Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Social stresses

Scientific study proves social stresses make Rheumatoid Arthritis worse.

Wow, this article totally confirms through science that just because people can't see our pain, their attitudes actually make us worse!


Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Arthritis Walk 2010

May is National Arthritis Awareness Month.  Strap on your walking shoes and join Team Vicbo at the Detroit Zoo for free when you participate in the Arthritis Walk.


21st century medicine

Interesting article about how technology will improve patient care.  I can't wait to start to see these things implemented.  Sounds so much more organized for patients with chronic conditions of all kinds.  http://www.ihealthbeat.org/articles/2010/4/13/new-technologies-spur-changes-in-health-care-research-delivery.aspx

High Price of Arthritis

This article explains the difficulty with getting a diagnoses of Rheumatoid Arthritis and the sky-rocketing costs associated with this disease (and related arthritic conditions).  Personally I have had to give up on taking Enbrel because of the costs associated with it.  I am now on sulfasalazine instead.  If you have similar circumstances, please read this article and get involved with the Arthritis Foundation in your state.  We have legislation being considered in the House of Representatives. It's called the Affordable Access to Prescription Medications Act of 2009.  It's new legislation that hopes to establish a $500 monthly out-of-pocket spending limit on prescription drugs regardless whether you have private insurance or Medicare Part D.  The bill is H.R. 3799  Please call your representative and let them know the high price of Arthritis is causing medical bankruptcy, especially for Rheumatoid Arthritis patients.  

Arthritis Today - high medical cost of Arthritis

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Arthritis Walk 2010

I'm one of the thousands of people who are joining together in communities across America to get moving to help prevent arthritis. We are a diverse group of people who share at least one thing in common - we all know how serious and debilitating arthritis is.

You may have arthritis or probably know someone who does, but what you may NOT know is that there are over 100 forms of arthritis and related diseases. Or that 1 in 5 adults and over 300,000 children suffer with arthritis pain every day.

I'm lacing up my walking shoes and moving this year in the Arthritis Walk. The event is only one day, but the impact of the money will continue to help millions of people for years. More than ever, I'm determined to reach my fundraising goal. Please lend me your support. Just click on the link below to visit my personal web page and make a donation.   Team Vicbo donation page

I was diagnosed with Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis at 18 months old.  This disease has done permanent damage to my joints that cannot be fixed.  I have already had a bilateral hip replacement, 4 reconstructive surgeries on my feet and last year I had double knee synovectomies and a torn miniscus.  I have also developed Degenerative Osteoarthritis in my neck and spine and Fibromyalgia which causes severe pain in my muscles.  I also have Osteoporosis and Colitis.  So far, I have 5 of the 106 different forms of Arthritis.  These diseases cause extreme pain, fatigue and mental stress which is sometimes unbearable.  I am 36 years old now.  I fought through school to get honor roll grades and became a certified public accountant.  About 5 years ago, I had to stop working due to all my medical problems.    My spirit keeps me fighting for a cure even when my body tells me to quit.  I will have to keep fighting to conquer these diseases for the rest of my life and that's OK. I am not my body, I am my spirit.  Please join me in my fight by joining "Team Vicbo" and walk for a cure at the Detroit Zoo on May 1, 2010.  All walk participants who arrive before 8:30 am get free admission to the zoo.  This is a family friendly event but the zoo does not allow dogs for obvious reasons so we have to leave them home this year.  Please join my fight.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Spring Has Sprung!

This is my favorite time of year.  My summer body is coming back!  I am starting to feel as though the body cast is breaking free and I am starting to be able to move better.  Michigan is one of the harshest climates because of the continual low pressure centers always hanging around.  Low pressure centers is what irritates my body the most.  Anybody else with Rheumatoid have any comments about winter vs summer body please feel free to chime in.  Cold and damp weather is the enemy of Rheumatoid.  But I survived another winter!  I love the smells in the air, the birds, the animals....everything is so fresh!  What a great life it is to notice all of the blessings that spring brings!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

My JRA story

My Story
By: Victoria Nicholls (Vicki)

