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Saturday, October 30, 2010

Halloween 2010

Had tunk or treat at the church for halloween again this year. It was Kydan's first Halloween that he could participate and enjoy the experience. He was a cute little vampire and Gary dressed up in his vampire costume. I enjoyed it. It is great to be able to relive your childhood through your own children.
Here are some picture....and no I don't dress up :)

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Went Blue for Arthritis today

So today was arthritis day and to show support I wore blue, so did Kydan, and Gary, and well Bella did too :)
I did this in Honor of a good friend of mine who has had arthritis for 7 years. She isn't old, she is actually younger than I am. But she has been a great support while I have learned to cope with the fact that I also have a chronic disease. .

Number of Americans with arthritis or chronic joint symptoms:
  • 1985 - 35 million
  • 1990 - 37.9 million
  • 1998 - nearly 43 million (1 in 6 people)
  • 2006 – 46 million (nearly 1 in 5 adults)
  • Arthritis is one of the most prevalent chronic health problems and the nation’s leading cause of disability among Americans over age 15.
  • Arthritis is second only to heart disease as a cause of work disability.
  • Arthritis limits everyday activities such as walking, dressing and bathing for more than 7 million Americans.
  • Arthritis results in 39 million physician visits and more than a half million hospitalizations.
  • Costs to the U.S. economy totals $128 billion annually.
  • Arthritis affects people in all age groups including nearly 300,000 children.
  • Baby boomers are now at prime risk. More than half those affected are under age 65.
  • Half of those Americans with arthritis don’t think anything can be done to help them.
  • Arthritis refers to more than 100 different diseases that affect areas in or around joints.
  • Arthritis strikes women more often than men.
Overall arthritis:
  • Women - 24.3 million of the people with doctor-diagnosed arthritis
  • Men - 17.1 million of the people with doctor-diagnosed arthritis

The disease also can affect other parts of the body. Arthritis causes pain, loss of movement and sometimes swelling. Some types of arthritis are:
  • Osteoarthritis, a degenerative joint disease in which the cartilage that covers the ends of bones in the joint deteriorates, causing pain and loss of movement as bone begins to rub against bone. It is the most prevalent form of arthritis.
  • Rheumatoid arthritis, an autoimmune disease in which the joint lining becomes inflamed as part of the body’s immune system activity. Rheumatoid arthritis is one of the most serious and disabling types, affecting mostly women.
  • Gout, which affects mostly men. It is usually the result of a defect in body chemistry. This painful condition most often attacks small joints, especially the big toe. Fortunately, gout almost always can be completely controlled with medication and changes in diet.
  • Ankylosing spondylitis, a type of arthritis that affects the spine. As a result of inflammation, the bones of the spine grow together.
  • Juvenile arthritis, a general term for all types of arthritis that occur in children. Children may develop juvenile rheumatoid arthritis or childhood forms of lupus, ankylosing spondylitis or other types of arthritis.
  • Systemic lupus erythematosus (lupus), a serious disorder that can inflame and damage joints and other connective tissues throughout the body.
  • Scleroderma, a disease of the body’s connective tissue that causes a thickening and hardening of the skin.
  • Fibromyalgia, in which widespread pain affects the muscles and attachments to the bone. It affects mostly women.
  • Arthritis has been recognized for perhaps thousands of years. Unfortunately, many misconceptions about this chronic condition have been around for almost as long. We will try to debunk some of these myths about arthritis and provide some key definitions along the way.
    MYTH #1 just aches and pains


    One common myth is that arthritis is just another name for the aches and pains people get as they grow older. While it is true that arthritis becomes more common as people as people age, arthritis may begin at any age, including childhood. Conversely, some elderly people never develop arthritis. Many forms of arthritis or musculoskeletal conditions are self-limited and get better without specific treatment. Others, such as rheumatoid arthritis, may be quite serious and may affect the body's internal organs as well as the joints.

