RAD Caregiver

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Living with RA: One year later

A few weeks ago several of my siblings came into town to attend a function that was honoring my dad and a few others that attend his church. One of my brothers asked me if I was going to continue writing about life with Rheumatoid Arthritis or not. Apparently he had enjoyed reading my perspective. I explained to him that while I was continuing to do as I had promised as far as bringing awareness of RA and of the Rheumatoid Patient Foundation, I was doing it primarily by donating watermarks on some of my photos to the Rheumatoid Patient Foundation. The reason for this was that living with a person that had RA was not always a pleasant experience and I was not always ready to deal with the strife that might result if I wrote my thoughts for the world to see. Little did I know that some might interpret my lack of writing a an indication that all was well, apparently there are people in my own family that seem to think that we use Tanya’s disease as an excuse to get out of doing things. Tanya frequently discusses on her blog how strangers do not seem to understand RA, how they will offer home remedies that their grandmother used for her arthritis, or how if people cannot see the effects of the disease, it must not exist. I begrudgingly accepted this as reality, but I was saddened when I discovered that this extended to my own family. As a result, I have decided to talk a little about the last year.

In October of 2011 Tanya moved in with me and I learned what living with Rheumatoid Autoimmune Disease (RAD), also known as Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) was really like. Tanya and I carried on a long distance relationship for more than four years, so I thought I had a pretty good grasp on things as far as RA was concerned; I was wrong. When we were 2,000 miles apart I did not see RAD on a daily basis; I could only go by the comments Tanya might make when we spoke on Skype or ICQ. Considering we lived so far apart we saw each other a lot but Tanya is pretty good about not complaining, so for the most part, I only heard about problems when they were severe. Because Tanya wanted to spend time with me, she would suffer in silence and I really did not know how bad it was. Continue reading

Rheumatoid Autoimmune Disease, doctors and stress

It is no secret that, in general, I do not like doctors and do my best to avoid seeing them on a professional level. Since Tanya moved here I have been with her on several visits to see her rheumatologist; the experience has not done much to change my opinion of the profession. I will admit, after the first visit I thought that perhaps I had been too harsh; there are specialists out there that will really listen to their patients. I thought it was quite refreshing and I looked forward to the experience.

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When we went in for the second visit I was dismayed when the doctor thumbed through the research Tanya had provided two weeks earlier as though it was his first time. Still, he was conducting new tests and was suggesting new medications so I had to reserve judgment; besides, the first appointment was after lunch and the second one was in the morning. We decided that we would only schedule afternoon appointments as he seemed less busy and more able to spend time with Tanya. Continue reading

A visit with Tanya’s new Rheumatologist

Yesterday, Tanya went to see a new Rheumatolgist, Dr. Solomon Forouzesh in Culver City. Since her move to Southern California, this has been her first visit to a doctor about her Rheumatoid Autoimmune Disease. As I have mentioned in prior posts, we are seriously considering going to Panama to take advantage of the adult stem cell therapy that is available there. Since she has not been to a doctor since the middle of last year, it was decided that it only made sense to get a checkup so we could see where she was at. After doing significant research, Tanya decided on Dr. Forouzesh which I have to say seems like a great choice.

Anyone that knows me or has followed my blog for any significant amount of time probably is aware of my attitude towards doctors and the medical profession in general. I am pleased to say that I walked away from his office quite pleased with the events of the afternoon. After [actually] listening to Tanya, Dr. Forouzesh ordered up a Vectra DA blood test that will give an accurate idea of what is happening with her now, along with a bone density test both of which were done there in the office. He also wants an ultrasound done on her thyroid, but that has to be done earlier in the day, so she will have it done when we return in two weeks. Continue reading

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