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5 years ago, I knew what it felt like to have enough energy to take my kids to the park. I knew what if felt like to be able to play with my kids on the floor. I knew what it felt like to be able to move freely. 5 years ago, I knew what it felt like to be pain-free.

When my doctor first told me I had arthritis, I thought she was mistaken. Arthritis was for old people. I was only in my thirties. My pain was from overdoing it at tennis. I just wanted a referral for some physical therapy so I could be on my way.

She explained to me that I had “rheumatoid arthritis” or RA, a disease that is blind to age. RA is an autoimmune disease. Essentially, your body’s immune system believes your joints are “bad” & tries to destroy them. In addition, like most auto-immune diseases, RA causes exhaustion. Not just, ‘I’m tired because I need to sleep better at night exhaustion’ – I’m talking about ‘unable to function at 1:00 in the afternoon exhaustion.’

Over the last 3 years, I have tried more drugs then I can remember. I’ve had allergic reactions,  hair loss, weight gain, headaches, nausea, bruises, broken bones, fevers, insomnia and multiple infections. I’ve had to give myself weekly injections, go through regular blood draws to make sure my liver is functioning and deal with monthly IVs.

The drugs unfortunately, work by suppressing my immune system. I have had to keep myself as isolated as possible from anyone who appears sick, so as not to get sick myself. Not an easy task with my little one in preschool! I’ve had to stop and restart treatment several times now due to illness. If I am not able to stay on the drugs, I will soon be out of treatment options.

For the second year now, my amazing husband John, is running the Arthritis Foundation’s 5K Jingle Bell Run this December; not just for me, but for the millions of adults and children who suffer from this debilitating disease every day.

Like many diseases, there have been great strides made in research, but no cure. Last year, thanks to the generosity of our family & friends we raised over $500. This year, we want to raise even more.

If you would like to help “Team Toz” this year either by running/walking with Team Toz, or with a donation, check out our team web page. We thank you so much for your support!!

Team Toz’s Home Page – Malvern – Dec 12
Team Toz’s Home Page – Newtown – Dec 11

Also – if you would like to understand the story behind the “spoons” & get a glimpse into ‘a day in the life of ‘ check out this article – a must read if you or someone you care about suffers from a chronic disease.

The Spoon Theory

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