I am just one of the over 54 million Americans with doctor-diagnosed arthritis, Pain Awareness Month in September is personal to me. A few times throughout the month I will post on one of my several diagnosis. Today I am just making a post about how the Arthritis Foundation has been there for me when I was first diagnosed 25 years ago, and some facts on arthritis.
September is Pain Awareness Month
In fact, according to patient-reported data from the Arthritis Foundation, almost 90% of people surveyed have pain that interferes with their daily lives. And while arthritis is the leading cause of disability in the United States, and it’s not for the elderly fact is : two out of three people living with arthritis are younger than age 65. And let’s not forget kids get arthritis too.
I am so honored to be a volunteer for the arthritis foundation on several levels. From being a local Connect Group Facilitator to an Arthritis Ambassador in my area to a VIM app supporter Walk Committee member and Helpline volunteer.
Many people but especially those who are newly diagnosed, or those who have kids that are newly diagnosed with JIA do not know where to begin, they are scared, anxious and just want answers, I know I didn’t know what to do when I was diagnosed with osteoarthritis over 25 years ago at about 34, back then even my doctors were not too helpful. Chronic pain, arthritis no matter what form you have can be isolating. You want to do things like you did before but someday’s that is just not possible.
A bit about me – I am a medically retired optometric tech and apprentice optician due to many bone and joint issues osteoarthritis , osteonecrosis, in my knee, and back issues from spondylolysis to spondylolisthesis.
I was a hiker I would love to go to the Allegheny National Forest and hike. The Allegheny National Forest located in the foothills of Appalachia in northwestern Pennsylvania, about 75-100 miles northeast of Pittsburgh. The forest covers over 500,000 acres of land. Within the forest is Kinzua Dam, beautiful place which impounds the Allegheny River to form Allegheny Reservoir, beautiful rolling hills, spectacular all year round but the fall was breathtaking. It has 9 names mountains the highest is Coal Knob 2149 ft. To go on a road trip or hike here is great info visit the Allegheny National Forest Info
But the youngest people diagnosed with arthritis often have the most isolating experience: there are about 300,000 kids and teens in the U.S. living with juvenile arthritis (JA) and other pediatric rheumatic diseases. Through the Arthritis Foundation, JA patients and their parents are connected to a community of support to help find answers, access life-changing resources and make new friends.
The Vim App: The Newest Resource
A good resource for people battling chronic pain is Vim, the Arthritis Foundation’s free mobile app. It’s designed to help people log their pain, set goals, and stay on track to achieve them. Along with providing a social networking component, the app is full of expert content from the Arthritis Foundation, covering topics such as nutrition, sleep, and exercise.
I am grateful that I had the arthritis foundation and all the resources it provides and hope that if you live with arthritis pain you also check them out.