I Failed the Rheumatoid Arthritis Control Quiz | Rheumatoid Arthritis Warrior

I Failed the Rheumatoid Arthritis Control Quiz

Web MD RA Quiz sarcasm sign

My Response to Web Md’s Quiz on Rheumatoid Arthritis Control –

WARNING: Sarcasm ahead…

Can you tell my doctor? Web MD sent me a quiz in my email box. I never do online quizzes. I heard they collect data for later use. Besides, my wrists and fingers hurt, so I have been trying to resist any pointless typing or mousing.

But if it is Rheumatoid Arthritis data, that might help someone some day. So, I made an exception and filled out the quiz. To my surprise, there was an instant diagnosis (reply). How nice! My other docs make me wait hours. Is the Web MD Doc a real doc or does he just play one on the internet? Could I stay home and get him to send my prescriptions to me?

“You don’t have good control over your Rheumatoid Arthritis…”

Here is part of the answer Doc Web MD gave to me: “According to your responses, you don’t have good control over your RA symptoms. The condition is taking a toll on you, emotionally and physically. You may also worry about the future — what happens if your symptoms get even worse?”

I did not try to reply to the Doc Web MD’s email. I know there are thousands of patients waiting to be next on the quiz. However, I will share some of my responses with you:

“Control”? I don’t have “good control”? Look, if I were in control, I’d tell the RA to get out of my body, out of my house, out of this world, and never show its horrible face again. Yes, Doc, I guess you’re right; I am not in control of the Rheumatoid Arthritis.

“A toll on me”? YA THINK? “Emotionally and spiritually,” huh? Yes, a toll higher than the Beeline to Disney collects each day. And how about tolls PHYSICALLY, FINANCIALLY, and RELATIONALLY? I am not sure you really understand my plight, Doc. Did they require any empathy classes at your medical school?

My “future”? Am I worried about whether the “symptoms will get even worse”? Uh, yeah… That’s why I am taking all these meds and seeing so many doctors like you. Thanks for mentioning that it might get worse. I do know that since I have friends who are worse off than I am. However, I do get lost in hope of a cure sometimes and it’s great to be brought back to earth.

From your reply on Rheumatoid Arthritis control, Doc Web MD:

But now is the time to take action. It sounds like your current medications aren’t doing enough. It may be time for a new treatment approach. See a rheumatologist — or arthritis expert — to see what you can do. With a good treatment plan, you can get your life back.”

I can see that paragraph is meant to be encouraging. Forgive me if I sound picky, but I must question your choice of words again: You said, “You can get your life back.” I have heard that one before. Where did you learn that? How long did you really study RA in medical school? Was it summed up in one morning seminar?

It would take me hours to explain to you the truth about RA and whether I get my life back with “a good treatment plan.” Can I suggest a little blog I know? You could learn a lot about how Rheumatoid Arthritis actually affects people’s lives. Don’t forget to read the comments pages. There is a lot of data there too. Most of the folks who participate are real Rheumatoid Arthritis patients—they don’t just “play one” on the internet.

By the way, would you be willing to do a consult with my other RA doc? He says that my Rheumatoid Arthritis is under perfect control and that I appear to him to be doing fine and dandy.

Recommended reading:

Kelly O'Neill Young

Kelly O'Neill (formerly Kelly Young) has worked over 10 years as an advocate helping patients to be better informed and have a greater voice in their healthcare. She is the author of the best-selling book Rheumatoid Arthritis Unmasked: 10 Dangers of Rheumatoid Disease. Kelly received national acknowledgement with the 2011 WebMD Health Hero award. She is the president of the Rheumatoid Patient Foundation. Through her writing and speaking, she builds a more accurate awareness of rheumatoid disease (RD) aka rheumatoid arthritis (RA) geared toward the public and medical community; creates ways to empower patients to advocate for improved diagnosis and treatment; and brings recognition and visibility to the RA patient journey. In addition to RA Warrior, she writes periodically for newsletters, magazines, and websites. There are over 60,000 connections of her highly interactive Facebook page. You can also connect with Kelly by on Twitter or YouTube, or LinkedIn. She created the hashtag: #rheum. Kelly is a mother of five, longtime home-schooler, NASA enthusiast, and NFL fan. She has lived over thirteen years with unrelenting RD. See also https:/rawarrior.com/kelly-young-press/

35 thoughts on “I Failed the Rheumatoid Arthritis Control Quiz

  • July 12, 2009 at 7:01 pm
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    LOL. Yeah, I don't need an online quiz to tell me my RA is so far out of control it is worse than a naughty teenager. Which is what I often compare my out of control RA to.

    Grill is ready for me to make burgers on. I reign supreme griller in the hooooouse!

    Reply
  • July 12, 2009 at 9:15 pm
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    Kelly, do you know which drug company is sponsoring that online quiz?

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  • July 12, 2009 at 9:29 pm
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    It was WebMd's site.
    In part, WebMd is funded by Abbott.
    They make Humira.
    However, WebMd claims to have editorial control over all of their own content.

