Kienast_bl_smallerI am a free-lance consultant for a wide range of corporate communications services and the author of the acclaimed [trashy] suspense novel, Wake up with Fleas (available at Amazon.com and through special order at Barnes and Nobel, Borders, and Outskirts Press).  I live with my husband live in Dallas, Texas (no kids, no pets, just the husband).

I was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis in June 2008, had hip-replacement surgery in August 2008, shoulder replacement surgery in April 2009, and back surgery and knee replacement surgery in 2013. I have been on multiple treatment plans and am still searching for that magic elixir that will put me into that magical state of remission. (Texas is great, but I think remission is better …)

While this blog might wander occasionally into other areas, its specific focus is dealing with RA and associated health issues. It is a sporadic (rather than daily) blog as I have rheumatoid arthritis — it doesn’t have me — and so there are lots of things in life besides having this insidious disease.

I hope the information I share is helpful or, at the very least, makes you smile once in a while. Thank you for sharing this journey with me.

20 thoughts on “About”

  1. Hi Carla,

    I found your blog through RA Guy’s site. As I was looking around, I saw your link to your shoulder replacement pics – you are the first RA person I’ve “met” who has also had shoulder replacement. Was yours a total shoulder – or partial? Are you expecting to have your other shoulder replaced? I had my left shoulder replaced in May 2009 and my range of motion is as good or better than what I had before. I will need my right shoulder done next year, my surgeon wants to wait a full year between them. I am also on Enbrel, and it seems to be a wonder-drug for me. I’m not sure if my blog link will come through – but feel free to take a look: http://sticks-and-stones-blog.blogspot.com/

    I look forward to reading more.


  2. Hi Carla,

    I read your blog regularly and appreciate the insights and personal stories you share about living with RA. I value your opinion and wanted to let you know that the second season of New Way RA™ premieres today, May 17 – exclusively at http://www.NewWayRA.com. If you missed out on the first season, it’s an online talk show that provides tips and advice about important topics – topics that you often write about – to those living with RA. I hope you can find a few minutes to check out the program. I’m also available to discuss any questions or feedback you may have. I hope you enjoy the new season!

    Best Regards,
    Megan Farina
    Corporate Communications
    Centocor Ortho Biotech Inc.

  3. Hi Carla!

    I love your blog. I have a question for you. Did you get a second opinion? I haven’t read your entire blog, but I did read your diagnosis. It is similar to mine. In fact, I can tell that you probably see the same doctor I do. My second opinion doctor was pretty negative about this doctor and told me he over diagnoses undifferentiated spondylarthropy.
    Have you heard that?
    I’m so confused!!

  4. Carla: I have added your wonderful blog to my blog list on my page…I hope that is OK? please visit my blog when the spirit moves you as I would value your feedback!

  5. Hi Carla,

    I enjoyed this post and your perspective. I’m so happy to find you! I found your blog today on RA Guy’s site after I posted my article, and noticed our posts had similar titles. Interesting to discover further similarities in that we both wrote about views from within an obstacle in dealing with life with RA today. To top off our commonalities, we both are corporate Directors of Communications and authors. Small world this world of RA is, isn’t it?

    I hope you’ll visit me in my little corner of the RA world to find out what else we have in common. :)

  6. Tracy Rose said:

    Hi Carla,

    Healthline editors recently published the final list of their favorite Rheumatoid Arthritis blogs and your blog made the list. You can find the complete list at: http://www.healthline.com/health-slideshow/best-rheumatoid-arthritis-blogs (in no particular order). We encourage you to share your status as one of the best blogs on the web with your friends, family, & followers.

    We also created a set of badges you can easily embed on your site & anywhere else you see fit:


    Please let me know if you have any questions.

    Congrats & continue the great work!

    Warm Regards,

  7. I have been enjoying your blog and am intrigued by your book. I love to read and am going to have to check it out, what an interesting storyline!

  8. Tracy Rose said:

    Hi Carla,

    Healthline recently kicked off its second annual “Best Health Blog of 2012” contest & our editors have nominated Carla’s Corner ~ Day by Day with RA. You can find your blog at http://www.healthline.com/health/best-health-blogs-contest by searching or sorting.

    We encourage you to promote the contest amongst your readers & friends. The blog with the most votes on February 15, 2013 at 11:59 pm will win $1000, 2nd place wins $100 and 3rd place nabs $50.

    You can also add a ‘vote for me’ badge to your site by going to: http://www.healthline.com/health/contest-badges, and clicking ’embed.’

    Please let me know if you have any questions.

    Warm Regards,


  9. Tracy Rose said:

    Hi Carla,

    We appreciate your participation in our annual Best Health Blog Contest. As a token of our appreciate we’re awarding you with a badge, ‘Voted One of the Top Health Blogs of 2012.’ You can find the badge at: http://www.healthline.com/health/26055

    Also, if you haven’t seen it, we recommend reading about this year’s winner: http://www.healthline.com/health-news/breast-cancer-blog-wins-Healthline-contest-022013. She is an inspiration for many.

    Please let me know if you have any questions. And, we hope to see you next year! In the meantime, please stay in touch by connecting with us on Twitter @healthline or Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/healthlinenetworks.

    Warm Regards,


  10. tracyrose2013 said:


    Healthline recently kicked off its third annual “Best Health Blog of 2013” contest & our editors have nominated Carla’s Corner ~ Day by Day with RA. You can find your blog at http://www.healthline.com/health/best-health-blogs-contest by searching or sorting alphabetically.

    We encourage you to promote the contest amongst your readers & friends. The blog with the most votes on January 20, 2014 at 11:59 pm will win $1000, 2nd place wins $100 and 3rd place nabs $50.

