About

I’m a writer and editor, a journalist, a mom and a wife, a cat-friend and a dog-friend. I’ve had rheumatoid arthritis for more than 20 years, but until starting this blog, I’ve never written about it. I figure it’s time.

6 responses to “About

  1. Hi,
    Just stumbled onto your blog from Rob’s Musings/Distractable Mind blog. Just adore him!! I too have RA since even before diagnosis in 1983 and struggle with it most days. I can empathize with you to the hilt since you describe the facts of RA life to the “T”. I was a nurse (critical care) X 35 yrs. and even rode as a “third” on the fire dept ambulance back where I used to live (MS Gulf Coast and New Orleans). RA made my life pure hell! On top of it came diabetes, small airway disease and heart valve problems. I was 33 at diagnosis. I went from being a nurse to being a patient and afterward only able to work very part time. My savings were spent trying to continue to do it alone. My body habitus changed from the side effects of medications, I got depressed as all get out. Most days I could barely move from bed to toilet without weeping all the way. I met an ER doc several months after diagnosis and we were an item for a while. We had a daughter together but due to many conflicts between us, I left him and returned to MS to live and it was downhill from there. I’ve never fully recovered from the financial downturn, even though I eventually returned to critical care. I could only physically work 2 – 3 shifts per week and barely kept a roof over our heads and food in our bellies. But my daughter and I kept on keeping on. However, try as I might, I could no longer physically handle the job as nursing is extremely hard esp. in ICU where there is always some crisis or other to deal with. I went to home nursing but eventually had to do office work for the agency and was a nurse consultant. Getter sicker and sicker and more and more stressed, I finally was laid off permanently and we went to the edge of poverty and jumped off! After a few years I finally was able to get disability but it’s quite paltry. After Hurricane Katrina, I began to have serious problems – couldn’t bathe or dress myself and I was always sick and went into a terrible depression. I’m not able to live on my own anymore so my daughter, who had moved to Atlanta after her freshman college year, came and moved me to Atlanta with her and her partner. So, here I am, and better for it. I have rallied somewhat since living here – less humidity and slightly cooler air than down on the Gulf – but still need help in many things. They have been just wonderful to me here, and Thank God, my daughter loved me so much she truly wanted to have me live with her and has taken good care of me. She is presently about to finish up a degree in business admin. and will also finish up with an advanced degree in nursing in 3 yrs. or so. She has just started her own concierge service and is doing well in it. She’s my pride and joy! We are also dog and cat folks – 2 of each and all males. I am so very happy and pleased to find your blog and hope we can be online friends. Love your attitude. Just as an aside, I let go my nursing license because it was too expensive to continue and boy, was that one of the biggest mistakes of my life. I have tried 2 yrs. to be re-instated in GA but all to no avail since someone with my degree of disability cannot legally get a GA nursing license. They require me to go back to school in GA since I am not currently licensed in any state, and simply start over!! Even if I could afford it, no nursing school will accept me due to my RA, so I’m screwed. I only wanted to be able to have a current license in order to be able to volunteer my knowledge/skills with an organization or other around here. That, alas, is never going to be and I’m just sick over it. Any chronic illness that renders you too weak or ill or stiff to work 12 hrs. a day will be an obstacle to working in direct healthcare of patients. However, you may want to consider training as a health care records specialist, a coding specialist or billing specialist. This might be a route open to you. Hope to read your blog fairly regularly ( I don’t get online but occasionally) as you have really touched my heart as someone who can tell it like it is regarding RA.
    Thanks for taking the time to blog AND to read this long e-mail! LOL
    Anna

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  4. Wren: Either I’m losing my mind or you’ve given your blog a new look! Love the color. It’s so bright and fresh.

  5. Thank you Wren for sharing your experiences with the rest of us. I never knew about how devastating RA is a until I found out a family friend had RA. I didn’t even know she’s had it for 30 years because she never complained even though she was always in pain. I just thought the things she was going through were diabetes related(?) I guess I just didn’t know and should’ve asked. I think she always tried to hide it. She is now on a natural therapy and her condition has improved dramatically, but it has been quite an experience for me personally to see how RA not only affected her but her entire family. I hope you keep sharing your experiences and educating others.

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