    Reply
  • July 13, 2009 at 7:26 am
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    Things like this make me so mad – I'm glad you can take a positive view and laugh at it, I think it could really upset some people.

    We all know that there is a possibility of our symptoms getting worse, but sometimes you just don't want reminding (especially by something like this with zero bedside manner!)

    Grrr

    🙂

    Reply
  • July 14, 2009 at 1:38 am
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    This kind of crap is just insulting. We have a progressive disease that causes joint destruction and functional disability, were not stupid. My favorite thing about it was "The condition is taking a toll on you, emotionally and physically" ROTFL This would really be hilarious if it weren't meant to be serious

    Glad we can laugh about it!

    Reply
  • July 14, 2009 at 6:18 am
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    I am so thankful to have ya'll to laugh about it with!

    It's just one more: OMG, Can you believe this one?

    I especially loved Purple's "bedside manner" one and Tharr's "that causes…disability… not stupid"!!

    Reply
  • September 13, 2009 at 7:53 pm
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    That is very funny, “control over RA” that is an oxymoron! I agree, if I had control over RA it wouldn’t exist!! I think RA’s first job is to take a toll on you, emotionally, physically, spiritually and so on. And lastly… If I did not have fear that it would get worse than someone better lock me in the loony bin for denial!

    Reply
  • June 19, 2010 at 10:27 am
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    i got cocky over the last month and thought my RA was under control: glad it slapped me down before i assumed remission was possible! 😉

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    • June 19, 2010 at 10:58 am
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      Sorry, Amy. “Remission” is possible for some – I hear about it like the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. But dmards are still required to slow damage. More like fool’s gold? :rainbow:

      Reply
  • June 19, 2010 at 11:02 am
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    Took the same quiz. Got the same results. thought the same thing as you: “Oh really? *said sarcastically* I know it’s not under control-that’s why I’m taking these outrageously expensive drugs, getting stuck with needles once a week, and then having extensive safaris for veins, once a month. Chemo, steroids, etc, I’m a walking pharmacy. I’m not taking all that because I have nothing better to do. …….thanks, I feel better after my little rant!

    Reply
    • June 19, 2010 at 11:08 am
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      Hi Julie, Drugs ok – I’ll accept that. But, I can’t DO anything. That is not “getting your life back.”

      Reply
  • June 19, 2010 at 2:08 pm
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    I took that one too. Way to funny.

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    • June 19, 2010 at 2:29 pm
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      Yea, I wonder if the writers or the docs realize we think that?

      Reply
  • June 19, 2010 at 3:07 pm
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    At my last appointment at least they said they “believed” my pain was real.

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    • June 19, 2010 at 3:14 pm
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      I guess that’s a good step. I hate to say it, but I wonder whether women have more problems w/ that issue than men.

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      • May 31, 2011 at 8:08 am
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        Sadly yes.

        Housemaids’ knees.. hysteria (as in relating to the womb) yep. In fact googling hysterical and rheumatoid brings up your site in the top two hits!

        I just found a few papers that have made me very mad. And then a few alternative medicine sites that pretty much accept the hysteria/neurotic woman as a disease in itself.

        Reply
  • May 31, 2011 at 8:46 am
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    I really needed this laugh this morning. I believe WebMD went to the same medical school as my PCP. See, the last 2 times I have had blood work done his office has called to inform me ” You still have very active RA”. I laughed so hard she asked if I needed a psych consult as this “is serious and laughing is inappropriate response”

    Reply
  • May 31, 2011 at 10:55 pm
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    I took the quiz as well, and surprise; my RA is not in good control. I found the fact that it took longer to read the “very helpful and enlightening” response paragraph than it did to take the 5 question quiz. Oh the lengths we will go, even when we know the results won’t be helpful to find peace within thus disease.

    Jenn

    Reply
  • May 27, 2012 at 10:04 am
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    I so wish that you could see our pediatric rheumy’s. They are so completely amazing. Dr. Elder can *see* the pain. Even though Emily always tells her that she’s feeling good, she knows better. Last week Dr. E decided to add Orencia to Emily’s Remicade & Rituxan. Since she’s already on IViG she’s not worried about dropping her immune system off of the charts. I was a little shocked- I had thought that Rituxan was a biologic. Guess not. The point is, they want to see her running, jumping and playing again one day. It makes me so sad that not every doctor feels that way. I think that the majority of rheumies just don’t have a clue. 🙁 It isn’t right or fair.

    Reply
    • May 27, 2012 at 2:52 pm
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      Will continue to pray for Emily.
      And what you said about the disparities in treatment was a shock at first & after years of seeing it, struck me as such a great injustice that I’m committing myself to improving care for all people w/rheumatoid disease (RA / JA) until it is accomplished.

      Reply
  • May 27, 2012 at 10:23 am
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    Kelly, my RA is under control too. I don’t know whose control, but someone does stuff to my joints while I sleep so they don’t function the next day. And I’m sure the pain is in my head, as well as my fingers, wrists, feet, ankles, elbows, knees, and man, my hips got so bad a while back I couldn’t walk for 3 days.
    Been there, felt that…
    Keep up the good work!

