Monday, October 12, 2009

Impact of RA on Intimate Relationships

Hi Everyone,
The following is a quote from Reuters:
- 68 percent of women living with rheumatoid arthritis look for new pain relief therapies to help them cope
- Almost 60 percent of women in the U.S. living with rheumatoid arthritis find intimate relations painful
- Rheumatoid arthritis played a role in 25 percent of divorces amongst women with the disease
A new survey of U.S. women living with rheumatoid arthritis RA)published today reveals that RA has a clear emotional impact on people living with the disease, with loss of self-confidence seen in their sex lives, in the workplace, and in their social lives. Survey findings suggest that almost 60 percent of women living with RA in the U.S. feel less self confident in their sex-life and over a third consistently find intimate relations painful, or have even stopped altogether.
For the full article go to, click Arthritis and RA in the News.
What I know for sure: All of us with RA can support one another and help when it's not a 'Good Day.'
K x

You Go Girls & next KAAS meeting 10/18

Over the years I've had many supportive parents at school helping with my dream to raise awareness about arthritis and to change the public perception of arthritis. For this to happen, authenticity of the pharmaceutical companies is key. No more actresses in ads trying to pretend they have arthritis. In September, with cautious optimism, a few of my girls from my Karen and Arthritis Support group (KAAS) attended a casting for a 'pharma' company. After many conversations about the importance of authenticity with me, those casting the commercial really listened and seem to be genuinely interested in RA awareness and the cause. This is a huge change and Abbott needs to be congratulated (so far) for this, as do those involved in casting the commercial.

Don't forget the next Karen and Arthritis Support Meeting (KAAS):
November 18
Cibo Restaurant @ 6 45 p.m.
2nd Ave between 42 nd and 41 st
New York
Men get arthritis too, so all are welcome!

Saturday, October 03, 2009

Karen And Arthritis Support (KAAS)

Yes my support group has a new name. I have been contacted by a few men and now realize that we can't be exclusive. So we are now KAAS which is kind of how Australians shorten Karen.
Our next meeting is:
Wednesday November 18 2009
6.45 p.m.
Cibo Restaurant - 2nd Ave between 42nd and 41st in Manhattan NYC

Every time we meet I feel happy that we have each other. All up there are about 15 members and it's growing.

Think happy thoughts and remember helping others makes you feel good.

K :)

Tips for Coping With Chronic Pain

Hi Nicole,
I understand all those scary feelings, frustations , anger and loneliness .
There are a couple of things I can suggest.
1. Go to
There's a lot of info. for disease management there including a 12 step program. You are in a grieving process right now. It's okay to be angry. The website will answer most of your questions
2. Half of the battle will be about controlling negative thoughts I know a great therapist called Steve at Lex and 41 st I will email you the number tomorrow
3. Rest is soooooo important. Some days I'd lie in bed at Tudor City for the whole weekend fatigued.
4. Fish oil take 6 capsules a day. Your body needs anti oxidants
5. Take men out of the equation for now . Too much pressure! Or fiddle around online while you're resting, just with an attitude of fun
6. Take some time in the day to get some space and consciousness about your thoughts. Look at the leaves of the trees, the water etc . Be in the moment without a fear if only for a minute
7. Buy the book Always looking up by Michael J Fox
Go to my website it will help
Till later, know that you are special and somehow your courage will make you stronger and a better person.
K x

Arthritis Friends Stick Together

Hi Karen,
I know sometimes I give you such an earful but I am just wondering if you know anything I can do to get past this point of pain and get back to living a fun, comfortable life. The pain is horrible and I don't want to move or be around people but the burning desire to get out in the world and have fun and socialize. Any thoughts?? I hope it is ok that I emailed you. I won't do it often, I swear but I just felt like I needed to now because your presence and spirit and your group'smeetings have helped me.

Copied in part from Karen's personal email