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!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011


Brenna & I in Maryland! :)
Hello! I'm back from a wonderful two week vacation!  My fiance, Adam and I took a roadtrip to Maryland, Tennessee and Virgina.  Our first stop was to visit my dear RA friend Brenna in Maryland.  She lives on a huge, beautiful farm with her family.  We had such a fun time, her and her family took us to some great touristy stops like Ocean City, Rehoboth (Delaware), Assateague Island and Salisbury. 

Adam and I love to do paranormal investigations, so one of the first days there, Brenna and her oldest brother Josh took us through the woods to this old abandoned graveyard.  It held a family of five that had passed away in the late 1800s from some sort of disease (like influenza or something of the sort).  We didn't find anything, but it was still a lot of fun! Later in the week we did another paranormal investigation with Brenna's other brother Mat and his wife Heather at another larger graveyard.  :)

Ocean City is right on the water, with a huge boardwalk that has a small amusement park, arcades, shopping, restaurants and a beach.  I loved this area! The photo of Brenna and I above, is us at Ocean City in front of the Ripley's Museum.  We didn't go to the museum though, they were charging $30 a person!! I thought that was outrageous.  While there we stopped at an arcade, which had Adam's favorite arcade game, Terminator!  We had some lunch at a pizza shop, stopped at the amusement park and rode some rides (my favorite was the pirate ride, I'm a big pirate fan). Last we stopped in a souvenir shop where I bought a pirate mug that says "Pirate Rum" and looks like an old beer stein, a pirate shot glass and a postcard.  Assateague Island was another beautiful beach that had wild ponies all over it! When we first arrived we saw absolutely no ponies, just lost of pony poop lol!  We decided to go to the beach and got some sun for a couple of hours.  Dark clouds started to roll in and it started to rain and thunder, but Brenna was determined to show me some ponies! Ha ha!  I guess the rain brought them out, because we ended up seeing a bunch!  I got some great shots of them, but was afraid to get too close as they are wild.  Below is a photo of some of the ponies we saw on the side of the road.  :)
Ponies at Assateague Island
Another day we went to Rehoboth, Delaware which is a great touristy town that had lots of shops and restaurants including Dogfish Head which is a famous brewery.  We didn't go to the actual Ale House since it was 3 hours away, but went to the restaurant.  The food was good, but the beer was even better!  Great place!  We did some shopping and I found a new purse that I absolutely love!  I took some great photos there also, I probably won't be able to fit all the photos on here but will try to create a slideshow or something. :)

Other days, Brenna and I just stayed in, relaxed and had some girl time.  She has two older brothers and Adam got along with them great so he spent a lot of time hanging out with them.  We painted each other's nails, played some Nintendo games from our childhood, did some fun modeling photos or just hung out.  It's always good to have downtime on a vacation so you don't get worn out.  Thankfully during this week, my RA seemed quiet and I felt great for the most part! I'm so happy my body was cooperating during this time.   Brenna and I had a girls day out one day and she took me to a place called Ross, which is like a TJMaxx, I loved it so much we were there for almost three hours and didn't even realize it, ha ha! I bought a new dress and some shirts for cheap money!  I was happy. :) We then had lunch at a Mexican Restaurant which was yummy, and then stopped at a few other shops. 

Adam & I in Rehoboth!
The week was definitely fun-filled, and it was sad leave.  I loved meeting Brenna's family, they're so nice!  I wish we lived closer so I could see her more often, but maybe it just makes our friendship that more special.  It's nice having a friend with RA, so we can understand each other when we don't feel well or are not up to going out everyday.  Sometimes it's nice to just stay in and enjoy each other's company.  I had a wonderful time and miss Brenna already!

We stayed in Maryland for an entire week, and left Saturday morning to head to Tennessee where Adam's dad now lives.  It took us a lot longer than expected to arrive - it seemed to be the day of mishaps for us! First, after driving for about two and a half hours, we stopped at a Dunkin' Donuts so I could buy a coffee.  Adam went to pay and realized his wallet was missing.  I payed and then we pulled over to search the car, where it was nowhere to be found.  We called Brenna and after a while she found it in her house! Phew!  Then we seemed to hit traffic everywhere we went, so it set us back a lot.  My RA started to bother me during this ride, my right knee kept getting really stiff and achy so we had to stop every so often so I could get out and walk around. What was supposed to be a 7 hour drive, ended up being almost 12 hours! Ugh. When we finally arrived in TN, we were exhausted and just crashed for the night.  The next day was just spent relaxing and recovering from the long trip.

