The Rheumatoid Arthritis Commercial Saga

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Rheumatoid Arthritis commercials make me sigh

Space shuttle Atlantis close upI have some pretty weird reactions to the Rheumatoid Arthritis commercials I see. My family is subjected to my peculiar breathing and strange facial expressions. One of my first blogs was about the “baloney” most of the Rheumatoid Arthritis commercials were serving up last year.

It’s kind of obvious “they” (pharmaceutical marketers) read our blogs. They even admit they do. Some Rheumatoid Arthritis commercials have made some progress. In some ways.

Why would a Rheumatoid Arthritis commercial show that?

So over the weekend, I was treated to the latest version of the Orencia commercial. And my family was treated to my sarcasm:

  • Why are they showing her pulling on socks? Anyone can put on socks.”
  •  “Why in the world would they focus the lens on her hands on a steering wheel?”
  • Using a pen? Why the hell would they show that?”

Why DOES the commercial show her doing those things? And why am I annoyed?

Because RA does affect those things. And because I have read thousands of comments and letters that make me cry. And many of them have a similar theme: “No one understands how RA affects me, even my doctor.”

Would a commercial show affects of Rheumatoid Arthritis that folks don’t grasp?

Maybe.

A little excerpt from a typical letter: “I was diagnosed 30 years ago and have been under three different specialists during this time. I am really struggling at the moment and unsure what to do next. I am in constant pain; every time I go to my Rheumatologist she says my bloods are good and I’m doing well. I try to explain to her that I am struggling badly on a day to day basis and she just doesn’t seem to listen.”

From what I can tell, it is common that doctors do not have a clear conception of how RA affects patients’ daily lives, just as I’ve written many times that they don’t seem to realize how much RA hurts. They don’t know, so they assume the problem is with us.

Recently, a blogger left this comment which was actually an excerpt and a link to her blog: “Of all the aspects to my life that RA has affected, I think the biggest blow was to my credibility.” She goes on to tell of eye rolls, man-handling, and accusations of being called overly sensitive to pain. This did not come from total strangers, but from her doctors. How does she cope? “Mostly it’s just, go painfully through life with little tolerance or understanding of the condition, and always feel stupid for such a minimal thing interfering with your life.”

I do the same. I know many of you do as well. We’ll keep coping. And continue having higher than average pain thresholds. And sighing loudly during Rheumatoid Arthritis commercials. But, we won’t stop there because we aren’t stupid and RA is not a minimal thing interfering with our lives.

Postblog: I’m not complaining about comments & letters that make me cry. To me, they are “fuel for the fire.”  At this point, I think I shall become a rocket!

Coming soon: Some doctors do get it – they’re trying to study functional status and RA. Soon, we’ll look at abstracts from ACR on functional aspects of RA.

Relevant opportunities:

  • Cyber Monday T-shirt coupon! 20% off today! Enter coupon code: 2010CyberMon ends 2 am EST.
  • #Rheum chat on Twitter Tomorrow! 7:30 pm EST! More info – click here.
  • Click on ad below to get rewarded for giving your opinion to a pharmaceutical company.

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Kelly Young. All rights reserved.

This entry was posted on Monday, November 29th, 2010 at 6:00 am and is filed under RA Education, Reality Check. 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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