Monica Fights Back Against RA

Monica Fights Back Against RA

Afflicted with rheumatoid arthritis for years, Monica Bourdow has learned to live with the pain her autoimmune disease gives her daily. Despite having it moderately controlled with medications, her RA often gets in the way of not only her daily life, but also her hobbies. However, her strength and willingness to see the positives makes her a true fighter; one that will not let her RA conquer her without a fight. By raising awareness and supporting research together, we can cure arthritis.

What are you diagnosed with?
Rheumatoid arthritis and neuropathy.
What is the status of your arthritis?

What treatment protocol have you undergone and what has been most effective for you?
I am currently taking Plaquenil. Stress ball helps for a short period of time.

Describe yourself. What are a few of your character traits.
I am always smiling. I love to help others.

How has your arthritis affected your outlook on life or changed you?
My arthritis can be very frustrating but I deal with it every day that I learn to try and deal with it. It has given me the opportunity to reach out to others and share the awareness that my arthritis is not like what most people think (i.e. osteoarthritis). It has also made me appreciate the little things in life and not to take them for granted.

Talk about the impact arthritis has played in your life:
I used to be a big runner and it is hard for me to do that anymore without being in pain for days. I am always lethargic. I still like to do the things I enjoy, but sometimes I pay for the consequences. For example, I have a new hobby of bow fishing, but I stand for hours at a time and also am working my hands and arms. The next day I will be extremely sore and even during. I also have neuropathy which can be obtained from an autoimmune disease.

Monica Bourdow - ANRF

Has your family or loved ones been affected by your disease in any way?
My mom had JRA when she was 4 but she miraculously her immune system corrected itself a couples years later.

At ANRF, we feel research is the key to finding new treatments and a cure. How do you feel about the current research being done? Is there anything specific you’d like to see happen?
I am so happy that people are working toward a cure for arthritis. I would love to see more research done on the correlation between heart disease and rheumatoid arthritis since that can potentially kill a person.

How did you hear about ANRF?
I heard about ANRF through the Give Back Project.

What made you want to share your story?
I love to help others and I feel that I can help spread hope and happiness to those who also had to go through what I did. I also would like to spread the arthritis awareness.

What are words of wisdom you’d like to give to people living with arthritis?
Arthritis can cause plenty of other problems and can be extremely stressful. It can prevent you from your regular everyday life, but don’t give up. There is hope. I am fortunate enough to fight through my arthritis still and do the things I enjoy and I think it is important for others to keep enjoying their life, even when things go wrong. Every day is a blessing. I believe everything happens for a reason.

And a special thanks to Charlotte from the Give Back Project team for introducing me to ANRF and helping me to get involved with spreading arthritis awareness!

Do you know how Monica feels? Leave a comment below with your experience.

Arthritis-Research-Foundation-footer Do you have an arthritis awareness story to share? We share your arthritis stories in an effort to make a difference by giving arthritis patients a voice, raising arthritis awareness and raising awareness about the need for more funds for research. Awareness of arthritis and the need for research are key components to the quest to finding a cure for arthritis. Please consider making a donation today in support of this critical research. To share your arthritis story, contact us.
Article Author
Arthritis National Research Foundation

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!

1 Comment
  • Avatar
    Akash Bhagat
    Posted at 00:12h, 25 November Reply

    Hi guys, I am 22 now & I got this deadly disease (arthritis) from my childhood when I was 12. I had suffered a lot since that very young age. My past ten years were not very good to share but one good thing happened is I got many things to learn i.e, patience, will power, being positive & a lot more. Arthritis has given me lot of difficulties like even daily activity like walking, dressing, etc. was becoming difficult for me. I was under medication for past ten years. My doctor had already said that it’s a life long disease and it can’t be cured. But I never loose hope and neither my family. They supported me and took good care of me. They never let me feel that I am different from others or I have such a life threatening disease. Sorry, I am using the term life threatening or deadly disease it may hamper some of the patients dealing with it. But trust me friends it not less than a deadly disease like cancer or HIV AIDS. It makes life hell like a dead person walking around, surrendering himself/herself to the disease. At last, a time came when I have to surrender to arthritis. My hip joints got fussed and mobility has totally gone. I had to stay in bed for 3 long years. These three years how I have suffered only me my family and God knows. I could see that everything is going out of my hand and l was left help less. The only thing left with me was my hope. I never gave up. I had decided either me or arthritis both can win the race. So finally I decided to meet my doctor. He advised me for physiotherapy because medication would not work any more. That stage has passed. I tried physiotherapy but my joints were so much fused that I got fractured in my joints. That was when my doctor suggested me for THR. I was wondering what’s that. Then he made me understand that it’s Total Hip Replacement. My affected joints will be removed and replaced with new artificial joints through which I can live a normal life. At first I was a bit tensed and felt nervous but finally I decided that I have to do something I can’t stay like this. I too need to live my life to the fullest. So I decided to go under nife. This was the best decision I have ever made and the results came positive. I was standing in my own legs and started walking normally. Now I live an independent life.
    So,Let me tell you something you already know. The world ain’t all sunshine and rainbows. It is a very mean and nasty place and it will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently if you let it. You, me, or nobody is gonna hit as hard as life. But it ain’t how hard you hit; it’s about how hard you can get hit, and keep moving forward. How much you can take, and keep moving forward. That’s how winning is done. Now, if you know what you’re worth, then go out and get what you’re worth. But you gotta be willing to take the hit, and not pointing fingers saying you ain’t where you are because of him, or her, or anybody. Cowards do that and that ain’t you. You’re better than that.

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