RA is Tricksy: Wandering by The Two Towers

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I hope you enjoy this little guest post from Dana. Her imagination wanders in a way that’s similar to some other fun trips we’ve taken with Goldilocks, the Princess and the Pea, and others. Please visit Dana’s blog; she’s been a great ally to our effort here for a long time and significant voice of hope and reason and humor.

A funny thing happened on way to see The Two Towers

firey Rheumatoid Arthritis ringWhen having a discussion about RA the other day, I suddenly had this vision of Gollum from The Lord of the Rings in my head. (I’m sure it had nothing to do with the fact that we were headed that night to see the director’s cut of The Two Towers at our local theater.) If you’re unfamiliar with The Lord of the Rings, Gollum is a creature who was once a human-like hobbit, but his one-time possession of “The Ring” and all-consuming lust for getting it back eventually left him as little more than a goblin-like skeleton of a being. At one point in the movie, The Two Towers, Gollum is arguing with himself over the trustworthiness of the hobbits he’s with, and I picture him saying this in his raspy, whiny voice:

“Sneaky little hobbitses RA. Wicked, tricksy, false!”

I don’t know about you, but I think those words about Rheumatoid Arthritis quite often. RA is sneaky. You may feel fine one day, and wake up the next day hardly able to get out of bed. Symptoms come on suddenly, often when you’re least expecting it. It comes on without warning, yet somehow slinks to the shadows during doctor’s visits (the physician presence effect?). It may feel bad, but not look bad. You may have symptoms, but not the blood work to verify your diagnoses. It’s sneaky all right.

RA is very “tricksy” too.

I think the “tricksiest” part about Rheumatoid Arthritis is that it seldom looks or acts consistently. It’s different for each person, and it’s different within each person day to day or over time. Read all of the RA onset stories and you’ll notice that no two of them are alike. Different symptoms manifest in different patients. There is a broad range in the severity of the disease and how quickly it progresses. Some treatments work great for some people with RA; different treatments work well for other patients; some patients aren’t helped by any current treatments. Sometimes moving makes you feel better; sometime moving makes you feel worse. For some, the symptoms come and go, in a series of flares and lulls without any apparent rhyme or reason. For others, it’s a constant state of flare, with no real relief in sight. Some people can identify triggers for their flares, but again, it’s not the same for everybody.

It’s no wonder RA is so difficult to diagnose and treat. Until we truly have an understanding of this disease (or possibly group of diseases?) it will be impossible to appropriately treat each case. My hope is that, through research, we can come to understand the “tricksy” nature of Rheumatoid Arthritis and learn to beat it at its own “trickses.”

What “trickses” has Rheumatoid Arthritis been playing on you lately?

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Kelly Young. All rights reserved.

This entry was posted on Thursday, July 7th, 2011 at 12:30 pm and is filed under Can we laugh now?. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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