A Look Back at 2023 on RheumatoidArthritis.net
As the year draws to a close, many of us in the rheumatoid arthritis (RA) community are reflecting on both personal and shared journeys with the condition throughout 2023.
This year, our Community Health Leaders shared their trials, tribulations, and joys with the community through a wide variety of articles and forums. Our live, virtual panel event for World Arthritis Day helped community members connect with a few of our Health Leaders and find comfort and support in all of our collective experiences.
There were countless interactions and points of connection that took place both on and off our site this year, but to help celebrate just a small portion of those meaningful interactions we've gathered together a collection of Health Leader articles from 2023, with each month focused on a common theme that was prevalent in the community. To help celebrate the New Year with all of us at RheumatoidArthritis.net, check out the articles below, and share a story or experience in the forum entry boxes or the polls at the end of this article!
Happy holidays and happy New Year from the RheumatoidArthritis.net Team!
January: The comorbid and the clinical
Janeil Whitworth: "Until my own episode, I never realized RA could affect your eyes..." Read more here.
Kelly Mack: "At a recent visit to a new spinal doctor, I learned that my top couple of vertebrae have become 'naturally fused' as a result of my rheumatoid arthritis..." Read more here.
Donica Liu Baker, MD: "What happens when I have a strong suspicion of rheumatoid arthritis, but the 2 traditional lab markers (rheumatoid factor and anti-CCP antibodies) are not coming back positive? I have found that VECTRA testing can be helpful..." Read more here.
February: Dealing with change, adaptations, and choices
Kat Elton: "It’s true, there are many more activities now that I can't do because of my joint limitations, and my strength has gone down because of this. But all that negative thinking has stopped me from remembering the good news..." Read more here.
Nan Hart: "Successfully managing the use of electronic devices intended to make our lives easier and more efficient can be neither if we are not careful. It seems to me it is all about modifying..." Read more here.
Leanne Donaldson: Should our rheumatoid arthritis always get the final say in every decision we make? RA and decision fatigue is a real thing, my friends..." Read more here.
March: Relationships, social life, and lifestyle
Daniel Malito: "Being isolated from others when you have rheumatoid arthritis and chronic illness is a many-faceted and multi-sided issue..." Read more here.
Kat Elton: "I’ve struggled with my hearing for as long as I can remember. It’s been something that has caused me feelings of isolation and embarrassment, especially when I was younger..." Read more here.
Nan Hart: "Clothes are something I have always enjoyed, and now that there are so many choices that work with my RA, I can wear things I like, which helps my self-image and overall joy..." Read more here.
Leanne Donaldson: "Is it impossible to have true, lasting relationships that span the test of time when you live with rheumatoid arthritis?" Read more here.
April: Surgery, heart health, and nutrition
Donica Liu Baker, MD: "Controlling the disease activity level of RA will not just help with reducing pain and improving the function of your joints. It will also protect your heart and blood vessels against long-term damage from inflammation..." Read more here.
Franki King: "Our bodies are all so uniquely different. No one body processes the same as another. The only thing that’s truly worked for me is learning to listen to and love my own body..." Read more here.
Kat Elton: "I could spend my days railing against my fate, or I could do the best that I can with what I have..." Read more here.
Amanda Osowski: "As I wait for the results of this second MRI, I can't help but reflect on the frustration I've experienced..." Read more here.
May: The physical and emotional cost of RA
Lynn Marie Witt: "From my own personal experiences, I have learned first-hand how my own adverse childhood experiences have not only mentally but physically impacted me in my adulthood..." Read more here.
David Advent: "The costs, both financial and opportunity-related, are immense with RA, and sometimes I don't think people realize that..." Read more here.
June: Joint pain and replacement
Rick Phillips: "These decisions are personal, and no decision suits every situation or person..." Read more here.
Janeil Whitworth: "Here are my 8 pain-relief therapies I can't live without..." Read more here.
July: New treatments, new health challenges
Rick Phillips: "I did something a little crazy, but it made sense to me: I changed my biologic..." Read more here.
Monica Sengupta: "At the beginning of this year, I experienced the most excruciating pain I have ever felt in my life. After visiting my gynecologist, we learned I was experiencing uterine torsion..." Read more here.
August: Self-care, self-acceptance, and self-advocacy
Amanda Osowski: "Treat yourself gently. Talk about your limitations... The world isn't going to stop because you have to slow down..." Read more here.
Daniel Malito: "These 2 small words seem inconsequential, but for anyone living with RA and chronic illness, they are part of one of the most important phrases you can learn..." Read more here.
September: All about RA treatment
Janeil Whitworth: "When I began methotrexate, I was determined to be open-minded. Here’s what I found during my experience..." Read more here.
Mary Sophia Hawks: "When we get to a place where it’s obvious that something’s got to change, what do we do?" Read more here.
October: Symptoms, side effects, and expectations
Lynn Marie Witt: "For so many years, I felt like a 'sleep failure.' I was doing everything right and still not getting great sleep results..." Read more here.
Daniel Malito: "So, here I am with another loss handed to me by my RA, and this one smarts..." Read more here.
Leanne Donaldson: "In my experience, the best way to evaluate my treatment expectations versus reality in order to make good treatment choices in the future is..." Read more here.
November: Physical therapy, exercise, and eating
Kelly Mack: "While I may not see the improvements, they are still continuing to happen..." Read more here.
David Advent: "All of this came about in the first place given my struggle with weight..." Read more here.
December: No bones about it!
Monica Sengupta: "I have had issues with my teeth ever since my RA diagnosis (circa 2010). I went from perfect pearly whites to hell in my mouth in the span of a few months..." Read more here.
Amanda Osowski: "This holiday season, we visited an outdoor holiday light show path, and not only was it quite chilly (increasing my RA pain), but I was in an Aircast (stupid continual metatarsal fractures) and the wheelchair was a must..." Read more here.
Community polls: Looking back on your 2023
This or That
Did you know Humira released new biosimilars for RA treatment in 2023?
This or That
Have you noticed a link between drinking alcohol and your RA symptoms?
Have you noticed RA has impacted your hair?
How often, if at all, do you feel isolated as a result of RA?