Since the plush characters are soft, he doesn’t mind that they take up most of his bed. For me it’s a different story: more like the fairy tale Frozen. Ice packs are my companions […]

3 Things That Control How Much #Rheum Can Steal from You

woodchuck- eating

Ever feel like Rheumatoid Disease is eating away at your life? Stealing abilities – even responsibilities – you enjoyed? How much wood would a woodchuck chuck? Roo’s been asking this tongue twister / riddle lately: ”How much wood would a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood?” He enjoys saying it faster and faster. […]

Rheumatoid Disease Thriller: The Mystery of the Injured Thumb

swollen rt thumb IP MP joints

“Mysterious” experiences like these can be common with rheumatoid disease and I hope you’ll share some of yours in the comments. Several months ago I reached out with my right hand to grasp the handle of a rolling suitcase, and my thumb did not grip. I was met with pain as I often am. The […]



In some ways RA Warrior (RAW) and the #rheum community that grew from it have been like family to me and to one another. Many lasting and close friendships have developed as we’ve shared information, understanding, laughter, tears, and hope. It has been sad for me to miss all of you, as I’ve been away […]

Chronic Pain vs. Recurrent Acute Pain in Rheumatoid Disease


An honest examination shows pain related to rheumatoid disease may frequently be better described as recurrent acute pain than classic chronic pain. Is “chronic pain” the right way to describe Rheumatoid Disease pain? According to the National Institutes of Health, chronic pain is “any pain lasting more than 12 weeks. Whereas acute pain is a […]

Does Diet Influence the Risk of Developing Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA)?


“The Mediterranean diet, rich in fish, plant food, mono- and polyunsaturated fat, and including moderate wine consumption, has been suggested to protect against e.g. cardiovascular disease, but its effect on RA development has only been studied to a limited extent.”[1] Do Mediterranean or vegetarian diets impact Rheumatoid Arthritis risk? The Swedish Epidemiological Investigation of Rheumatoid […]

What Does Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) Look Like?


Common myths about RA linger in college classes In an immunology teaching lab class this semester, my daughter Katie Beth (KB) learned how to perform a rheumatoid factor test (latex agglutination). Prior to that lecture, KB read through the professor’s slides in the syllabus. She noticed the material included several common errors about Rheumatoid Disease […]

Doctor: Posterior Tibial Tendonitis Is “Extremely Common with Rheumatoid”


We interrupt our regularly scheduled program for a brief discussion of posterior tibial tendonitis in “Rheumatoid Arthritis” (RA) / Rheumatoid Disease (RD). There is a long list of topics I want to cover, but sometimes the RD itself pushes other things farther down the page. This week, I continued to have problems putting weight on […]

Medication Fears and Rheumatoid Arthritis

prednisone bottle

Fear of medicine Have you ever been afraid of taking medicine? I have. Who knew that there’s actually a name for a fear of medication: pharmacophobia. Appearing irrational to Dr. Laptop As if I were once again the 19 year-old girl who quit taking thyroid medication, the day I learned I was diagnosed with Rheumatoid […]

Can Bones Hurt? Bone Pain and Rheumatoid Disease

Sunset over barn - awesome even via narrow window

 The main misconception about bones then, is that they are made up of dead tissue. This is not true, they have cells, nerves, blood vessels and pain receptors.1 Ever hear that bones can’t hurt? Did you ever have the flu or a fever and your bones just ached? It can be enough to make you […]