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Linn County Leader - Brookfield, MO
Rheumatoid Arthritis and Fibromyalgia
Remission = Repression
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By Pamela Engelhard
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By Pamela Engelhard
Jan. 14, 2013 3:52 p.m.



I wasn’t exactly sure what it meant to be out of ‘remission’ when it was applied to Rheumatoid Arthritis, so I delved deeper into what remission actually means. It is a true misnomer. In cancer patients, and I am a survivor, remission for a specific number of years means it is cured. For RA it only means that the symptoms are repressed. Remember, there is no cure for RA at this time. 

During the last few years, while I would have flares, the majority of the symptoms were hiding. Now that the “remission” is gone, I am reminded just how excruciating and debilitating RA is. For the first time, I am having an RA flare in my spine. There is not a comfortable position to be found and the constant attempt at finding relief is exhausting. I am not sleeping at night due to the pain and inability to find comfort. What I thought was my weapon for sleep, a heated mattress pad, doesn’t bring any relief as it has in the past.

My attempt to change focus from the pain is just as exhausting as the attempt to find a position where the pain level can be reduced. Sometimes the pain is simply too great to locate an escape route. The good news is that I am at least able to be present at work, even if I am not accomplishing the quantity and quality of work I normally produce. 

If you have not found the RA Warrior online as yet, please go to www.rawarrior.com. Kelly Young has completed extensive research into our condition and has made all the information available to people at no cost.  Kelly has won awards for her blog and advocacy for this disease. She also infuses her humor into how this disease affects her life, providing me with a bit of comic relief and a feeling of sisterhood. To know you are not alone in this journey, or travels, as I call it is a benefit; camaraderie is built and strength is found in numbers.

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