    Reply
  • May 27, 2012 at 10:31 am
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    If some of these people would get RA even for just a week they wouldn’t write such nonsense. I think having RA should be a requirement to be a rheumatologist. At this point have have stopped most drugs except for my pain meds due to side effects from all that I have tried which are a lot over the years. So hope is something I am hanging on to by a thread.

    Reply
  • May 27, 2012 at 1:35 pm
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    It’s propaganda like this that makes my parents (who are retired and watch way too much TV)tell me that I am being overly dramatic about the effects RA is having on me. My dad just yesterday told me that I shouldn’t be taking “all that medicine” because it’s “just arthritis”. I have explained to my parents until I’m blue in the face that RA is not “just arthritis” and can affect the organs in your body, too. But it falls on deaf ears. My mom even goes to my rheumatologist, who has prescribed methotrexate for her (she has an autoimmune disorder – they just haven’t figured out which one yet). She refused to use it because one of the side effects was thinning hair. She won’t take any oral medication that has corn starch as a filler (which is anything in pill form) because of a mild allergy to corn. She “diagnosed” me with allergies to milk, wheat, and citric acid as a child (my rheumy said I probably had RA as a child), and looks up all my medications and finds that (surprise!) most oral medications have at least one of these as a filler.

    I am so fed up with these “tra-la-la, everything’s better with medication” television ads. They practically tell you they have a cure, and you can go on as if nothing is wrong. The drug companies (and sites like WebMD) are responsible for the public’s misunderstandings of a serious disease.

    Reply
    • May 27, 2012 at 3:04 pm
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      Hi Jaynie. I’m lying here today working on a presentation for next month and you hit the nail on the head so well. This is what a majority of people with RA face. Sadly. … but we’ll change that.

      Reply
    • May 27, 2012 at 3:06 pm
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      Do your parents use the internet? You could use the email button under any article to send it to them or send them a link so they can read thru other comments too and see how very many people are like you are.

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      • May 28, 2012 at 2:48 pm
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        Unfortunately, my parents DO research on the internet. However, there is so much misinformation that my mom seems to always find and believe the “wrong” source. For example, just yesterday, I found a YouTube channel that sent me into space, I was so angry! The video clips were from “patients” who claimed to have had rheumatoid arthritis and were “cured” miraculously by this quack’s recommended diet. I’m pretty sure this is the last “cure” my mom emailed me. I left a scorching message for the uploader, as had several others, I noticed.

        My parents spent the better part of this weekend visiting relatives whom they informed that I was NOT on chemo as I had told them, that I was just “over-reacting”. (A cousin – who also has RA – called to report this to me.) When will all the misinformation and quackery end?????

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        • May 28, 2012 at 3:05 pm
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          I’m sorry. I hope your parents will also be willing to read some accurate information about RA eventually. Combatting bad information about RA is one of the reasons I founded this site over 3 yrs ago. You’re right there is a lot of garbage about RA out there – and on YouTube too.

          Reply
  • May 27, 2012 at 4:10 pm
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    Crazy!!!!! I was just taken off mtx after a little over a year because of horrible migraines. Now I am left to just deal with the pain for 6 weeks until we decide which drug I go to next. RAD is in total control and it scares the crap out of me. I do have pain meds to help me through. This is my first time having to change meds. I know so many of you have been doing this for years. You are all an inspiration to me, especially you Kelly!!!!

    Reply
  • May 28, 2012 at 9:38 am
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    I am going through the same as you here in the U.K – taken off mtx 7 weeks ago ( I had bad cough from mtx and possible lung scarring plus mtx not working for me) and still waiting for new meds whilst going through more tests. How long does it take to decide what to try next?? Painkillers are a small help.You have my sympathy.

    Reply
  • February 15, 2013 at 12:02 pm
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    Kelly, I just saw this and it made my day.. Test after test, doctor after doctor.. they couldn’t figure out what was going on with me! The 3rd doctor got mad at me because I told him “WebMD has already diagnosed me, why is it taking you guys so long?!” Luckily, 4th doctor listened and didn’t wait for lab results to refer me to an excellant Rheumatologist! 🙂

    Reply
    • February 15, 2013 at 4:51 pm
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      Thanks Norma. I’m sorry it took me a few hours to approve your comment – have been in transit to board meeting. So glad you found dr #4.

      Reply
  • April 9, 2014 at 8:43 am
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    A few minutes ago I stumbled across this site. What a wonderful thing you are doing, connecting people who have this horrible thing called RA. I’m a little bit tearful at the moment because I feel I’ve found people who understand what it means to have RA and what we all go through day after day. I’ll be back because suddenly I feel “lifted up”. By the way, loved your post about WebMd. My Rheumatologist told me years ago to avoid that site. So glad you validated his opinion and in such a fun way.
    Thanks

    Reply

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