Adam with a huge Roman Candle - he's a nut! lol
In Massachusetts where I live, fireworks are illegal, since they're legal in TN, we always buy some and light some off for the fun of it.  So of course, that was one of our first stops while down here, ha ha.  Adam loves lighting off the fire works, I love watching and taking lots of photos!  I took tons of photos, here's one to the right of Adam lighting off a Roman Candle.  He's brave and a nut for doing this, but he loves it!   One day Adam and I took a trip to Sevierville, TN where we made two stops.  First was to Smokey Mountain Knife Works, which is a huge store that has knives, swords, gifts and more.  They also have replica swords and knives hanging on the walls and in display cases from movies such as Lord of the Rings, Batman, Rambo, Pirates of the Caribbean, Zelda, and many more! We've been here before, but it's always fun to come back and see what's new in the collectibles.  I was stoked because I found three old Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles comics here for only $3 a piece! I've loved the TMNT since I was a kid and am trying to get some of the original comics.  These weren't the first original ones, but still some from the 80s, so I know I'll love reading them. :)  

Smokey Mountian Knife Works
Next stop we made was to the Scrapbook Superstore, my favorite place!  Scrap booking is a favorite hobby of mine and here in Mass, there are no stores like this so I always try and go while we're here.  They actually have two stores, one is the main one that is huge, and another smaller one is their discount store where everything is 50% off retail price and they always have another sale going on.  This time stickers were buy one, get one free.  I bought some supplies that I needed and was happy with what I found.  I ran out of pages so I haven't been able to do scrapbooking for months!  Now, I'll be able to get back into it and be able to finish the book I was working on, and hopefully start on the next one.  They're so fun to make!
Most of this trip was spent relaxing and not going out too much.  My RA still was doing really well and keeping quiet, but my stomach started acting up real bad.  I've lost more weight, and am due to have my endoscopy next week.  Hopefully I will have some answers soon, my clothes are all too big for me and I can't afford a new wardrobe!  We stayed in Tennssee for a week, and left the following Saturday morning.  We decided to make a stop in Virgina to see the Luray caverns.  Everytime we go down to visit Adam's dad, we always pass signs that promote the caverns.  I've heard they were beautiful, so we decided to stop and see.  They were beautiful and I got so many photos! However, we went on a busy, busy day! There was a tour bus that arrived just ahead of us so we had to wait in line for a little while.  It just amazes me how beautiful our earth is, and makes me appreciate it even more.  I know it's just rocks that form into these formations, but it's still amazing to think they are made naturally this way. 

Me at the Luray Caverns, VA
The walk through the caves was long, but still I felt great!  I'm really hoping  that the Methotrexate and Humira combination is the medicine choice for me.  I can't remember ever being able to do this much in two weeks time and still come out feeling, well.....almost normal.  I still don't want to get my hopes up, because everytime I start to feel great I either have a bad reaction or it just stops working.  I see my rheumatoligist tomorrow morning and will update you all on how I make out.  Overall, I had a fantastic two weeks and am so glad I was able to get away for a while. Two weeks was a long time though.  I have two kitties at home and I missed them and my dear friends and family a lot!  Towards the end I couldn't wait to come home and see them, I guess I was getting a bit homesick.  You never appreciate your home until you're away from it so long. 

Thanks to my readers who always read my blogs, I will get back on and try to do weekley blog updates again! As always, anything you'd like to see in future blogs, please feel free to leave it in a comment here or on my facebook page.  If you need the link, you can find it: HERE


Anonymous Natalia said...

Hi Mallory,

My name is Natalia and I’m the Community Coordinator for an online health community called WEGO Health (www.wegohealth.com). I came across your blog, while doing some research into the online RA community. I was so impressed the great resource you have created for the greater RA community.

Just wanted to drop you a quick note because we recently launched a new video platform called WEGOHealth.tv and are in the process of building a RA Channel featuring the advice, information and wisdom of Health Activists like yourself. I think you would be an excellent addition to the channel and I would love to chat with you about possibly creating a video with us!

Please check out our site; http://tv.wegohealth.com/ and get back to me at your convenience if you have any interest.

I know this note it a little out of the blue and I understand if it’s not something you would be interested in, but I didn’t want you to miss out on the opportunity.


Community Coordinator
WEGO Health

August 9, 2011 at 5:29 PM  

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