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Today Is World Arthritis Day, Let’s See Your Wave!

Today Is World Arthritis Day, Let’s See Your Wave!

Hey all, today is World Arthritis Day. A day of awareness for people with rheumatic disease. There are more than 200 rheumatic and musculoskeletal diseases (RMD’s). This year’s theme is ‘Move to Improve’. 

You can click on the pic above and also the globe in the sidebar and be taken to the World Arthritis Day website. There you can find out more about today, get resources for yourself or to educate your loved ones, and have an opportunity to wave for WAD!  You can submit your picture of you waving for World Arthritis Day. The photos are being put into a montage and the goal this year is 100,000 pictures. Countries are competing to see who has the most waves. =) You can see the tallies at the website.

I think this is a fun idea and we’ll be ‘waving’ here and sending ours in. I’ll be sure to post it here when we do. They’re accepting photos until October 31st, so it’s not too late to be involved.  Anyone can wave; you don’t have to have a disease, you can wave to support your friend or family member.

Waving is a small physical activity, but a big gesture for people with rheumatic disease.  It also ties in with this year’s theme which is movement, and we all know this is SO important. Now that doesn’t mean running a marathon, unless you can and um, like to run…That’s just something I never did enjoy even when my muscles were my own. But light exercise is very important to keep your muscles from atrophying.

My mantra is ‘baby steps, baby steps’. There was a time when I couldn’t walk more than a few feet, and even then had to rely on a walker. The couple of years of me being immobile really did a number on my muscles. My disease is a muscle-wasting disease to begin with, so I really need to stay as active as I can. Something I have not been so successful with lately btw, but that’s the good thing about a new day. A day to try again.

Stop in at the website. Click the counter to ‘wave’ in spirit. Let me know in the comments if you did, I’d love to see them!

Until next time,

 

 

June is Myasthenia Gravis Awareness Month-yes, I’m late!

June is Myasthenia Gravis Awareness Month-yes, I’m late!

I’ve been a little backwards lately…a lot going on in the Lane.  I wanted to talk about MG and APS as both have awareness months in June.  Even though I kind of missed the boat on talking about them earlier it’s ok, as long as word gets out, it’s ok if it’s late.  Right??  I’m trying to make myself feel better for not doing this sooner 🙂

Myasthenia Gravis means “grave muscle weakness”.  The most common form of MG is an AI(autoimmune) neuromuscular disorder. So many of us AI’s go and see a rheumatologist but with Myasthenia Gravis you would see a neurologist.  I learned a lot from reading at the Myasthenia Gravis Foundation of America and now I’m going to try and squeeze some of it out of my brain into a mini biology lesson.  Bear with me as I’m running on no sleep.  Like my disclaimer?

When our brain sends out a signal for our muscles to move, an impulse travels down the nerves to the muscles. But the nerve and muscle don’t actually touch; there is a space between the nerve ending and the muscle.  It’s called the neuromuscular junction.  Alrighty, here is the place that I’m going to have to jump back and forth and plagiarize the site because my pea brain can’t remember it all.

According to MGFA when the nerve impulse originating in the brain arrives at the neuromuscular junction it releases a chemical called acetylcholine.  Acetylcholine travels across the junction to the muscle side and attaches to many receptor sites.  The muscle contracts when enough of the receptor sites have been activated by the acetylcholine.  In MG, there is as much as 80% reduction in receptor sites.  The reduction in sites is caused by an antibody that destroys or blocks the receptor sites.

This next part I know a little bit about so I don’t have to cheat 🙂 The antibody is a protein that is supposed to destroy foreign proteins called antigens, like bacteria and viruses. The immune system in a person that has MG makes antibodies that attack their receptor sites.  This causes a slow down in acetylcholine being able to start up enough receptor sites for the muscles to do what they are supposed to.  The end result is muscle weakness.

