One Thing About RA: Week One Contest Winner
- RA is not the same as that ache someone has in their knee after playing basketball.
- Appeals for understanding and requests that family and friends educate themselves about RA
- Reminders that just because you look fine doesn't mean you're not in pain.
- Tips from experienced RAers to those who are new to the disease.
- I am me first and foremost - refusals to be defined by RA.
There were 56 fantastic entries in our Week One contest and they fell into one of the above categories. Some were frustrated, some were positive and some were just plain heartbreaking. All of them reflected that in addition to fighting the physical symptoms of RA, we struggle to be understood by those around us. They also told stories of incredible strength, humor and determination to continue living life to the fullest.
Go check out the entries. They are shining little nuggets of wisdom, encouragement and community. Thank you to all who entered!
We did have to pick just one winner and after much reading and discussion, Allison Tsai, the Producer of MyRACentral and myself chose entry #37 by PuppsGirl:
"I think the biggest thing that I would like people to understand about rheumatoid arthritis is that it is so much more than just "pain in the joints". I can waive off the typical "oh yeah, I've got arthritis too" comments because I know that osteoarthritis can cause pain just as bad as RA. But the one thing people don't seem to understand is the fatigue, the exhaustion, the overall effect it has on your every day life. I try to explain to people that it's similar to having the flu, except your body is attacking the joints instead of a virus. I ask people if they remember the "after effects" of the flu - where it takes every ounce of energy to walk across the room. When they say yes, I say - THAT's what it can be like every day for me. It seems to help them understand a little more. Everyone has pain, so people can mostly understand that, but it's so hard for someone who hasn't experienced the chronic fatigue and exhaustions of these diseases to understand just how much of an impact it has on our everyday lives. If people could understand this more, I think the world would be a kinder and more empathetic place."
Congratulations, PuppsGirl! Allison has sent you a message with the details on how to claim your prize.
Thanks to everyone for participating! The contest for Week Three is open until Sunday, May 22, 2011. Mark you calendar to come back during the week of May 23 for our fourth and final (and biggest) Arthritis Awareness Month contest. We also have lots of interesting content planned for the rest of the month and look forward to sharing it with you.