Living your best life with arthritis.

AS it Goes – Life’s Bumps and Bruises

Illustration of two bandages taped across cut

Photo courtesy of kjnnt at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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

Spotlight on Arthritis Superheroes

 

Today, the Spotlight on Arthritis Superheroes is shining on Zandrea Bailey, sixth finisher in the Miss Universe Jamaica (MUJ) 2014 pageant.

Picture of Zandrea Bailey

From: https://www.facebook.com/zandreaformissuniverseja2014

 

When the 24-year-old graced the stage of MUJ 2014, nobody would have guessed she was battling a form of lupus called Systematic Lupus Erythematosus.

Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) occurs when the body’s immune system begins to malfunction and attack healthy tissue in various parts of the body, causing inflammation and damage. Tissues affected can include the skin, joints, muscles, kidneys, lungs, heart, blood vessels, and brain.

Zandrea’s introduction to lupus was at an early age, through her mother. Her mother has been living with Discoid Lupus for 23 years.

In 2011, Zandrea’s friends and family encouraged her to join the Miss Jamaica World Beauty Pageant; however, she failed to make the final that year. Determined, she said:

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Spotlight on Arthritis Superheroes

Picture of JG ChaykoToday, the “Spotlight on Arthritis Superheroes” is shining on J.G. Chayko of The Old Lady in my Bones. 

The Old Lady in my Bones is an arthritis blog by J.G. Chayko (Julia), a writer living in Vancouver, British Columbia. Julia was diagnosed with early Rheumatoid Arthritis in her thirties. She developed her blog to share her experiences of living with this disease, as well as create awareness that arthritis can affect the young too.

“It [arthritis] is a debilitating disease that destroys lives. It affects employment, personal relationships and can cause depression. Knowledge is power. The more you learn about your situation, you can live a fulfilling life despite your disease. Sometimes you must learn to let your old life die and create a new one, like a re-birth.” – J.G. Chayko

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Spotlight on Arthritis Superheroes

spotlight

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Today, in the first article of our “Spotlight on Arthritis Superheroes” series, we shine the spotlight on Helena Madsen and her blog, Chronic Marriage.

Chronic Marriage is a blog run by Helena Madsen, a wife, mother, writer, and counselor who lives with Muscular Dystrophy. Her blog is all about living with chronic illness AND helping couples build an extraordinary marriage. Continue reading

Fracture risk increases for women with osteoarthritis

Slip and fall signageA 20-year Australian study reports that women with osteoarthritis (OA) have an increased risk of fragility fracture, even if their bone mineral density (BMD) is normal and their body mass index (BMI) is high.

The study looked at data from 2,412 women and 1,452 men aged older than 45 (average 69). Researchers discovered that 29% of women and 26% of men had a diagnosis of osteoarthritis. According to lead researcher Professor Tuan Nguyen of the Genetic Epidemiology of Osteoporosis Lab at the Garvan Institute of Medical Research in Sydney, the risk is fairly substantial and women with OA have a 50% increase in the risk of fracture.

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“Words and Pictures” and rheumatoid arthritis – Now playing at a theatre near you

Rarely, if ever, have the movies depicted rheumatoid arthritis, but last Friday, the movie “Words and Pictures”, starring Academy Award-winning actress Juliette Binoche, did just that.

Words and Pictures tells the story of an artist – Dina Delsanto, Ms. Binoche’s character – who, challenged by advancing rheumatoid arthritis (RA), had to change the way she painted and deal with the emotional challenges brought on by the disease. This is perhaps the first time a feature film has focused attention on rheumatoid arthritis – an autoimmune disease with hallmark symptoms of inflammation and resulting pain.

Arthritis Consumer Experts (ACE) Founder, Cheryl Koehn, was thrilled to be called on to assist Ms. Binoche in her preparation for the role, and honoured to be asked to review the script and provide comment to ensure the emotional characterization of RA was as accurate as film would allow. Kudos go to ACE physiotherapy advisor, Dr. Linda Li, who assisted Ms. Binoche with the physical portrayal of her character, and Mr. Otto Kamensek, an arthritis community leader and artist himself, who shared his artistic process and art.

Congratulations to everyone involved in the making of Words and Pictures and the awareness it will raise for RA.