The Next Three Days: a Movie Review with a Twist | Rheumatoid Arthritis Warrior

The Next Three Days: a Movie Review with a Twist

The movie: The Next Three Days

coat buttonLast night we watched the movie The Next Three Days starring Russell Crowe (John) & Elizabeth Banks (Lara) about a professional woman with diabetes who is accused of murder.  Lara loses every appeal and her husband John becomes desperate while watching his wife and their young son Luke struggle to cope.

I was glad my son Bear picked this film since I love mysteries and stories of overcoming injustice. I don’t know how many times I’ve watched The Fugitive, The Pelican Brief, and The Firm.

We all kind of moaned at how long the story’s downward spiral lasted. “Let’s see some action,” said Tiger. Why ARE they taking so long? I wondered, too.

It was a little like a malfunctioning toilet on continual flush. Movement is downward. Things get steadily worse. Some of you read my mind the same way you read my blog and you know I had to compare that to my experience with RA. It mixed in my mind.

John ultimately sees that no one believes in Lara’s innocence but him. No one believes because I don’t look sick. He has no hope with the legal system. Do I have hope with medicine? When his lawyer doubted too, I said aloud, “Hey, there is something just as bad as when a doctor doesn’t believe – having your lawyer think you’re guilty.”

Refusing to let his son’s life be destroyed, John plans an escape for his family into another country. From that point on, he’s dealing with criminals and trying to evade the police. So we got plenty of the action we’d been begging for.

A lack of evidence

There was so much loss – from comfort and order in beautiful Lara’s life to living as a convicted murderer. The toll it took on each one them was visible. But John’s solution was so drastic and dangerous and violent, it was unnerving. I know this is how many feel about partially shutting down our immune systems as we attempt to free ourselves of this disease.

But thanks to the long first hour, we saw he had no choice.

Lately, I’ve been thinking about that toilet. I feel like I’ve watched abilities and plans swirl downward continually the last couple of years. RA has taken so much.

I am pushing the toilet picture out of my mind. Yes, I want to use my tennis racquet again someday, but most days I can’t even hold out a TV remote control. Since my hands don’t look bad most days, it’s hard to believe I’ve been able to file my nails twice in the last five years. For years I manicured them every Tuesday evening. You know the list – you have your own.

Yet, at the same time there have been good news and opportunities I never expected. Monday as you read this, I’m attending my first meeting of the Mayo Clinic Center for Social Media Advisory Board. I’ll be in Jacksonville for the next three days. This is a physical challenge; but like a marathon, it will be worth it.

The button

At the end of the movie, I thought about my video where I choked back tears, describing a doctor who said listening to patients is more valuable evidence than tests. The unsettling lack of proof of RA can make it hard as I’ve heard from many of you too.

In The Next Three Days, it took so long to get to the desperate measures because the writer was showing us that John had no alternative. Yet, there was one piece of evidence that no one had considered. A button.

Lara knows that the murderer knocked a button off her coat when she bumped into her immediately after committing the murder. The lost button could confirm Lara was telling the truth and lead to the real murderer.

If only someone would find the button. Was anyone looking for the button? I kept holding out hope.

I won’t spoil the ending for you. But I’m holding onto the button image. There has to be proof out there that can help people with RA who can’t get a diagnosis for years like a man who wrote me this weekend. One day we’ll find a way to measure disease activity before the damage is done. And one day, people won’t say what people say that man: “RA, isn’t that a disease for depressed women and old ladies?” Because we’ll have proof.

Recommended reading:

Kelly O'Neill

Kelly O'Neill (formerly Kelly Young) has worked about 12 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 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 fourteen years with unrelenting RD. See also https:/

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5 thoughts on “The Next Three Days: a Movie Review with a Twist

  • March 14, 2011 at 2:48 am

    You inspire me, encourage me and hear me even when my thoughts areninly in my head because I’ve run out of people to try to explain what I’m going through. Thank you, God bless you and have a good three days. I pray for a pain free trip ( I know! But I’m asking God to give you what you need)!

    • March 14, 2011 at 2:07 pm

      Thank you Dee! I know you’ve had it hard too and you get it.

  • March 14, 2011 at 3:08 pm

    Love, love, love it Kelly! Thanks for the story, that was so good and how perfectly it fits together. I try to give my doc the benefit of the doubt and trust that he understands my RA, but at las he clearly does not. He likes to blame my pain on a central nervous system component, and not inflammation. I didn’t know my CNS could make my fever go up to 100?

    Wishing you a wonderful and safe trip to Mayo!

    • March 14, 2011 at 5:01 pm

      thanks!! we’re here now – i’m resting a few minutes in the hotel before dinner meeting – i’m so excited! & i love that we can still connect! let’s see if we can help these docs get it one day!!

  • March 15, 2011 at 1:47 am

    Yay Kelly, woot woot!! 😀


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