Rheumatoid Arthritis, Fibromyalgia, Ankylosing Spondylitis and Sjogren’s Syndrome

I will not cause pain without allowing something new to be born, says the Lord.  Isaiah 66:9

 

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Rheumatoid Arthritis

What is Rheumatoid Arthritis?  I’m not a physician so I can only speak from personal experience.  For me it is the least understood disease.  Most people respond as if it is a little joint pain from aging, but it is much more.  Many people say they can’t tell I’m sick.  That is partially because I try to hide it, but also because it is invisible.  It’s being so tired that you could fall asleep anytime, and sometimes there is no physical way to stay awake.  It is having so much pain that you can’t sleep.  It’s staying in bed all weekend so you can make it through the work week without missing any time.  It’s not knowing what to expect or when to anticipate a bad day.  It’s crying on the inside while you plaster a smile on your face.

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The only cure comes from God.  Beyond that, remission is a possibility.  I know people who are living happy lives in remission. My doctor tried different medications until he found the combination that worked best. Most of the medications have severe side effects. However, if your doctor places you on one of these medications it is because the risks were higher with you not taking the medication. My treatment has been a balancing act, and I haven’t been able to stay in remission for any lengthy period of time.

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It’s important to keep a positive attitude and tell yourself you are not sick, even when the brain fog takes over.  Depression and stress only make the disease worse.  In other words, fake it until you make it.  Try to get some fresh air every day, and be mindful of what you are eating.  Exercise is also important.  Lean on God throughout the day.  I’ve provided a little helpful information below.

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Sjogren’s Syndrome

Sjogren’s Syndrome can go hand-in-hand with Rheumatoid Arthritis, but it doesn’t have to.  I know people who have Rheumatoid Arthritis, but do not have Sjogren’s Syndrome.  For me Sjogren’s Syndrome is dry eyes, mouth and throat.  It doesn’t really hurt, but it is embarrassing when your eyes are so red they look like they are bleeding.  I often have people asking if I have Pink Eye, or if I’m crying.  I recently found out that Sjogren’s Syndrome is also related to Ankylosing Spondylitis.  The cartoon at the bottom of this page reminds me of myself when one eye is red.  Lol

When I’m having a bad flare, my eyes look their worst.  I take very expensive prescription drops, supplemented by over the counter drops every three hours and ointment at night.  It’s mostly aggravating, but untreated I have trouble seeing. See the information below for more information.

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Fibromyalgia

Fibromyalgia is the most confusing of these three disease to me.  Just surfing the Internet I found conflicting information.  It is a real disease with extreme pain.  It often goes hand-in-hand with Rheumatoid Arthritis.  My doctor told me the best thing to do is exercise.  I have had challenges exercising with the Rheumatoid Arthritis, but I have found stretches before bed and before getting out of bed in the morning help.  Again, ask for God’s help and be mindful of your diet.  I have more on diet and exercises on other pages.  Try to keep a good attitude.

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Ankylosing Spondylitis

I recently learned about this disorder.  I’m not that knowledgeable about it so, I’m just going to leave you with some information I pulled off the Internet.  As I understand it more, I will include more information.

The important thing to remember is that none of these diseases are of the world.  There are so many people less fortunate.  Keep a good attitude.  Wear a smile and keep the faith.  Always ask God to help you, and always look for new ways to get through the day.

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