Wednesday, January 14, 2015

The Arthritis Foundation - Becoming an "E-Advocate" and How YOUR VOICE DOES MATTER!!! YOU CAN make a DIFFERENCE!!!

As we begin a Brand New Year with New Congress Members of our 114th Congress officially now in. We want to further our cause on the issues surrounding Advocacy for Arthritis - Ra and Osteo, plus Juvenile Arthritis. I would love for you to joint MANY others around our nation in support by being an "E-Advocate" for the Arthritis Foundation. You never have to leave home, and your input can mean SO MUCH when it comes to legislation about health, from medications and the "tier" programs, to making Medicare sustainable, to giving out funding for so much needed research in order to give "a quality of life" back to the hundreds of thousands of women, men and children that suffer from these horrid diseases. I am including a link to the page where you can sign up and also read more about being an "E-Advocate". My emphasis on "YOU MAKING A DIFFERENCE" is critical. Because I used to think probably what you sometimes think "Oh, how can I, one voice make a difference?" Well, I can tell you from personal experience that YOUR VOICE can move mountains. Also, your members of Congress DO HEAR YOU! So, you helping to send your opinions and how you feel on health matters - does matter! I urge you and I know many of you have a "full time" plate, of family, children, jobs, and living, and also many of you are dealing like myself, with chronic illnesses like RA, Osteoarthritis, JRA and many other illnesses very much related to these... whether it be other Autoimmune Illnesses, such as Lupus, Sjogren's, MS, Myasthenia Gravis, MCTD and the hundreds more (I met a woman yesterday who is a lab tech and drew my blood for some lab work - finding out she also has an autoimmune illness - at 25 she suffers from Diabetes 1) ... so "we" are out there... and finding your "niche" where your voice can be heard is an incredible thing to do. I can say without any hesitation that my advocacy with AF, IFAA/IAAM, Lupus Foundation, WEGO Health, my "consumer reviewer" with the DOD I served as last year, my trip to D.C. with the A.F., my work I did with IFAA and all they continue to achieve is just almost mind boggling, my blog, my writing, my Facebook posts, as well as groups... and then illnesses such as FM/CFS/ME (that I continue to feel are all autoimmune related illnesses) .... and so much more... being a judge for WEGO Health Activist Awards, getting to tell my story on Capitol Hill last year and then again a couple of times in the year to my Congressional Representative and my Senators.... and now I would like to further my own Advocacy in my State... I feel it is crucial that we make headway in Texas on a State Level of our Government with these illnesses. It means getting our State Congress on board, and even down to our County and Town people in positions of government, all instrumental in making great things happen when it comes to health care, medications, research, and healing those who truly would love to have another "normal" day in their lives... most of us wished we could gain just a portion of our "quality of life back"... and that in itself would mean the moon and stars to so many of us... as patients, as caretakers, as family, friends and often even our medical providers. They would like to have more options to address our every growing and changing autoimmune illnesses, chronic pain patients, those of us that our joints just deteriorate and often there may not be a "good" explanation as to why... yet they would love to be able to know themselves and to be able to tell patients the "why's" and "how to" fix them. After the numerous surgeries I've been through, more than I can count on BOTH hands... I can say, that the thought of having to undergo another surgery honestly scares the hell out of me... even the idea of being ill enough that I may need to be hospitalized terrifies me. Each night I pray that I will NOT be ill, especially never again so ill, I must undergo a hospital stay. After knowing what I know, and then watching an hour documentary just yesterday, on just how many "Superbugs" there are just lingering around every nook and cranny of a hospital, it terrifies the hell out of me.... With an already very compromised immune system... with illness, and then even more compromised due to medications, the idea of going into the hospital already ill, and hoping I don't become even worse in there than before I went in... just puts me in a place of mortal terror. The last bout I had with double pneumonia, and had a fever so high for me at 103 degrees that I was literally hallucinating, could not type, could not walk straight, could not see... and if I had not finally figured out to check my temperature, at the time Jim was still in the hospital, so alone it really didn't dawn on me.... then seeing how high my temp was, and in so bad of shape I did not even trust myself to drive alone.... it really was yet another eye opening experience for me. I got by the "skin of my teeth" from being hospitalized. Because my temp was not going down initially even with Aspirin, Tylenol, and so forth... and having it in both lungs... I convinced the physician at the Urgent Care (he also is an ER doctor at our local hospital) and I knew him... to allow me to go home first, and see how I was in 24 hours with medications... he still was almost to the point of sending me via ambulance to the ER... but I swore to follow his rules, and if the fever got any higher, or I became more ill, I would immediately dial 911 and go to the ER... thus I avoided that one. But, here I am already a compromised immune system, Jim had then been in the hospital about 3 weeks out from the accident... he still was so out of it, he was not able to truly grasp the idea that I was so ill I could not at all come up to see him... and for a full 10 days, I stayed HOME, on the sofa, taking my meds and doing exactly as the doctor told me. The very last place in the world I needed to be was in the hospital myself. So, as I tell my own dilemma from 2014, my point is that STILL when I could even through the entire ordeal with Jim's accident, my own illnesses, then the whole situation with the Sjogren's and my teeth literally falling out weekly, then getting Jim home, to proper doctors, getting medications, finding how the hell to survive the ever growing costs of meds, doctors, since there is NOTHING to pay any of it but us.... to my own issues with all of the dental bills also NOT COVERED... and fighting (no pun intended) tooth and nail for Humana to freaking pay... IT WAS AN ILLNESS that TOTALED MY TEETH, not a "DENTAL" problem... and the vicious cycle and circle carries on. So MY FIGHT is the "good fight" for ALL of us... it is time to put the USA on the World MAP as being a "premier" nation that DOES FIND CURES or WAYS TO PUT THESE HORRENDOUS ILLNESSES INTO REMISSION... to stop the damage they cause.... and we NEED YOU... and your voice also.....

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