Archive for the ‘Reality Check’ Category

  • An Unremarkable Reality: Scans Don’t Lie – or Do They?

    Show me your erosions or else Some of you may remember last year when we met Dr. Shrug who gave my foot an ultimatum: Show me a bone erosion, or no more DMARDs. We only ever saw the doc once (more than enough). It was Dr. Tylenol’s partner, who they scheduled us with since Dr. […]

  • Genetics & Rheumatoid Disease: More Complicated Than Cancer?

    No one wants complicated answers, of course. But some answers are complicated, with multiple layers or causes. Like Rheumatoid Disease and childhood hearing loss. Instead of differing experiences of patients being  suspect, they should be valuable clues to answers we all seek. Answers and more questions The past few months have been a slow process […]

  • Juggling Life and a Chronic Disease Like Rheumatoid

    Usually when someone hears I have five children, they ask, “How?!” My answer is always the same: “One at a time.” They span about 15 years – it’s not like there were five toddlers at once. Actually, there was never more than one in diapers at a time – so my mom had it much […]

  • Hints of an Immunity Fingerprint: Bee Stings, Peanuts, and Colds

    What if each immune system is unique, so none respond exactly the same? Almost two years ago I told you about a phrase I’d coined, the immune fingerprint, to describe the unique way each person’s immune system responds to a similar or identical stimulus. I hope you’ll read that original post explaining it’s only logical […]

  • Could Ultrasound Prevent Rheumatology Patients from Receiving Disease Treatments?

    This is the 10th in a series on musculoskeletal ultrasound use in people living with Rheumatoid Disease (PRD). This is a critical topic for PRD that could have enormous impact on clinical care – positively or negatively – in light of results from two recent studies. Musculoskeletal ultrasound can help “see” invisible disease activity Musculoskeletal […]

  • 10 Misconceptions About Chronic Disease Many People Believe

    You can’t understand illness by just looking at a person Very soon after being diagnosed with RA, I learned that most people have beliefs about chronic illness that are hard to overcome. When one neighbor, friend, and family member after another dismissed me, I did the same thing most people with Rheumatoid Disease (PRD) do: […]

  • Inside Story of a Young Person Living with Juvenile Rheumatoid

    Today’s blog is my response to an email from a reader about an appointment with her daughter’s rheumatologist. This family travels for hours to see an expert pediatric doctor in one of the best hospitals in the country. Hi Kelly! I guess when they say all good things must come to an end, IT’S TRUE […]

  • Do Patients Know Enough to Talk about Medical Topics?

    The e-patient movement The movement for prepared, engaged patients and shared decision-making is international. It is recognized and supported by people in positions of power at many levels. Organizations, think tanks, and government agencies study the movement, often supporting it in an effort to advance care, reduce mortality, and lower costs. It is not patients […]

  • Steps Toward Understanding Rheumatoid Disease

    2 Big Announcements Last month in What is Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) / Rheumatoid Disease (RD)?, we asked what this disease IS, with 10 things it doesn’t make sense if doctors don’t know. When we truly know what RD is, we can diagnosis it early, treat it successfully, and cure it! We’re taking steps to support that […]

  • Saying Rheumatoid Disease, Not Arthritis: It’s Not Just Me

    Twenty months ago, I explained why I’d become convinced that the “name” of Rheumatoid Arthritis must be changed. The more I’ve learned over the past few years, the more I could not deny that fact. Soon after that, I decided to write a little e-book examining the ways Rheumatoid Disease affects the body outside of […]

  • What Would the Car Mechanic Say If You Didn’t Look Sick?

    This just doesn’t happen: You take the car to a mechanic and he looks out the window across the showroom and says, “Your car looks fine to me. The paint is still shiny. It’s not very old.” All of our cars are pretty old so the guys at the local Firestone shop know us pretty […]

  • What is Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) / Rheumatoid Disease (RD)? 10 Facts Every Doctor Needs

    What is Rheumatoid Arthritis? All of the other questions about Rheumatoid Disease (RD) hang on this. After we truly know what it is, we can diagnosis it early, treat it successfully, and cure it! Remember the ancient elephant story? Just like the blind men describing the elephant, numerous aspects of RD have been described, but […]