Goodbye My Queen…

It’s the one year anniversary of losing my beloved Lola. She is one of the inspirations for my name Lolabellaquin. Sadly, only Bella remains and she is not long for this world. Sharing as a way to honor one of the greatest loves of my life. Life is simply better with a pet. I’m certain.

As My Joints Turn

8/13/16:  My final update.  My queen has passed…..

“You might be gone from my sight, but you are never gone from my heart.”

My phone rang at 2:00 am. A vet at the emergency hospital told me that Lola “arrested and passed”. I’m surprised none of you heard my scream as my heart broke in two. I asked if I could go and hold her. I raced to the hospital with tears streaming down my face. When I walked in, they told me that Lola stopped breathing for 2 minutes but had just started again. Her eyes were open and she was drooling. Then she heard me and fighter that she is, sat up for me. It was partly my Lola and partly a zombie Lola. Her poor little body was struggling to breathe. When they initially told me she died, I was heart broken that she did so alone…

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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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