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There’s a lot of discussion in the RA community about being “invisible”. It’s a Catch-22. While we don’t want people to see us as disabled, we do want a higher level of understanding about the disease. How can we achieve that if people don’t understand the level of pain and difficulty that RA produces?

There was a news story on the other night about a soldier getting a new kind of artificial leg and how much it was going to improve his life. I thought, “Gee, if people could see my artificial hip and artificial shoulder, maybe they would remember that I can’t do 100% of everything I used to be able to do.” That’s a pretty gruesome mental picture but, it does make the point.

Now I’m grappling with another invisible disease.

I think I mentioned a few posts ago that I don’t know a lot about my family medical history. What I do know is that there is hypertension (high blood pressure) on both sides of my family. I’ve been on one blood pressure medication for several years now and added a second a couple of years ago to not only better control my blood pressure, but to also help with Reynaud’s Syndrome.

When I had shoulder surgery a couple of weeks ago, the anesthesiologist asked what my controlled blood pressure was and, while I told him it was pretty normal, I realized that I didn’t have a real clue. I haven’t been taking my blood pressure on a regular basis.

Out of curiosity the other night, I did. It wasn’t good. In fact, it was in one of those ranges where the medical websites tell you go to see your doctor. And that’s the level where I’m already on two meds.

So I’ve been monitoring it the last several days, and while it occasionally settles down into what could be considered “high normal” for someone my age, none of the readings have been “good” and some of them have been downright scary.

I’m going to continue to monitor things for a few more days until I go in to see my doctor on Friday.

Just what I need. Another invisible disease.

Hope your New Years is starting off better than mine. Thanks for checking in.

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