JRA.... Journal of a Radical Arthritis Chick

Here I give advice, speak of my experiences and give information to those who want to better understand Rheumatoid Arthritis. I am NOT a medical professional, and you should always seek advice from a doctor.

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Location: MA, United States

Hello everyone! I am 28 years old and was diagnosed with JRA (Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis) when I was just 3 years old. I've had my battles with this disease over the years, and have decided to create a blog. I want to share my stories and adivce with other RA chicks, or anyone interested, to raise awareness and get insight from others. Feel free to comment/question me about anything. Thanks, and I hope you enjoy!

Monday, April 4, 2011

When Two RA Chicks Meet...

Our first day we met!
 Brenna and I met on the Facebook page RA Chicks back in September, we first started chatting because we found out we were the same age.  We friended each other on FB, starting off by exchanging messages and getting to know each other a bit, then decided to exchange phone numbers.  A friendship formed over mutual ailments and personalities. We decided it was time to meet in person, so Brenna came for a visit to Massachusetts.  We decided to write a blog on our visit and share it all with you! 

Mallory: I was super excited that Brenna was coming, I enjoyed the friendship we had already formed over the phone.  Brenna arrived here in Mass on Wednesday night.  When I got to the airport, the silly people working there wouldn't let me park out front, so I had to keep circling around and around until I saw her.  When I finally did see her, I pulled over and jumped out of the car.  My first impression was that I thought she was taller than I pictured, but so cute.  We hugged and it felt like it was hugging an old friend.  We got in the car and headed to my apartment.  Along the way I pointed things out about the city, and stuff like that.  We got back to the apartment, settled in and of course, took some photos!  Since Brenna's plane got in late, we just watched a bit of T.V. and mostly talked, then headed to bed to get some good rest.


Brenna: Okay so I had been packed for two days already before my plane left because I was so excited. I had my knee wraps, icy hot, a bunch of meds and too many clothes. When we landed I wasn't even nervous!  Then I finally saw Mal (she hates that nickname...) and Adam.  Mal is short, much shorter than I thought, but just as adorable. Lol. It wasn't awkward at all- it was like I had just seen her a week before.  We talked and hung out and then passed out.  We had both been hoping that we would feel good, or at least feel pretty similar each day and luckily it worked out well.  The next morning (and pretty much every morning) we slept late, and poor Adam had to keep busy and quiet until we woke up.  I'm used to sleeping 16ish hours so I think when I get back home I'm going to sleep for 3 days straight.  Okay I had to ask Mal what we did on Thursday, so I'm just going to let her tell it. Lol.

Us at Battleship Cove
   Mallory: Lol, I almost forgot what we did too... must be Fibro Fog or something!  On Thursday, we didn't want to do too much, since it was our first day, so we sorta took it easy.  I took Brenna to see a place here in my city called "Battleship Cove", it's right on the water and has old battleships, a museum and a park nearby.  Unfortunately, the museum was closed for a private party, so we walked around taking lots of photos of the park and the battleships.  I then drove around the city a bit, and also showed her a famous church in the area and was able to take great photos of the outside.  It was kind of chilly, so on our way back to my apartment we stopped at Dunkin' Donuts and grabbed some hot chocolate and some donuts (yea, we ate kind of bad but oh well!).  We came back, ate some donuts, and Brenna painted my toes and fingernails pretty colors.  We then played the game battleship (haha), but the Pirates of the Caribbean version.  We looked outside and it had started to snow! So, we got into comfy clothes and played a game on the Wii called Mario Party, and Brenna won YAY! She's a superstar!  Friday was a fun day, we took Brenna into Providence, but I'll let her tell you all about it. :)

Us at Fire and Ice at Providence Place Mall
 Brenna: Okay then. So Mallory is an excellent driver by the way. She is also an excellent cook! We drove into Rhode Island (I was all excited because I have no idea where I am and didn't really realize that I had already been there...I blame the RA for making me so scatter brained but that's probably not the only reason.) I took a lot of pictures of the cityscape-Fall River was a huge factory town and a lot of the original buildings are still up.  The mall we went to was humongous!  It was like 6 stories- thank goodness for escalators. We bored Adam to death by looking at girlie stuff.  We got a few shirts! And I wanted a cool hat but it was wool and it made me itchy ):  Went to a rocking comic store! Then off to eat at Fire and Ice- which was pretty awesome inside- although we had to stand for a while while we watched them cook our food, it was totally worth it (and the chefs were cute...).  And we both have no idea what we did when we came home...but it probably involved achy joints and happy faces. When we woke up we felt like crap and had no energy but we were in total denial...

 Mallory: So yes, we both woke up and felt like crap, no energy and in pain, but we both apparently wanted to ignore that and try to have fun.  Since our shopping trip to the mall didn't have what we were looking for, we decided to try going to Marshalls and T.J. Maxx, since they usually have great deals.  We barely finished at Marshalls and were both so totally beat, we decided to at least try T.J. Maxx....which again was a total bust, we didn't find what we were looking for.  We decided to just come home and try to have a relaxing day.  We made some yummy/pretty chocolate chip cookies (from scratch ::wink, wink::). That was the last straw though, we were so pooped, we both passed out and took a nap!  I slept for about an hour, and Brenna slept for about 2 hours.  We still felt tired when we woke up, but decided to try and have some fun anyways.  I cooked some dinner, and afterwards we drank some crappy beer (haha), and played some RockBand. It was totally fun! (except the crappy beer that Brenna loves :P)  We stayed up kind of late, but was well worth it.  I think all of us slept pretty well that night.  Sunday, we woke up feeling okay, both of our legs were achy and energy was okay. We were planning on going to Plymouth since it was beautiful outside, but that required a lot of walking, so we decided to keep it local and do something short.  I took Brenna to the famous "Lizzie Borden" house here in my city.  It's less than 5 minutes from my apartment and I've never been before, can you believe it?!  I'll let Brenna tell the story of though, my paragraph is getting kind of long, hehe. :)

Us at the Lizzie Borden House!

