Arthritis doesn’t kill you but it does take your life.
A quote my Mum read somewhere when we first started researching Rheumatoid Arthritis, when my Dad was diagnosed with it in 2003. It’s an extremely accurate quote too.
In my Dad’s case it slowly destroyed his limbs. He had huge trouble with his hands, arms, elbows, knees and feet and was in constant pain. His immune system was severely weakened so just a minor cold would knock him out for a couple of weeks. He never gave up though and continued working part time at the local University even though some days he could barely hold a pen and my Mum frequently drove him to work because of his difficulty in walking distances.
The Rheumatoid Arthritis struck him by surprise. There was little warning and he went from being a strong, able late 50 something to someone in crippling pain in no time at all.
On April 12th 2008 he died suddenly of septicaemia due to complications of his RA and the hideous drugs he was on that ravaged his digestion system. Hopefully you’ve all seen that entry a little while ago. Here it is otherwise with the full story of the day.
RA is an evil disease that we don’t know enough about. While it won’t kill you in the conventional way that cancer and heart attacks may do, it will ruin a person’s life and shorten their life expectancy.
More research is desperately needed in order to figure out how to prevent it and how to cure it, or at least how to manage it well for everyone afflicted. Which is where Arthritis Research UK comes in, both in terms of finding out more about it and as general support for sufferers and their families. It’s a charity I feel very strongly about and we had a collection for them at my Dad’s funeral.
I might not be a runner, nor a cyclist but I can write. Having thought about this I thought I’d pop up a JustGiving link for the rest of the year. If you’ve enjoyed any of my entries this year and can spare a couple of quid at some point in 2010 then please do. Every penny helps and all that. As someone who is near constantly broke and ironically can’t afford to chip in to other people’s appeals at the moment, I entirely appreciate if you’d rather not/can’t afford to and I certainly won’t judge. 🙂 I know I don’t like feeling pushed into these things!
However, I figure if it’s up there, what harm can it do? If nothing else it raises a bit of awareness. Plus it gives me even more determination to get to the finish line in 265 days time!
Edit: Oh and yes that is a photo of my Dad trying to balance a spoon on his nose on the JustGiving page. It captures his spirit well 🙂