Myasthenia Gravis. It’s a mouthful. And a body full.  I have a friend who has this treacherous disease and it sucks to put it bluntly.  MG targets muscles and leads to muscle weakness.  Breathing, swallowing, walking; it affects voluntary muscle groups.  Before I even knew what MG was I had seen a video on You Tube of a woman who was getting harassed by the police while on the ground.  She kept saying ‘Myasthenia Gravis’ as they taunted her as a troublemaker because of ongoing issues with her neighbor.  When the EMT’s came they told her they never heard of it as a dismissal.  As if someone has never heard of something then it must not exist, ha!  I believe there are close to 100 autoimmune diseases and just because I have one doesn’t mean I know them all.  Just because you are medical personnel doesn’t mean you know every disease and condition known to man.  Ugh, watching it made me sick to my stomach.

We all know that research and funding are some of the ways to getting closer to finding a cure for autoimmune diseases.  Awareness is also very important.  We have to get the word out about all of these diseases, let everyone know just how important it is to spread the word.  Make ‘autoimmunity’ a household word. The more we know as a public, the more people will be pushing for funding to find a cure.

Thanks for listening.  I planned on writing a little about MG during it’s actual awareness month, but June was a completely chaotic and sad month for us. Stop by Myasthenia Gravis Foundation of America and check it out.  It’s a really great place for information, advocacy, and patient education. Next up, APS!

Until next time,

Julian Lennon and James Scott Cook Raise Awareness and Funds for Lupus Research

Julian Lennon and James Scott Cook Raise Awareness and Funds for Lupus Research

This just in, to my inbox anyway!! I am so happy, excited, ecstatic, and all the other gleeful descriptive words!!  Not just money for research, but BIG names raising awareness! Weee hooooo!!!  Check it out-

Julian Lennon and James Scott Cook Raise Awareness and Funds for Lupus Research

November 24, 2009

Proceeds from the song, “LUCY,” will be donated to the Lupus Foundation of America and the St. Thomas Lupus Trust

Washington, DC, November 24, 2009 — Julian Lennon, son of the legendary John Lennon, and James Scott Cook announced today that they will donate a portion of the proceeds from their song, “LUCY,” to fund research on the disease lupus. The song was created to honor Cook’s 92-year-old grandmother, Lucy Cook, who has been living with lupus for years and Lucy Vodden, a childhood friend of Lennon’s who recently passed away at the age of 46 after a long battle with lupus. Vodden was also the subject of a drawing that Julian created which inspired his father to write the memorable Beatles hit song “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds.” Proceeds donated from the song, “LUCY,” will be shared equally by the Lupus Foundation of America, Inc. (LFA), and the St. Thomas Lupus Trust in London.

Sandra C. Raymond, LFA President and CEO, issued the following statement:

“We thank Julian Lennon and James Scott Cook for their generous support, which will not only help fund lupus research, but will also go a long way to help raise awareness and draw international attention to this perilous disease. All proceeds from the song will be restricted for use in LFA’s National Lupus Research Program, Bringing Down the Barriers, which directs grants to lupus researchers in academic medical centers throughout the United States for research on the causes and epidemiology of lupus, pediatric lupus, lupus kidney disease, cardiovascular disease in lupus, adult stem cell transplantation, novel approaches to the development of new treatments, among other areas.

“We applaud Julian and James for calling attention to the urgent need for lupus research. It has been more than 50 years since the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved a new treatment for lupus. In fact, to date there has never been a drug approved specifically for lupus, since the disease was discovered more than a century ago. Physicians who treat people with lupus often must rely on medications that have toxic side effects; some side effects are worse than the disease itself. For people with lupus, finding less toxic therapies is vital to not just their quality of life, but for many, their survival.

“Lucy Vodden and Lucy Cook represent people with lupus around the world who are either living with lupus, or have succumbed to the disease, demonstrating the varied and sometimes devastating impact that lupus can have on individuals and their families. This life altering disease typically strikes young women in their childbearing years, yet a public opinion survey demonstrated that 80 percent of women know little or nothing about the disease.

“Our hope is that the efforts of Julian and James will inspire others, and serve as a catalyst for the public to join us in working to change the future for the millions of people around the world like Lucy. We encourage people to pay tribute to both of these women and all those living with lupus by downloading the song ‘LUCY’ through iTunes beginning December 15, 2009.”

Related Information

Julian Lennon, decade later, back in music biz with ‘Lucy’

from   http://www.lupus.org/newsite/index.html

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