Several years back I had the pleasure of meeting Angela from Inflamed: Living with Rheumatoid Arthritis at a blogger summit in New York. Since then, I’ve gotten to know her a little better through our mutual involvement in Joint Decisions. Today, I would like to share her with you while also snatching some of her ideas of how she lives her life outside her blog.
First off, besides sharing the autoimmune disease of rheumatoid arthritis (Angela was diagnosed at 18), we are also both teaching. Angela is currently substitute teaching Pre-K through 12th grade. She often shares humorous bits of her day with us on Facebook which make me laugh but so thankful I am not in that position anymore. Substitute teaching is hard work! However, her true passions are travel, writing, and photography. The goal is to one day combine those passions into a career. I am pretty sure she will make it. She is amazing at writing and photography and I have always admired the places she has visited.
When I talked to Angela on the phone recently, I wanted to find out how she lives her life with RA outside her blog. My challenge for Arthritis Awareness Month is to find ways to share my disease outside of our community without it taking over my life. Angela shared that this has been something new for her too. Like me, she has “tried to not hide, but to blend in with able people”. She too has struggled to make sure rheumatoid arthritis is not her only identity. This is a tough job when you have had RA your entire adult life. What has changed for Angela in sharing her story is becoming involved in RA communities. Sharing stories with fellow bloggers has allowed her see the importance of sharing beyond the community. She now sees how much people misunderstand about RA and wants to help educate the seriousness of the disease.