My dog is a “spoonie” too (version 2)

I was excited when CreakyJoints asked me to write about my relationship with my dog.  I thought it would be easy to reflect on our life together, but it wasn’t.  My dog and I have a complicated relationship that was harder to explain than I expected  Not only is she my constant companion and fur baby, Georgia is also a fellow spoonie.

Here is our story:

I’ve been living with multiple chronic illnesses for over 20 years.  My journey into the world of chronic illness life started with Grave’s disease and DSAP (a skin disease) then moved into more painful illnesses of Fibromyalgia and Polyarticular Spondlyoarthropathy.  Through the years I’ve had some relief from various medications, but overall, my pain has been my constant companion since my early 30’s.  I loved animals and always had dogs as a child, but I hesitated to get one as an adult because of my pain and physical limitations. Dogs need to be exercised, bathed, and groomed and honestly, I have a hard enough time doing that stuff for myself. Instead I had two cats and I adored them, but in the back of my mind, I have always been a dog person. So I decided to do some research.  I spent almost a year researching dozens of breeds to find the best fit for me. I finally decided on a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel because that type of dog seemed to fit my lifestyle and my ability level. I noted there were hereditary illnesses with the breed, but having 8 dogs prior and watching my mom manage their illnesses, I figured that I could handle whatever was ahead. I even took out pet insurance to err on the side of caution.  I thought I did everything right…

To see the full article, please go to the click this link for the CreakyJoints website.

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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.

2 thoughts on “My dog is a “spoonie” too (version 2)

  1. Reblogged this on As my Joints Turn and commented:

    I’m proud to be a part of RA Blog Week 2017.  I’m just returning from three days in Washington DC where I visited members of Congress and Senate to discuss the needs of patients living with Rheumatic diseases.  Needless to say, I’m 100% exhausted today.  Today’s prompt relates to partners.  

    Partners  – Where would we be without our partners? They are often not just partners but caregivers. Tell your partners story. And if you do not have a partner what will your ideal partner be like, or do you even want one?

    I currently don’t have a partner, but I wrote this love letter to my dog Georgia a few years ago.  It was originally found on Creaky Joints.  I’m being somewhat lazy because I had to get cortisone injections in both of my elbows and am switching biologic drugs (for the 7th time).  Because of this, I’m going to reblog a story about my Georgia Grace. At this point, she is my partner in crime, my BFF, and my best friend.  We share the chronic illness journey and although I hate that we both are on this journey, I’m so grateful to have her in my life.

    Like

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