    A simple way to organize arthritis-related conditions is to group them into categories based on whether they affect only one joint or area of the body (localized conditions) or many joints and organs over the entire body (generalized conditions). Localized  conditions include two subgroups. The first subgroup includes conditions that affect the soft tissues surrounding joints or bones directly. These are known as soft-tissue, localized conditions, and include tendinitis and bursitis. The second subgroup includes conditions that affect one or a few joints, such as a single knee or hip. A common example of this second subgroup is osteoarthritis of a single joint, although osteoarthritis often affects more than one joint.

    Likewise, generalized conditions can be divided into two subgroups. In the first subgroup, widespread muscle and soft tissue discomfort in which there is no evidence of swelling or inflammation includes a very common condition called fibromyalgia. Conditions in this subgroup are not associated with damage to the structure of the joints. The second subgroup includes conditions in which inflammation affects the entire body, such as rheumatoid arthritis. Other conditions in this subgroup include gout, ankylosing spondylitis and psoriatic arthritis, generalized conditions of inflammation throughout the body in which joint pain is the major symptom. Other generalized inflammatory conditions include polymyositis, which affects primarily muscles; systemic lupus erythematosus (lupus), which may affect the skin, kidneys or other organs; and vasculitis, which may affect any organ.

    These four groups of musculoskeletal conditions are not mutually exclusive, and a person may have more than one type of rheumatic disease. For example, people with rheumatoid arthritis may experience tendinitis, bursitis and fibromyalgia more commonly than people in the general population. In addition, when joints become badly damaged as a result of the chronic inflammation of rheumatoid arthritis, they are called "end stage." At this point, they may look similar to joints that have reached "end stage" in people with osteoarthritis, even though the destruction was caused by different mechanisms.


    Taken collectively, the various types of arthritis and rheumatic diseases are the most common chronic health condition in the population, affecting about one in every three adult Americans and nearly 300,000 children. These conditions become even more common among older people. Even in people under 65, arthritis is a major cause of work disability. For example, fewer than 50 percent of rheumatoid arthritis patients younger than 65 who are working at the onset of the disease are still working 10 years later.

    In addition, the impact of arthritis on society is substantial. By some estimates, the costs associated with arthritis may amount to $86.2 billion annually.  The costs of arthritis may be categorized into three groups: direct, indirect and intangible. Direct medical costs, such as physician (and other health professional) fees, charges for laboratory tests and X-rays, drugs, assistive devices, surgeries and other costs, are the most obvious. However, a substantial part of the economic burden come from indirect costs, such as lost wages due to work disability. In addition, people experience intangible costs, such as the need for a spouse or relative to take time off from work to bring a patient to a caregiver, travel for medical care, or money spent to remodel the home to meet the needs of a person with arthritis, and many others.
    MYTH #2 Not much can be done to alleviate the pain


    Unfortunately, there are no cures for most chronic rheumatic diseases. You may think that little can be done to help your arthritis, but this is not true. Some improvement in the pain and loss of function is possible in almost everyone with arthritis. Furthermore, the disease process that may lead to joint destructions can be controlled effectively in most people - particularly those with rheumatoid arthritis. More can be done today to ease the pain of arthritis and to slow joint destruction than ever before.

    Many people with serious types of arthritis, which were severely disabling as recently as a generation ago, are now leading full and productive lives, thanks in part to many developments, including new drugs and treatments, exercise programs, surgeries and self-management. As a person with arthritis, your future is full of possibilities that were only a dream 25 years ago.

    One of the most exciting changes in recent years has been the growing understanding that the patient has an important role to play in the management of his or her arthritis. This change in emphasis is sometimes referred to as a biopsychosocial model of disease management, to distinguish it from the traditional biomedical model, in which the outcomes of diseases are thought to be determined almost exclusively by the actions of health professionals. The wonderful advances in drugs, surgeries and other medical treatments are an important component of a biopsychosocial model of disease management, but this model also incorporates the key contribution of patients, families and support networks to the outcome.