Happy Thanksgiving

I feel good.  There, I said it. It’s been a week and my joints aren’t swelling and achy.  I’ve been afraid to admit that I feel good.  Like RA karma will come down and smack me hard for daring to say that I feel okay.  It’s a shocking feeling to not be in pain.  I’ve written before that the pain is so integrated into my life that I don’t feel like myself without it.  I obviously like not being in pain, I just don’t quite know what to do with myself when it’s gone (probably because that is a rare occasion).

So what do I do when I feel good?  I wear heels three days in a row.  After a full day of work, I walked the dog for an extra 15 minutes, I ran errands, and I did 3 loads of laundry.  Not revolutionary, I know, but hey…I haven’t been able to carry more than 1 load of wash up and down the stairs for years.  How long will it last?  Not sure, but I’m going to ride it out happily until my disease decides to smack me down again.

Not all of my symptoms are gone. I have some serious fatigue but luckily, I have a 4 day holiday to rest up.  Regardless, I have a lot to be grateful for this year.  My #spoonie pets are also doing well right now,  I have a job that I love,  family that is in good health, and friends who mean the world to me.  Life is good.

Happy Thanksgiving!!

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Kelly holds masters degrees in both Special Education and Speech-Language Pathology. She works full-time as a speech-language pathologist in both a public school setting and as an adjunct faculty member at a university, in Philadelphia, PA. She specializes in both autism and augmentative/alternative communication and took her skills to Uganda, Africa to start a special needs program for disabled children living in an orphanage in 2011. Kelly began experiencing symptoms of autoimmune arthritis in 1984 (while in her teens) but wasn’t officially diagnosed with autoimmune arthritis until 2001. Her first diagnosis was Sjogren’s syndrome. Eventually her diagnosis was changed to sero-negative RA and now Polyarticular Spondlyoarthropathy. She also manages thyroid disease (resulting from Graves Disease), fibromyalgia, renin-deficient hypertension, and disseminated superficial actinic porokeratosis (DSAP) on a daily basis. Kelly connected with other autoimmune arthritis patients via social media in 2008. She began volunteering with the “Buckle Me UP! Movement”, which evolved into the International Autoimmune Arthritis Movement (IAAM) beginning in 2009. Then became a cofounder of IFAA in 2013. She has represented the ACR on Capitol Hill as an Advocate for Arthritis, was a finalist in Wego Health’s Health Activist Hero awards in 2014, and speaks at various healthcare conferences as a patient advocate in the Philadelphia area.

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