at the Water's Edge

Living life and learning all I can along the way!

Groundhog Day is Now Rheumatoid Awareness Day

It's February 2nd.  Groundhog Day.  And now, Rheumatoid Awareness Day!  Today marks the first time ever that there has been a day set aside specifically to promote awareness of rheumatoid disease (previously known as rheumatoid arthritis).  The Rheumatoid Patient Foundation (RPF) announced the establishment of this day last month, and has published numerous ways that people can get involved.  This holds a special importance to me, as I was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) or rheumatoid disease at the age of 19, and have been living with the symptoms and treatments for it for the past 8+ years.  I am fortunate that the currently available treatments have worked pretty well for me over the years, but it has not been without its ups and downs.  You can read more about my journey with rheumatoid disease by clicking here.

There are many challenges to raising awareness of rheumatoid disease -- you can read my discussion on that here.  But a big part of what needs to be done is simply educating the public on the truth of this disease.  The term "rheumatoid arthritis" has done a huge disservice to the disease by making it sound like a type of "arthritis" (typically associated with osteoarthritis) instead of a systemic autoimmune disease that has arthritis as one of its symptoms.  What I want to do here is just share some basic facts about rheumatoid disease for those who may not know what it is.  The RPF has put together some great topline information:

It can be very difficult to explain to someone what it's like to live with a chronic illness, and many patients suffer with symptoms that are largely invisible (you can't see pain!).  I had the opportunity to join the RPF at last year's American College of Rheumatology Annual Scientific Meeting -- where one of our main goals was to share information from the patient perspective.  I think the information that was pulled together for that event provides some excellent statistics and gives an idea at a quick glance at how this disease affects many people's lives:


Please considering helping us bring awareness to this often misunderstood disease.  Here are a few simple ways you can get involved:

  •  JOIN in Twitter Chat TODAY: February 2nd at 7 p.m. EST with special guest Dr. Jeffrey Curtis, Division of Clinical Immunology and Rheumatology at University of Alabama, Birmingham.  Join the conversation on TweetChat.

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Hi there! My name is Dana and I live in West Michigan with my husband, Tom and our dog Copernicus. I created this space as a place to share the things I learn along this journey I call life. I work in marketing and I'm a sort of Jane of All Trades, interested in all things nature, gardening, cooking, exploring and learning new things. This blog is a conglomeration of my interests, hobbies, life and life lessons. Thanks for stopping by!