Kelly’s story is all too familiar to many RA patients, years of mysterious symptoms that come and go at random, doctors dismissing symptoms, some even insisting she was “perfectly healthy”. It’s a tale I’ve heard again and again in the forums from RA patients and one Kelly tells with great care and relatability.
As she goes on to describe the reaction of those around her, their disbelief in her suddenly disabling symptoms, and how that made her feel a bit crazy, it’s like I am reading my own story. The author nails down so many familiar aspects of life with RA and the fight for diagnosis, understanding and proper treatment.
After a brief explanation of why she advocates for taking the “arthritis” out of RA and replacing it with a more accurate name, Rheumatoid Disease, her conviction to better patient care is clear. Urging readers with RD to not be satisfied with the answer “it’s only RD/RA,” she encourages patients to ask for better answers and more complete care.
Rheumatoid Arthritis Unmasked aims to increase the understanding of people without RD, specifically doctors. Her belief that “the general medical perception of RA is wholly inadequate,” is spot on in the experience of this rheumatoid patient. Diving into the scientific medical literature she both debunks commonly held beliefs about RD and informs the reader of things that are commonly missed, mislabeled, or ignored. Urging the reader to seek more complete answers than “probably RA” Kelly points out that having a disease which can affect a body part does not always mean what is affecting that part is that disease. Sharing with the reader what is and what isn’t known, Kelly creates a clear, broad picture of Rheumatoid Disease, the many varied forms it can take, and the complex nature of treating a disease that is so varied in its presentation.
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Jam packed with information and references from the scientific literature, Kelly has truly created a valuable resource for doctor and patient alike. If you have, treat, or love someone with RD/RA I highly recommend you add this to your reference collection.
For more information about Kelly, her book, and her mission visit rawarrior.com