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Inspiration or Isolation: Which Path Will You Choose? – by Ashley Boynes-Shuck

In the world of chronic illness, there are many things about which we simply do not have a choice. I didn’t choose rheumatoid arthritis, or osteoarthritis, or celiac disease, lupus, sjogrens syndrome, chiari, and so on. Likewise, I’m sure that you did not choose whichever illnesses or disabilities that you may live with. As I’ve … Continue reading

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A Balancing Act: Talking About Arthritis and Chronic Illness – by Ashley Boynes-Shuck

I have found that it is sometimes difficult to describe my conditions, honestly, and with full-disclosure, without people “feeling bad” for me. I also hate to play the “victim” role, and I certainly try not to, but when I really delve into the complexities of the conditions I have lived with, it kind of sounds … Continue reading

Advocacy / Arthritis / Awareness / Fibromyalgia / Juvenile Arthritis / Personal Stories / Uncategorized / Wellness

Arthritis and Chronic Illness: Stripping Away Labels and Stigma – by Ashley Boynes-Shuck

When I was in graduate school, I took one psychology course that was oriented towards special education. One important thing that I took away from it was that we should always use, “people-first” language. At the time, I only thought of it in the realm of dealing with children with special needs, but, now, I … Continue reading

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Health & Hollywood: Stars Get Sick, Too! A Look at Celebrities with Chronic Illness – by Ashley Boynes-Shuck

Sure, their “people” usually try to either: a.) hide the fact that their celebrity client is sick or b.) exploit the fact that their celebrity client is sick….but the truth is, stars are human, and even the most beautiful, rich, and famous people in the world get sick, too. I was  saddened to hear about … Continue reading

Arthritis / Arthritis Foundation / Awareness / Fibromyalgia / Types of Arthritis / Uncategorized / Wellness

The Great Debate: Alcohol and Arthritis by Ashley Boynes-Shuck

Like all great debates, there are opinions — and evidence — on both sides of the “alcohol and arthritis”  issue.  Some studies show that moderate alcohol intake is actually good for arthritis/inflammation….but many people with the conditions say that drinking worsens their symptoms. Of course, there are also the medications — many of which state … Continue reading

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Acupuncture for Arthritis – Does it Work? – by Ashley Boynes-Shuck

 I have had acupuncture maybe 10 times before. Sometimes, I feel that it provides relief, and sometimes, unfortunately, it does nothing for me. Like everything, I believe that each experience is unique, and that a lot of other factors contribute to the results each time. I would never say that it doesn’t work — in … Continue reading

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In a Perfect World – A Life Without Illness: What Would You Do? – by Ashley Boynes

 Today there was a “trending topic” on Twitter that simply said, “Serious Question” and provoked users to ask their followers a serious question to answer. I thought about what I’d like to hear from my “tweeps” – especially those who are chronically ill or disabled – and the question I decided to pose was, “We … Continue reading

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Fibromyalgia Awareness – by Ashley Boynes

Fibromyalgia is a pain. Literally. Today is Fibromyalgia Awareness Day and this is definitely a condition that needs more awareness surrounding it. Although it isn’t technically a form of arthritis, it is a related condition and shares many overlapping symptoms with various forms of arthritis and rheumatic disease. Fibromyalgia – a chronic pain condition also … Continue reading

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Beauty is Pain ~ Ashley’s Health Diary, Entry #28 ~ by Ashley Boynes

The  saying goes, “pain is beauty and beauty is pain…” or, another adaptation that I’ve found even more poignant: “The pain passes, but the beauty remains.” I agree. While we could talk about the superficial, painful things that we do for beauty such as eyebrow plucking, ear piercing, brutal diets, laser peels, wearing corsets, high … Continue reading