I live in the beautiful Pacific Northwest near Seattle, WA. My wife and I have four mostly grown children.
I began experiencing autoimmune symptoms in 2004 (uveitis of the eyes) but was advised by an ophthalmologist to “wait and see” how the disease progressed before seeking out the advice of a rheumatologist. I waited for five years and experienced serious joint destruction as a result. By the time of formal diagnosis with RA in 2009, three ankle surgeries were needed. Two additional joint surgeries were conducted within the past two years. Increasing my struggles are the failures to respond to nearly every biologic and DMARD. I cannot take steroids and NSAIDs due to side effects.
Living with RA is a daily battle that changes constantly. There are many times when I am not able to engage in regular life activities, work or exercise. The emotional toll can be heavy but I’ve learned to adapt and refocus my energy on the numerous activities that I can do. When able, you’ll find me reading, salmon fishing, and tinkering around with tools.
My scientific training inspired me to delve into the biology behind the disease. Through my writing and patient advocacy efforts, I hope to share my story with other patients, caregivers, doctors, researchers, and other healthcare professionals. As a former science teacher and current college professor, the analytic side of me comes out in my writing. I currently serve as a Cure Arthritis Ambassador for the Arthritis National Research Foundation and as a Patient Advocate/Site Moderator for rheumatoidarthritis.net.
CreakyJoints is delighted to welcome Andrew Lumpe, Ph.D. to our featured blogger lineup.