I went to the beach the other day. We tried to take a day off from all of our vocational and avocational activities. We hardly ever take time off from school or work. Many of you know that the Rheumatoid Arthritis Warrior website is also hard work – several hours per day.
Of course, we left the computer at home. But, I didn’t even bring a notebook! And I said, “No camera either. I‘ll be tempted to get to work.” I tried to leave the Rheumatoid Arthritis at home too. I ate a good breakfast and took a big dose of Advil.
Woman’s Day magazines have been piling up around here since I started the blog. My daughters read them. But, I just have no time… So, I took the last 3 issues with me to the beach to catch up. It would be a work-free zone: just me, my CD player, my iced tea, and my kids.
Of course, you know RA won’t stay away. But sometimes, if you get really comfortable, sit very still, and get mentally absorbed in something, for a few minutes you can forget about it. That was the idea anyway.
When everyone was off to play in the surf, I settled onto my lounge chair. My daughter had rinsed it off and placed my thickest beach towel over it. Magazines are a luxury to be savored. So, I picked up the most recent one and read it one page at a time…
Until I got to page 76. My heart stopped. It was a light little page about Rheumatoid Arthritis. With a picture of a thin and muscular young woman laughing into a backstroke in tinted blue water. I think the image looked like a spa ad. But, ok, I’ll read now and judge later...
What a disappointment! I have read so many stories in this magazine about women who triumph over illness and adversity. About women who have a hard time getting a valid diagnosis and barely survive horrible diseases... And THIS is what they have to contribute to our campaign against ignorance of RA?
They made it sound like a minimal case of the flu. Anyone reading that article would be shocked to hear your stories, to read the emails I get, to look over the comments on this blog, or see the messages you leave through the Facebook page. It sounds like a different disease.
The teacher in me came out and I got an urge to take a red pen to that page. I would like to correct every misconception and inaccuracy and send it in to their editors for inspection. I still might.
I will not be dissecting each misstatement in this post. However, I will spend the rest of my life getting the correct info about Rheumatoid Arthritis known. One by one, I will address each thing.
I will not stop until Rheumatoid Arthritis is understood or cured for good, whichever comes first. Stay tuned.
What else can we do?
I flipped through the front pages to look for a letter to the editor section. No letters from readers department? Maybe they want folks to reply on the net, I figured. So, with some searching I found the internet version of the article and left my comment.
The comments are on two pages and you can add yours. Also, you can “Rate the story” by clicking on the stars. I hope one star means “Please try harder.” Click here to see it.