Quotable Kelly | Rheumatoid Arthritis Warrior

Quotable Kelly

Original statements by Kelly. Please use quotation marks if you quote them.



The more dedicated you are to it, the more meaningful gratitude is.

We can almost always find something to be thankful for – and we should. But when we have to search for it, it’s even sweeter – and more inspiring.


Sometimes I hear, “We need a famous person to have RA.” My response is this: we have RA already. Let’s put it on the healthcare map ourselves.

Instead of a famous person getting RA, we’ll just make RA famous. We’ll be our own celebrities.


Disclosure is our necessary evil. But RA is more evil, so we’ll blaze a trail.

There has never been awareness of RA. The medical community does not understand it. Only the people who live with it do.

RA Atheists

One reader wrote: The worst comments for me are “See a psychiatrist, if it weren’t in your head, the doctors could help you. You always hurt when I need something. You like being sick or you would find a way to fix it.”

Thank you to those people who say ugly things like that to people with RA. You put a fire inside of me that no one can put out.

Natural RA Treatment

1) Whether it’s positive thinking or RA natural remedies such as herbs or foods, they put their trust in nature itself. Honestly, I was surprised when I learned that interfering with nature is controversial. This is not meant to be sarcastic: Doesn’t everyone use soap to interfere with germs? Or get their teeth filled? Or set a broken arm? Or wear glasses? Or a girdle?

2) …I thought it was me who’s the “natural” radical having had five homebirths with not as much as a Tylenol. Am I never on the right side? Can you guess why I never tried to persuade anyone else to homebirth? Wouldn’t I have felt accountable if something went wrong with a baby?

It seems to me that we already interfere with nature every day. We each decide how to interfere and how much. Sometimes, I reflect that this nature is the same nature that gave us RA to begin with.

Bringing sexy back to rheumatology

For RA patients, rheumatology is sexy when it’s successful.

Love thy neighbor

Operating from a position of fear or suspicion can interfere with the ability to be a trusted helper. But operating from a position of love makes a doctor a healer.

Testing for disease activity

Why do I get so many letters from patients like this: “Why are my symptoms worse when my rheumatologist says my labs show the disease is in remission?” The reason is that there aren’t any lab tests that can show any such thing, yet. When it comes to RA, I’m wondering whether “Evidence-based medicine” becomes the “Easy-bake oven” approach (not quite real).


It doesn’t matter what you call it; a patient who needs to find answers will look for them.

Patient outcome measures

Someday, the mechanisms of Rheumatoid Arthritis will be understood and there will be ways to more objectively measure the invisible symptoms of RA. Until then, we ought to ask patients about their symptoms and treat the data as reliable. Most patients are reliable as much as most doctors are and most lawyers are. Honestly, medical care is practically useless without patient input.

Defining oneself

What are we when we no longer do the things that defined us? When there are no more masks or props to help us define ourselves? We are whatever it is that we truly value. We are whatever it was that motivated us to do the things that we did when we could do them. We are our character and our spirit.

Murphy’s Law

Murphy’s Law is a real law, like gravity. Things do tend to go wrong. This is a fallen world. But we repeatedly overcome gravity, don’t we?

My Modification of Murphy’s Law

1) I do not ignore Mr. Murphy. My Rheumatoid Arthritis has not given me the luxury of that much denial. I am forced to confront reality.

2) Rheumatoid Arthritis is like a dirty diaper: ignore it at your own risk. You really can’t do that for long. … I say Murphy Lurks, but I have my ways of dealing with him.


I don’t want to write anything that sounds like complaining. No complaints. I am extremely grateful for most things. The rest I tolerate well.

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