Bringing Rheumatoid Disease Out of the Shadows

January 24, 2013 in RPF News

By David Biundo

As children, we are mesmerized by shadows. They are magical incarnations of whatever we want them to be. In some cases they were our playmate, our best friend or even sometimes our scariest enemy. One of my childhood memories of shadows comes from the game my brother and sister would play together. We would darken a room, and then creatively place lights in the room so they would cast our shadows on the wall. We would then get our favorite records, from our favorite groups playing, and then try to make our shadows look like we were a live rock band. Amazing what imaginations did before a Wii remote or Xbox Kinect. As we grow older, shadows tend to play a different role in our lives. They become a metaphor for the trials and tribulations we go through. For some, the shadows that are cast and carried through everyday life represent a burden that is often difficult to overcome. Some of these shadows we cast by ourselves and our reactions to our current situations, while others shadows are placed in our path by society. Both create their own set of opportunities to overcome which sometimes seem impossible.

For those of us who are impacted by rheumatoid disease, there are many shadows cast upon us. Living with these shadows and over coming them is sometimes harder than fighting the disease itself. Coming out of the shadows The shadows that many of us deal with include having our symptoms disbelieved and having our disease trivialized due to misconceptions about what rheumatoid disease really is.    The shadows grow longer as misconceptions and misinformation are perpetuated by the media.  As patients, many of us are cast in these and other shadows, unsure of how to overcome them, so we remain living with a disease that is destroying our bodies and impacting the way we live our lives everyday.

On February 2nd, the Rheumatoid Patient Foundation will support the first ever Rheumatoid Awareness Day, aimed at helping those with rheumatoid disease come out from behind the shadows that have been cast upon them.    It is our goal to not only give patients a place to turn to, but to also educate the public on the facts of what living with this disease entails.  It is only through awareness and education, from both patients and health care professionals that we will be able to bring this disease out of the shadows.  By doing this we will be able to dedicate more resources, establish better standards for care for all patients and hopefully find a cure.

Join us in bringing rheumatoid disease into the light. Click here for a list of ways that you can get involved.

3 responses to Bringing Rheumatoid Disease Out of the Shadows

  1. Have been diagnosed with RA and Sjogren Disease for 5 yrs. Tired of not knowing which part of my body is going to be swollen in the am,not being able to wear shoes. or worse, not be able to function at all that day. But mostly tired of, “it’s just arthritis, my mom had it and she functioned, why can’t you? People do not understand what it takes to face the world one day at a time with this disease. I’m not normally a complainer or whiner, just happy there is a site where I can express my frustration!
    Thank you!

  2. I wanted to thank you and everyone involved in getting the information out there that Rheumatoid Disease is a serious illness. I have been up against this battle for almost five years now. I had to leave my job because it was to hard managing my health, my family, and my job. I absolutely hate to my very core that people tell you oh you look fine, you just need to push through the pain. Its not just the pain. Its severe fatigue that a nap will not cure. It is watching yourself going from working 40 hrs a week,taking care of your family and household chores to not being able to wash dishes and do laundry in the same day. Not being able to go to events because you have such dizzy spells or headaches that make you totally bed ridden for the day. Having to depend on your family to help you with grooming because you can’t hold your arms up long enough to dry or style your hair. Not being able to cook because it hurts to bad to be on your legs that long or your hands and feet are so swollen you can’t put any pressure on them. What hurts the most is feeling like your alone because nobody except people with rheumatoid understand. We are not lazy, everyday we wake up and manage to get out of bed we are trying so no we haven’t just given up. No I don’t feel better if I just get up and move more. The way society treats you makes you resent other diseases or illnesses. If I stated to someone I was just. Diagnosed with cancer the individual will go out of their way to provide sympathy and encouragement but guess what someone just diagnosed with this illness looks fine too. If I tell them I have rheumatoid disease the same individual would say oh my grandma has that just take some ibuprofen and you’ll be fine. Just to let everyone know I am in no means trying to make cancer out to be something not to be taken seriously I use this as an example because I know for a fact I was diagnosed 12 yrs ago with cervical cancer. Its how we in society are taught according to terminology if its bad or not. This journey is long it is hard we fight daily we are not looking for sympathy what we need is empathy. All diseases need to be treated and funded the same. We are all praying for and working towards the same goal and that’s a cure.

  3. It’s so good to know that people with RA have a special significant day to raise awareness of how this disease affects our bodies, internally as well as externally with the visual signs of swollen red painful hands, knees, feet and other joints. It’s not just arthritis !!