Welcome to Invited Blog on CJ
CreakyJoints is beyond delighted to have Christine Schwab as our first contributor for our new Invited Blog feature.
About our Invited Writer…
Christine Schwab, the mega successful fashion, beauty and lifestyle author, columnist and TV personality, was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis in 1990. In her third book, the memoir, Take Me Home from the Oscars: Arthritis, Television, and Fashion and Me, this current National Arthritis Foundation Ambassador wrote about how she kept her RA a secret for many years.
Among Ms. Schwab’s latest arthritis awareness efforts is the creation of Christine’s Kids, a Facebook community for children and teens with autoimmune diseases where the emphasis is on hope and positivity.
To visit Christine’s Kids:
10 Things Most People Don’t Know About Me
by Christine Schwab
About a month ago I received an email from CreakyJoints requesting I write a blog for their website. The only problem was the last blog I wrote for my own website was many months ago. Schedules and responsibility buzzed through my mind; can I take on this commitment? And then came the second call from the creator of CreakyJoints, Seth Ginsberg. After a few minutes on the phone I realized we had a lot in common. Our words of positivity, sense of humor, helping others overlapped. We were on the same page when it came to dealing with an autoimmune disease.
The page we are on is one of hope. For me, it’s been the only page that kept me going for years with RA.
So what should I write on my first blog? Everything you need to know about me is on my website. And I keep Twitter and Facebook friends up to date on my pages.
But that’s not the complete story of who I am. I am not the fashionista, nor the author; I am just like all of you. Taking it one day at a time. Working hard to move forward. I might have been able to package myself in the media world but it doesn’t begin to tell my story. It’s the behind the scenes story that I want to share with you for our first conversation.
10 things most people don’t know about me.
- I cried the day I was diagnosed with RA. I though it was an old person’s disease.
- I envisioned myself in a wheelchair based on watching the Arthritis Telethons as a child.
- Denial became my best friend. I couldn’t even read a book on arthritis, let alone share my journey with others.
- I went on every medication available to no relief. Steroids became the only thing that helped me, and their side effects were devastating, but I had no other options.
- I found a doctor who offered me hope. Shared information on new treatments in research. Said, “hang on, hope is coming.”
- I entered the research program at UCLA for the first biologic. Frightened of all the severe warnings and life threatening complications.
- I stayed in the research program as many bailed even though my hands were showing damage. It was a double blind study; I thought for sure I was on a half dosage of the medication so the promise of a full dosage kept me moving forward.
- At the end of the program I found out I was on placebo. The power of a positive attitude. When I finally got the full dosage my joints went into remission. I could move without pain.
- Now what do I do with this second chance in life? I was one of the lucky ones. I had to give back, but how? I am a writer; dare I write about life with RA? Fear ran through me, how could I blend fashion and chronic illness? How could I share with the world my journey? I didn’t want RA to define me. I was confused and fearful. It took me a long time to gather the courage to write the book.
- In the end it wasn’t the book that changed my life, it was the disease. Thank you RA for teaching me that life is what we make it. That adversity can make us stronger. Thank you RA for opening up my eyes to all those who suffer, including the little children that very few recognize. Thank you RA for bringing me into social media where I have met the most amazing adults and children that have inspired me. Thank you RA for teaching me to be open instead of quiet and fearful.
Thank you CreakyJoints for asking me to share.