Brenna:  Alrighty then.  We were all prepared to go get freaked out! We had cameras, cash, and a voice recorder thingy that might pick up some spooky stuff! The house looked fairly normal on the outside- but the inside was gorgeous and decked out in old Victorian style. We got some gruesome pictures of the crime scene photos and learned all about Lizzie and the day she did the deed... or well didn't do the deed since she was acquitted, but come on we all know she killed her parents (I hope she doesn't come haunt me for the statement). We didn't see any ghostly faces in our pictures, but they still rocked! After the tour we went and paid respects at the Borden's gravesite at this awesome graveyard that looks like something out of a Tim Burton movie or Gotham city. It was gorgeous out, which was a nice change. Mallory took me for a little tour of the city- most importantly to the "7 hills" which is this really fun road that goes down this extremely steep hill and has flat plateaus at every street intersection.  It is seriously like riding a rollercoaster. It's even scarier on the way up!!! I know I mentioned before- but I must give "props" to Mal again- she is the greatest driver ever.  Massachusetts doesn't seem to believe in having lines on the roads, and all the roads are one way or they merge constantly or the stop lights are off to some obscure side.  Well we made it back home safely and I think we decided to wake ourselves up after eating a late lunch and watching a crappy crappy movie (never watch it- don't even ask), by doing some Michael Jackson dance moves on her Wii.  I have a new found respect for wacko jacko now.  He was a rocking dancer.  And my muscles are sore from doing all his crazy arm movements.  I didn't even attempt to do the leg movements!  Instead of stripping all our clothes off because we were so hot and sweaty, we decided to play some simple games (which I have never really done), and Mal taught me Bowling, Baseball, and Boxing. I need a Wii now.  We took a break and ate dinner and watched movies/T.V.  And by the way Corona is the king of beers baby- you can't go wrong with lime!

Dancing to the Michael Jackson Game for Wii - Haha!
 Mallory: Eww! Corona is so gross! (We will debate this forever, haha).  Anyways, today is Monday and that means that Brenna is leaving tomorrow.  You'd think we'd have some awesomely rad plans for today, right?! Wrong.  We have been pretty lazy, watching movies and chillin in our PJs.  It's crappy outside, raining and just miserable.  A good end to our vaca is to just relax, take it easy and spend some time together.  I had a lot of fun with Brenna while she's been here, and am sad to see her go.  I'll miss her, and I do wish she lived closer so we could see each other more often, but I'll look forward to our next meeting.  Hopefully, I can go down and see her in the summer.  I'd love to meet her cool family, and see her farm!  It sounds like we'd have a blast!  This week didn't fly by as fast as I thought it would, yet the end is almost here.  It's been so great meeting someone who shares not only similar interests with me, but similar ailments and diseases, I think it's made our friendship stronger.  I feel like I've known Brenna for years, and can't wait for our friendship to grow! I have a feeling she'll be a lifetime friend for me. :)  Thanks Brenna for being such a great friend to me already, and thanks to Niki and RA Chicks for helping two lonely RA girls come together, form an incredible bond and to be able to fully understand what the other is going through.  :)  I've had a blast this past week, it's helped me forget the stress a bit, and help me cope a bit better with what I have. I can't wait until the next fun adventure! :)

This is how RA chicks have fun!
 Brenna:  Lol okay I haven't really read this whole rant that we have been writing. I hope it doesn't sound too disjointed. This past week has been one of the happiest times I've had in a long long while. I feel so very lucky to have meet Mal and her awesome fiance and furry kids.  From the start I felt like I'd known her since I was little. And I just know that we are going to be ranting and raving together for the rest of our lives.  So even though RA has taken a lot from me, it has given me a great friend- and that helps me get through the rough days.  So thanks Niki for making this possible.  I hope all you chickadees can meet someone who truly understands you. Now I'm going to go try not to cry because I know I'm leaving tomorrow and it will be a while before we see each other again. But there is always Skype, and that Oozoo thing, and phone calls and text messages and Facebook. So always be willing to take a risk and who knows what will happen- you could end up painting your friend's fiance's toenails just for a laugh. :) Hang in there everybody. Muahs.


New shirts- New friends - forever!


Blogger Dutch said...

That is so wonderful that you finally got to meet. I love the stories & pictures of you two. I love the last picture with the shirts.

April 4, 2011 at 7:30 PM  
Blogger SJLiebig said...

You will not believe me when I say this, but I ran into this article while searching for images on Google for a picture of a parking garage sign in the providence place mall. A friend and I just took a road trip adventure to RI today, and we in the process made a funny memory with the parking garage security/parking system/ticket system lol. I wanted to find a picture I could post along with a joke I was sending him on Facebook about it. This article came up so randomly I clicked it, and I read it.

I really enjoyed it. word of advice...I think the chance to reflect on these upbeat, sweet and organic moments in life will be very encouraging to your "RA Chics." :) Keep up the good work Sister.

August 17, 2011 at 1:04 AM  
Anonymous Mallory said...

Haha that's too funny, but thank you for taking the time to read my blog! I appreciate it a lot! :)

November 1, 2011 at 2:20 PM  

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