    Starting tomorrow, you can also add a ‘vote for me’ badge to your site by going to: http://www.healthline.com/health/contest-badges, and clicking ’embed.’

    Please let me know if you have any questions.

    Warm Regards,

  11. Dear Carla:

    My name is Kathleen Engel and I am an editor at Health Monitor Network in Montvale, NJ. My company publishes guides on various health conditions that are distributed free to patients through doctors’ offices. (You can see our site at healthmonitor.com.)

    Right now I am working on an article for the next issue of our Guide to RA. (If you’ll send me an email address, I’d be happy to send you a PDF of an older issue so you can see what the guide looks like.) The article is a roundup of tips from a number of contributors that I hope will be helpful for our readers with RA (who will pick up this guide in their rheumatologist’s office). The idea is roughly “Tips to help you cope with your RA around the clock.”

    Are you able to contribute a tip or two, Carla? I would love to run your quote along with your photo. I am looking for self-care tips that you do that I can tag to some point of the day: Upon waking up, breakfast, mid-morning, Noon/lunch, afternoon, dinner, evening, bedtime, while sleeping.

    Tips could be anything interesting that you do that helps with your RA, from meal prep tips, to a smoothie you always make at 10 AM, to meditation, exercise, a special pillow that helps you sleep, a stretching routine, warm bath with Dead Sea salts or whatever helps YOU. Also, tips can deal with anything that is a part of RA, not just the pain, but fatigue and brain fog, too. (I’d just ask you to tell me why you’re doing it. So, for example, the smoothie—maybe you’ve found it quells your mid-morning cravings, which is helpful for keeping your weight down.)

    The only caution: I can’t include anything about medication.

    Thanks, Carla. I look forward to hearing from you and do hope to include your comments. Once the guide is printed, I’m happy to send you a PDF and, if you’ll send me your mailing address, hard copies. If we put it on our web site, I can send you a link you can put on your blog, if you like.

    Any questions, please let me know!

    Kathleen Engel
    Editor, Health Monitor Network

    PS – Great blog!

  12. Hi Carla: I see you have stopped Xeljanz and have moved on to Remicade. I am still on Xeljanz but I was on Remicade about three years ago. I have had a similar path as you, going through most of the TNF’s but mine has been spread over nearly 18 years with RA. The one that worked best for me was the first one I tried, Humira, and it was amazing how great I felt for nearly 5 years. After that I have gone through Embrel. Remicade and Simponi with varying degress of success. I have been on Xeljanz for about a year and it is OK not great. Still on 3 mg of metholprednisolone and 20 MG of methotrexate. I too am waiting for that magic treatment that will make me feel wonderful again….fingers (sore and swollen) crossed…all the best! Nan

    • Hi Nan: Yes it seems that we’ve been traveling in parallel universes. I really dislike the infusions and I just keep telling myself that it’s only for a short time — until they find the cure. We can only hope.

  13. Carla, I live in the DFW area and I am looking for a new Rheumatologist. I was wondering if you might be willing to share the name of the one you use via e-mail so I can see if she is in my insurance network?

    I love your blog and look forward to every post. I love to read so I also plan to get your book very soon. Thanks for all you do to help us all!

    • Tonya: Thanks so much. I have go to Dr. Pooja Banerjee and just love her (as do her other patients I’ve spoken with). I’ve responded via email with her contact information. Good luck!

  14. Maggie Danhakl said:

    Hi Carla,

    I’d like to congratulate you on being nominated in Healthline’s 2014 Best Health Blog Contest! You can see the contest here: http://www.healthline.com/health/best-health-blogs-contest

    Each year, we recognize and honor the top health blogs of the year with our annual Best Health Blogs Contest. The contest shines light on those blogs that have really made an impact on their reader community and provided them with valuable information and resources to help them live better, healthier lives. We are happy to let you know that you have been nominated in the contest!

    The contest started this Monday, December 1st and will run through January 15th. We will award cash prizes (up to $1000!) for the top 3 blogs with the most votes.

    Please share the page with your followers and ask them to vote for you. Users can vote once every 24 hours, so please continue to share and encourage your followers to vote!

    You can create a badge for you site that recognizes your nomination and encourages those to vote for you here: http://www.healthline.com/health/contest-badges

    Please let me know if you have any questions!

    Maggie Danhakl • Assistant Marketing Manager
    Healthline • The Power of Intelligent Health
    660 Third Street, San Francisco, CA 94107
    http://www.healthline.com | @Healthline | @HealthlineCorp

    About Us: corp.healthline.com

  15. Becca gossman said:

    Carla, I noticed you were having oral surgery, do we have to stop the xeljanz for this type of surgery? I have to have an extraction. Becca

    • Becca: First, thanks for reading the blog. I did not have to stop my RA meds for my extraction, but I had a regular “pull-it-out” extraction as opposed to oral surgery. It’s best to call your rheumatologist’s office and/or dentist/dental surgeon to see what they recommend, which is what I did. Your doctor and dentist may want you to stop taking other medications and/or supplements. As a note, I did stop my low-dose aspirin to help control the bleeding. Good luck.

  16. My name is Nicole and I enjoy your blog. I want to share a great opportunity to run in the 2015 TCS New York City Marathon and help fight arthritis. The Arthritis Foundation New York Chapter is a NYRR Charity Partner for the NYC Marathon on Sunday, November 1. By joining our team, runners have guaranteed entry to one of the world’s most exciting running experiences and are helping to conquer arthritis. For more information or to apply, visit: http://www.arthritis.org/tcsnycmarathon.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 191 other followers