Arthritis Support Network launched: 2017
Arthritis Support Network Leader: Gary Type of Arthritis: Rheumatoid Arthritis/ RD
Arthritis Support Network Leader: Shelley Type of Arthritis: Rheumatoid Arthritis, Fibromyalgia
About this Arthritis Support Network:
Face to face support group for any individual that has arthritis/autoimmune rheumatoid disease, and their loved ones. I would like the group activities to be engaging and fun so that people want to belong and come to our meetings. There will be a variety of meeting topics to include both educational and recreational gatherings. (We live in Colorado, there is no shortage recreation possibilities!) I would like to see members participate in finding new ways that we can increase awareness of the reality of living with our disease(s). The bottom line purpose is to continually reach out to people to support, educate, and offer an environment of fellowship/friendship, so no one feels that they are in this alone. And of course, the awareness thing.
I am sixty-something years young, live with my wife, our children are grown, and, we have a bunch of grandkids. I grew up in Illinois and moved to Colorado at the age of twenty-one, and have been here ever since. Fishing, spending time with grandkids, being outdoors, a good movie, are some activities that I enjoy for recreation. I was diagnosed with RD in 2010 and had to shut down my residential/commercial painting business, I was physically unable to continue. I was a commercial/residential painter, working for other companies as well as my own business. I enjoy the outdoors, I paint (pictures now and not buildings!) a little, work on crafts some, light gardening, and spending time with my wife. After seven years of being idle I have decided it is time to give what I can to our cause and volunteer my help. I feel privileged to be in the position that I am, being able to help. My wife is very supportive of me; she has a good understanding of the challenges we face daily. I am very passionate about the fact that we need better awareness of rheumatic diseases. To have un-supporting (because of their ignorance) family members, friends, medical professionals, can be, and often is devastating, and can lead to a whole host of other problems for an individual who is already struggling. It is heart breaking.
I wish to begin and co-lead a local support group that will be supportive, informative, and provide fellowship for not only learning but also with recreational/fun activities. This is not a battle for anyone to face alone, we need each other.
I am very excited to be a co-leader for our Colorado Springs group! I was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis and fibromyalgia at the age of 43 - just a couple of years ago. My diseases progressed very quickly - when I was first diagnosed, I was extremely active with tennis, swimming, running, and triathlon. I was also smack dab in the middle of nursing school, and unfortunately, I had to drop out of the program just about 6 weeks before graduation. Spinal fusion surgery in March 2016 coupled with gaps in medical care caused by a lack of rheumatology providers in our area have caused the rapid progression in my condition.
I have recently adopted a service dog - her name is Bella, or as I call her - Bella Bean! She is being trained to help with pain management, anxiety, PTSD, and light mobility work. I have not worked for the last year - and if we're being honest, I have rarely left my home - due to anxiety, chronic pain, and chronic fatigue. But, I am hoping that Bella will give me my freedom back! I love to crochet, knit, sew, use my embroidery machine - heck, there isn't a craft out there that I don't have my hands on at some time or another! I am really looking forward to participating in this group and connecting folks like me with much needed resources to aid them along their journey.
There has been very little available in Colorado Springs for arthritis and rheumatic disease sufferers; and I have had to learn things the hard way. I would love to be able to save others from feeling as lost and alone as I have felt.
To join this Arthritis Support Network, please click the "Join this Group” button above and we will send you updates about upcoming events via email.
Head over to the Calendar of Events to RSVP your attendance.
Complete details with location and times will be posted on this website and cross promoted to our Arthritis Support Group - Colorado Springs, CO Facebook Page. Please like and follow us!
All subscribers to this group agree to adhere to the Support Group Participant Guidelines.