27 years and 3 days…

I wrote earlier this week about starting my 27th year  in the field of education.  I’m a speech therapist. You wouldn’t think a speech therapist would be on her feet  lot, but I work in schools and what do schools have??  LONG hallways and multiple flights of stairs.  I also work a part time job to pay for Georgia’s medical needs.  Her insurance only covers so much now because she is maxing out of her pet insurance coverage due to her age and coverage limits.  So today was a 12 hour day, in which I work both jobs.  My rheumatologist asked if I could reduce my workload, but sadly, I can’t at this point if I want stay afloat.  It’s such a nasty cycle.  I had some bad days this summer, while I was only working part time, but nothing quite like today.  Makes me wonder if it’s not my RA drugs but my schedule that is failing my body.  I’m sad. I’m in pain. I’m tired of all of it.  Early to bed and early to rise…..to do it all over again.

At least my pedicure still looks good….

Be well friends.

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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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