Woman’s Day Reply to Rheumatoid Arthritis Comments

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Many have been asking about me Woman’s Day magazine’s RA article…

Here’s what happened.

On July 15, I gave my sincere response to a one page article in Woman’s Day on Rheumatoid Arthritis. Many of you responded to the online version of that same article with comments that were intelligent and straightforward. Some of those comments were good enough to be whole blog posts! And there are over 30 of them!

As I mentioned in that post, I also began attempting to directly respond to the magazine’s editors.

Fast forward to August 21. I mentioned the Woman’s Day article in a blog post on the mythical RA. That day, someone left a url for the author of the article in a comment on the blog. After I checked it out, I did email her directly.

Here’s where we stand

On August 25, I got a reply email from the author of the article, Judi Ketteler. Judi sent me the magazine’s reply. Here it is:

A Note from the Editors: Thank you all for your comments. We know that RA can cause severe pain, suffering and disability and certainly didn’t want to undermine that fact. This online story ran as a one-page article in the magazine under our “Checkup” column. The column (and story) is designed to provide a basic primer and is aimed primarily at people who are not familiar with the condition. It’s factually correct and the author interviewed a top rheumatologist. That being said, there are limitations to what we can cover in such a short amount of space. If we cover RA in the future, we hope to include real-life patient stories and provide more detailed information.

This was this past Tuesday. That was my first indication that someone at Woman’s Day was going to acknowledge us. I took some time to consider how to react.

What does this mean to us?

Someone close to me used to tell me: Some days chicken; some days feathers. If you’re from Texas, you’ll get it. The rest of us try.

I am predisposed to sports analogies and relate almost anything to football. So, I say: You win some, you lose some.

We lost this way

The editor’s at WD actually think that what they wrote is “factually correct” and a “basic primer” on “the condition.” It is excruciatingly obvious that they think that they are right. Unfortunately, the actual facts about Rheumatoid Arthritis are evident to us every day.

We won this way

At least we know the score. Where we stand is more apparent than ever. We have a 2-front war on our hands: 1) We fight Rheumatoid Arthritis in our own bodies and lives. 2) And we fight misperceptions about RA, too.

The WD article hit a hot button with people with rheumatoid disease because it is an illustration of what we deal with every day:

  • friends and neighbors who misjudge us because they don’t understand RA
  • family members who refuse to adjust expectations or offer appropriate assistance;
  • a general public which doubts the serious nature of our illness; employers who fail to recognize our limitations;
  • and certain doctors who view us as weak-willed whiners. My son says, “People misjudge by appearances.”

But we are in the fight. We are on the field. The game is not over.

NOTE: Woman’s Day has removed the original article with its non-apology. You can see the two screenshots of the original article at the bottom of this page – click here
Recommended reading:

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Kelly Young. All rights reserved.

This entry was posted on Friday, August 28th, 2009 at 8:43 am and is filed under The Real Rheumatoid Disease. 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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