Doctor Diagnosed with R.A. Fights Back

Doctor Diagnosed with R.A. Fights Back

Originally hailing from the Philippines, Dr. Keziah Galorport is a family physician. Even though she has suffered with rheumatoid arthritis for most of her life, she has made the decision to make a difference for herself and for others. She recently joined Racing For a Cure team where she will race to raise money for arthritis. This, in her own words, is her story…

“When I was a child, I used to cry every night and complain about my painful knees to my mom. She would wake up in the middle of the night and gently massage my aching knees until I fell asleep. Little did I know that it was the beginning of what would be a lifelong journey of pain; a battle with rheumatoid arthritis.

“There is very little awareness about this disease from where I come from, that whenever I complain about my aching joints, I’m often told by people who don’t know about it that I am just getting older and have to accept it.

“I was very active in my childhood and teen years. I was a member of the theater arts and debate clubs in elementary school, I played basketball, danced ballet, wrote short stories, sang in the city children’s choir, and played the piano. In high school, I was even more active, juggling multiple extracurricular activities, which I continued throughout college. After I graduated college, I applied and got accepted into medical school. That was when it all began. On weekends, I would hand wash my own laundry. I copied notes from PowerPoint lectures a lot and created handwritten reviews. I started to feel pain in my fingers especially after doing the laundry and writing excessively. I dismissed it as an overuse of joints, although I already noticed joint stiffness in the morning after I wiggled my fingers.”

DrKeziahGalorport

Over the next two years, Keziah’s medical journey became more extensive:
“I had an emergency pelvic surgery because of a ruptured endometriotic cyst and was diagnosed with severe endometriosis. After that surgery, a part of my right lung collapsed, and during my last year in medical school I was subjected to a lot of respiratory diseases; during a championship basketball game, my left shoulder even popped out and became dislocated.

“In my internship year, I started to have knee pains again, this time worse than what I had in childhood. Right before graduation, I was subjected to another emergency pelvic surgery. After finding out about my medical history, my OBGYN, couldn’t help but tell my mom, ‘Oh my, you have some kind of factory defect here!’

“I started working full-time in a hospital. I became overloaded with so much paperwork and long hours, that my fingers were taking longer than usual to recover from the early morning stiffening that I had. My handwriting wasn’t as legible as it should have been, my wrist was in excruciating pain, and the pain in my fingers was becoming unbearable. After a month of suffering, I finally consulted a rheumatologist. After examining me she divulged that the most probable diagnosis was RA.

“She prescribed steroids and anti-inflammatory medications. I went on medical leave to rest and took up a course in makeup artistry to distract myself from my stressful hospital environment. After three months on steroids, my face and hips started to swell. Because my pain was still active, I eventually told my rheumatologist that I wanted to cut down on my steroids and try Methotrexate, which didn’t end up helping me. In a few months my husband and I were leaving for the U.S. to rest, so I was thinking that I probably wouldn’t need my medications.

“I was wrong.”

Keziah’s vacation without medications proved to be detrimental as well. She felt like she could not win; with or without medical help, she was still in pain.

“I finally succumbed to vegetarianism and avoided “inflammatory foods”. My husband and I made every effort to juice fruits and vegetables everyday. I consciously hoped I wasn’t too late in curbing my diet.

“Most of the time I feel like a failure because I have stopped achieving things. Sometimes I feel useless especially since I can’t even carry the laundry basket anymore. Many people don’t understand. And of course I could easily give up, knowing the chronicity of the disease and how much pain I still need to endure. But I have won myself over. I won’t give up. Giving up is not an option. By now I am pretty sure this is for a purpose.

“I am now looking forward to what else I could become in spite of this disease. I will have to put a lot of effort into working out safely and keeping my joints in tiptop shape. I will have a regular job. I will train for something more. I will be what I want to be. I will continue being a doctor, a makeup artist, a wedding planner, an actress, and so much more. Indeed many are called, but only a few are chosen. And I am one of the few. I am Keziah Ruth Bicar-Galorport and I have rheumatoid arthritis.”

Dr. Galorport is one of the Arthritis National Research Foundation’s newest members of Racing For A Cure. True to her word, her goal is to start fundraising for arthritis research so that one day she will be ready to compete, leaving rheumatoid arthritis in her dust. If you’d like to support her efforts her fundraising page can be found here: http://www.active.com/donate/Racing4ACure/thedoctorisinpain

If you’d like to share your arthritis story, contact KYLE. To join Racing For a Cure, fill out the form HERE.

ANRF
Article Author
Arthritis National Research Foundation
arthritisresearch@curearthritis.org

The Arthritis National Research Foundation's mission is to provide initial research funding to brilliant, investigative scientists with new ideas to cure arthritis and related autoimmune diseases. Writing articles about the patients affected and the science being done to find a cure shows why we need to come together to #CureArthritis!

6 Comments
  • Avatar
    Mary L. Aull
    Posted at 00:13h, 09 August Reply

    Very inspiring !!!

  • Avatar
    Bernadette Ancog
    Posted at 07:32h, 09 August Reply

    Very inspiring. Dr. Galorport was a classmate of mine in high school and I never knew she was suffering as she was never showing any signs of the pain – she is a strong woman and had always been a great person.

  • Avatar
    Philip G. Salvador
    Posted at 08:13h, 09 August Reply

    very inspiring indeed kai.. choir tayo uli :)))

  • admin
    admin
    Posted at 20:35h, 12 August Reply

    Hi Candyce! Thank you for sharing some of your story with us… You are an inspiration as well and we’d be honored to have you join Racing For A Cure. Please fill out this form to get started! https://curearthritis.org/Racing-For-A-Cure Looking forward to learning more about you and having you on the team!

  • Avatar
    Jeannie Furlong
    Posted at 19:26h, 27 August Reply

    I have Psoratic Arthritis. I’m inspired by those around me who also deal with the pain of any type type of Arthritis. I would love to join @Racing for a cure, raising funds, and creating awareness.

  • Avatar
    Arlene Abalos
    Posted at 02:52h, 28 May Reply

    Hi am also suffering from Rheumatoid Arthritis and I want to support your campaign.

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