My name is Lee Kaplanian – I have had Rheumatoid Arthritis for 41 years.
However, there is a lot more to me than that. I am a Promotional Marketing Advisor, Vice President of Kaplanian International, a volunteer and vendor to The Future of Flight Aviation Center, a member of Kent Breakfast Club, Linked In, Facebook, a quilter and many more things.
In case you are wondering why I chose a header with a wagon train, its because living and dealing with RA is not like a short plane ride or a 5 day train trip. It is more like a wagon train, a long journey with ruts, dust, Indians, dust storms, flood, bugs, rain, snow, etc. Then there were those glorious mild sunny days, flowers blooming, snow on the mountains and good grazing for the livestock. A wagon train usually makes 10 maybe 15 miles on a good day – sometimes only a mile or so in the rain and wind. It may seem at times as if they had gone quite a way, but those mountains don’t look any closer than they did a few days ago. RA has its good days and uncomfortable days, its version of Indians, brush fires, days without water. We all travel our own trail, sharing the journey with others to help lighten the load, support and protect each other. I realized that it is journey and whatever we can do to help each other makes a wonderful difference. I have read that it is all about the journey, not the destination – so enjoy the ride. Not always easy but certainly a better goal than to sit and whinge about it.
I began writing this blog from a strong urging inside me – not sure where it came from but it was insistent. I wanted to use my experience and knowledge of my own RA to help others dealing with chronic illness. When I was first diagnosed in November 1970, I didn’t know anyone who had it – heck, I had no idea what it was. I’ve had to do most of it on my own, figuring out what was happening, how to deal with, etc. I often wished I had someone who had had it for longer than I did to help me when it got scary. I would have been able to find out if what I was experiencing was fairly normal, a little unusual or something to definitely check with the doc for answers. I hope this blog will be, in a way, that person for others, to give encouragement and support to others dealing with a chronic illness at any stage. I am only an expert on my own RA, but we all share a lot of common things and we can help each other over those scary rough spots and celebrate the victories. I am learning from you and many others all the time – I see it as a busy 2 way street.
I have also promised this blog is a “No Whinge Zone”. Too many focus on what’s not working, what hurts, etc. I choose to have this blog be a positive one – I will admit I have had several times when all I wanted to do was write a whinge entry. But I remember my promise and focus on what is working, what I am learning and sometimes have some humor to make us all laugh.