Author Archives: Alyssa Pierce

Getting Reacquainted

It’s been some time, my friends.

Believe me when I say that I’ve been feeling some guilt about being away for over a year. But, as all of my fellow RA warriors know, we sometimes need to sacrifice things in the interest of self-care. In my case, blogging needed to be put on the backburner.

I’ve made some major changes in my life in recent months. I left the bookstore I’ve called home for the last two years to go back to teaching middle school. I’m consistently going to the gym and eating healthy, and I’m back in school for a graduate degree.

But these are all things to be discussed in future posts. My point for right now is that I’m still here, and I’m looking forward to reconnecting with the community that has been a source of comfort and support for so long.

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New MBWRA Logo!

MY BATTLE WITH RA(1)

Shout out to my girl Yaritza for my awesome new logo! Big things on the horizon for this blog.


Introducing the New MBWRA Facebook Page

I know I’ve said this beforefacebook-388078_1280, but I’m going to say it again- I’m overwhelmed by the feedback I keep getting from you guys. You’ve stuck with me, even through the times when life got hectic and I went MIA. Thank you so, so much.

I realized recently that it’s time to expand. I want to grow this community, hear from more voices (because I’m getting a little sick of hearing just myself talk), and send as much awareness as possible out into the world. So, My Battle with RA now has it’s own Facebook page!

I realize that I’m probably more excited about this than any of you are. I’m not offended, really. But I’m happy that I can provide a new space for discussion besides this blog, and I hope to continue growing and expanding. The page is brand new and looks a little empty right now, but that will change.

I hope you will come join me! Find the new Facebook page here.


RA and Grief

This week Tina Buddha published an article I wrote about grief. I’ve been overwhelmed by the number of complete strangers who have reached out to me to share their stories. There was one message in particular that stuck with me though, from a woman who mentioned that her entire body started shutting down after the death of her mother.

This blog was started so many years ago, yet I don’t think I ever really talked about how grief is what set me on this particular journey with RA.

A few months after my father died, something felt “off.” I was slowing down, sleeping more and moving sluggishly through my days. I figured the issue was more mental than physical, considering the emotional trauma I’d just endured. Doctors diagnosed me with depression, handed me a prescription for Prozac, and called it a day.

Stranger things began happening. The first time I realized there was a bigger issue was when I was sitting in 3rd period history class taking a written exam. My hand locked up completely. My fingers wouldn’t move on their own at all, and there was a searing pain that traveled from my wrist to my fingertips. I was terrified. Depression didn’t do things like this.

Some weeks after, I woke up and couldn’t pull myself out of bed. I limped around like an old woman for the next few days, couldn’t get comfortable while sitting or lying down, and every joint of in my body felt like it was on fire. Yet, according to doctors, it was still only depression. I still didn’t believe them. I couldn’t believe that depression alone could take an active, healthy teenager and age her this much over night (that’s not to say I don’t think depression is a crippling illness. I just knew this was different).

It was almost 4 years after my father’s death before I was officially diagnosed with RA. In truth, I think the only reason I got diagnosed was because I kept arguing with doctors to test me for things, but that’s a blog post for a later time.

When my rheumatologist began questioning me about my childhood, we realized that I had RA for pretty much my entire life. I had just been symptom-free, aside from some obvious signs of the illness. So why did the death of a loved one give me a full-blown, active autoimmune disease?

I did some research after my diagnosis. According to the Arthritis Foundation, there are some people who are born with gene markers that make them more susceptible to developing Rheumatoid Arthritis. Different things can trigger these markers- bacteria, viruses, hormones…and stress from trauma.

I realize that the death of a loved one isn’t always traumatic. In my case, my entire world came crumbling down. My father was everything to me, which I think is pretty clear in that article I wrote.

Having to deal with both grief and an autoimmune disease together sucked. In a way though, I’m glad they happened at the same time. I think I got through the first few years of my illness because I knew I was strong enough to fight. Battling grief taught me how much I was capable of enduring.

If you have an autoimmune disease that was triggered by grief, I’d like to hear from you. Let’s build a community of understanding.


2015 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2015 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 3,600 times in 2015. If it were a cable car, it would take about 60 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.


The Frugal Crafter Blog

Groovy craft projects, crafty recipes and other artsy stuff.

Rebirth of clarity

Live out Loud, Love, Fight, Create and Share

Prose, Poetry, and Coffee

As the title explains, I will post my prose or poetry on a weekly basis (or whenever I feel so inclined). And to jazz things up, I’ll post some of my favorite literary quotes or favorite poems. (I just threw coffee in the title...so *annoyed face* I've gotta clean that up...with my tongue. I love coffee...)

The Clovers Project

Good support is better than good luck.

5x5

Strong, Clear Literature

RAClaRA

A Young Adult's Battle with Rheumatoid Arthritis

Globe-T.

Le Bonnet voyageur • The travelling Winter Hat

The Thinking Writer

Classes & Community for People With Ideas

MFwAiting

You're Doing Better Than You Think You Are.