A checkup appointment at my rheumatologist (doctor who specializes in arthritis) always leads to some interesting discussions. Most of the time I try to “research” a topic beforehand, so that I am armed with the latest background information on whatever are my most pressing concerns at the time. When I launch into my questions (I always have a list written out), I have a better-than-even chance of holding a meaningful conversation with my rheumy. In turn, I get more out of the conversation instead of returning home with questions that even Google cannot answer. Understanding what he is really saying provides me with the sense that I am in control of my ankylosing spondylitis (AS), and not the other way around (AS controlling me?) Continue reading
The litany of famous athletes who suffer from various types of arthritis is long: golfers, cyclists, figure skaters, baseball stars, downhill skiers … you get the idea. There are countless athletes performing and competing at world-class levels in every imaginable sport. They do it all despite their arthritis and many have become high-profile and public supporters for their form of arthritis.
These athletes have found a way to compete at the highest echelon of their sport even as they suffer from the effects of arthritis. They do it with the aid of sports psychologists (keep attitudes positive), physiotherapists (keep joints limber), coaches (keep on the game), trainers (keep in top physical shape), medical personnel (keep tweaking meds), and maybe a financial advisor and a business agent too. On the other hand, we mere mortals must play all those roles (and more) by ourselves and all at the same time. The team behind us is far less comprehensive: probably a medical doc (rheumatologist) and then a bunch of friends and family cheering us on from the sidelines.
In recent years, arthritis research and advocacy organizations have made important inroads in creating public awareness about the many types of arthritis (and related inflammatory diseases). However, I think that there’s nothing like an athlete’s star power to help focus attention on arthritis, which until recently was not understood or even considered a “serious” disease by many health professionals.
Athletes are terrific ambassadors for spreading the word about arthritis; their personal stories provide comfort and inspiration about how they cope with their condition during their sports careers. They possess the ideal public platform to get out the message about arthritis’ deleterious impact on millions of lives. In bringing awareness to the seriousness of the disease, they also help to direct more dollars towards research and ultimately, a cure.
Personally, we all deserve to consider ourselves as winners. Every day, we haul our pain around with us, we cope with hurting joints and aches, and the secondary effects created by various medications, including fatigue and depression. Unlike high-performing athletes, we do this without the benefit of a team of medical and/or health professionals. We participate as best we can in the “game” of life; we find our personal motivation and encouragement to keep moving. We may not run marathons, bolt down ski slopes at breakneck speeds, or drive a golf ball 300 yards, but we are all arthritis athletes in our own right. ~Fran
Mickelson’s mindset about his arthritis is one that everyone can follow, that is, mind over arthritis – not letting his arthritis stop his passion for golf. In an interview with the USA Today, he said: “I also find that the more I work out, the better I feel and the less symptoms I feel. So I’m excited. I feel better and better.” The 44-year-old, 42-time PGA Tour winners, five-time major champion and three-time winner in the Phoenix Open has been living with psoriatic arthritis since 2010. Continue reading
The other day I noticed a large blue bruise on my shin. You would think that if your shin sports a two-inch round contusion, you would be able to recall what you had done to end up with that discoloration. But for the life of me, I could not remember hitting my shin so hard that it looked like someone had whacked my leg with a baseball bat.
Small bruises are not an uncommon occurrence for me. I often find small bruises on my arms and legs (last week I found one on my stomach) in varying shades of blue, green and yellow. My favourite is the rainbow-streaked bruise created on the inside of my lower arm after I have had a blood test. Continue reading
Just in time for National Seniors Day in Canada on Wednesday, October 1, Paul Luke of The Province wrote a feature article titled “Over 65 and going strong: Baby Boomers are reinventing old age”. In the article, he talks about the following themes:
- Baby boomers’ perception of physical appearance;
- Baby boomers are the richest and healthiest generation;
- Seniors in the workforce;
- Good health in seniors;
- Statistics on the numbers of seniors in Canada; and,
- The road ahead.
Please find below a summary of each section.
Chronic Marriage is a blog run by Helena Madsen, a wife, mother, writer, and counselor who lives with Muscular Dystrophy, symptoms of which are similar to those experienced in arthritis and include poor balance with frequent falls, difficulty walking, and a limited range of movement. Helena is all about living with chronic illness AND an extraordinary marriage.