I was born to Sharon and James Hall in 1973. At about 14 months they noticed I would turn my whole body instead of my neck. Also, I would walk funny, I wasn’t moving my hips, kind of like a robot. They took me to a regular pediatrician who then referred my case to University of Michigan. Then at 18 months my diagnosis of Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis shocked my parents. My older sister had to have open heart surgery as an infant, now their second child was born with a systemic degenerative disease that would someday cripple her. I can now look back and put myself in their shoes. There was no treatment for JRA, just baby aspirin. The doctors told my parents I had to take 17 baby aspirin a day (at 2 years old!). Or, they had the choice of making me a pharmaceutical ginuea pig. I think they chose the right route. My parents had to exercise my legs by forcing my hips to stretch out as I laid there whimpering like a puppy taken from its’ mother. This had a great affect on them emotionally, physically and spiritually. I was not the only one affected by this disease. My immediate family was affected more than I ever knew.
At age 3 I started dance class. This was the best thing my parents could have ever done for me. I danced from age 3 to 16 Anita’s School of Dance in Sterling Heights. Thanks Anita for everything you taught me. It greatly helped my JRA and it gave me confidence and pride in myself. I would encourage any parent to enroll their child in some sort of dancing activity because of the stretching of the limbs that is required during warm up routines (upon doctor approval, of course).
During school I fought extreme discrimination. Everyone knew there was something wrong with me but I didn’t want anyone to know, so I denied having anything wrong with me. I was ashamed of my disease. The kids would whisper behind my back and say hurtful things. In first grade, I was disciplined in a school assembly because I was not sitting flat and Indian style. I could not physically sit like that. The teacher pulled me aside and I told her I have arthritis and I can’t sit like that. She called me a liar, because kids don’t get arthritis. My parents had to write her a note confirming my devious lie to not sit Indian Style was in fact true. I did have JRA. I never got an apology from the teacher. You know who you are.

I am no longer ashamed of my disease and am ready for my voice to be heard. There are hundreds of thousands of people like me. Check out Gina’s Blog she is actually the reason I started getting interested in speaking out for people with arthritis, especially the children.
At age 18, my graduation present to myself was new toes. I had all 10 toes reconstructed (5 at a time). This was the first time I could see my feet as semi-normal as opposed to the chicken claws I lived with all my childhood. My disease started progressing faster at about age 23. I started having extreme pains in my hips. I ended up with a bi-lateral hip replacement at age 27.
All through this I managed to put myself through school. I graduated from Oakland University with a major in accounting in 1997 and became a Certified Public Accountant. I was determined to have a career. My disease had other ideas. I had to go on disability in 2004 after being diagnosed with Microscopic Colitis. Then my JRA went through the roof and my body has been getting worse ever since. I had a good 2 year period on Remicade but it stopped working and I have been on the search for a medication that I haven’t tried yet and can afford.
The financial stress is unbelievable with all the hospital bills, doctor bills, blood work bills, co-pays for prescriptions. Now, Medicare part D exists ,thank God, but for people like me who need the expensive high-tech drugs they don’t pay for because of the “donut hole”. Everyone needs to contact their US Representative and Senator and say “close the donut hole in Medicare part D”.
I would go so far to say that the law is discriminatory towards the disabled. Permanently disabled people are usually on really expensive medication, that because of the donut hole, they cannot afford their medication. The “donut hole” is killing people because they can’t afford their medication. I have heard plenty of horror stories to back this up.
In 2006, I somehow started to think drinking the pain away was a good idea (even though alcoholism runs in my family tree). By February 2007 I was in the fatal stages of Alcoholism. I went into treatment and it has changed my life. I have learned self respect, humility and that I am not in control of everything. I can control one thing. I will speak out for arthritis causes every chance I can. I have found my voice, please hear me. I am not alone, there are hundreds of thousands of me’s out there. You can find your voice, too. This disease will never break my spirit. I am not my body, I am my spirit. Life is not about the wealth in your bank account, but the strength and goodness of your spirit.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Setback in Democracy

The Supreme Court has just come down with an opinion that opens the floodgates for Corporate Greed to be more powerful than ever! Corporations are now able to pay for political advertising directly instead of using PAC only. This means our Senate, House of Representatives will be purchased by the highest bidder. So this Supreme Court ruling will allow a Pro Republican Corporate takeover of our Government. We need to make noise like never before...PROTEST, PROTEST, PROTEST.

The corporations are NOT citizens and have NO right to freedom of speech on political matters..That is not what our founding fathers intended when they said Freedom of Speech.

This is no joke...Imagine the Bush Years TIMES 1,000!!!!!!!!!

Shorty Awards

I am running for a Shorty Award as @teamvicbo on Twitter please vote for me for a Shorty Award for #nonprofit category for my work for all the 46 million arthritis sufferers, and 300,000 children with Juvenile Arthritis in the USA!

Here's the website: http://shortyawards.com/category/nonprofit#

I just changed my address for this blog

just wanted any followers to notice i finally changed the blog site address to match the name of my blog

Jobs for Disabled

Here's a great article I got through my friend, Rudy Sims, disabilityresourceexchange.com

The concepts in the article is for people in wheelchairs, but the general concepts laid out may be used for anyone who is disabled.


Hope this article is useful.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Tylenol Recall

ATTENTION Over the Counter drug users: the Tylenol recall has been expanded to include different forms of Tylenol, Benedryl, St Joseph's aspirin, etc

Waning signs are a foul smell when you open bottle.


Tuesday, January 12, 2010

New Drug for Rheumatoid Arthritis approved

Great News! Yet another drug has been approved for Rheumatoid Arthritis.

Associated Press reports: Hal Barron, chief medical officer for Genentech, a division of Swiss owned Roche, claims Actemra “marks a major step forward” in the treatment of the disease. Actemra was first approved in Japan in 2008. It has also been approved in Europe, India, and a handful of other countries.