Welcome!

Welcome to my blog! My name is Ferhaan. I’m 35 years old, happily married, have a great three-year-old son and I have Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA).

RA is a chronic, inflammatory autoimmune disease that causes the immune system to attack the joints. It has been described as ‘a disabling a painful inflammatory condition, which can lead to substantial loss of mobility due to pain and joint destruction’.  I would compare it to ‘A shot at love with Tia Tequilla’; painful, debilitating and mind numbing. Something I could definitely live without.

I was diagnosed with RA a week before I turned 30 and at the time I remember thinking it would be tough leaving your twenties, but this is a bit ridiculous! Suffice to say that my life has been turned upside down since then. I had to stop working, stop playing tennis, put a halt to my social life and, at times, be bedridden.

Then I got help. My rheumatologist set up meetings for me to see several specialists. I saw a physiotherapist who set up a program to get fitter and stronger and at the same time loosen and treat my joints. I saw an occupational therapist, who showed me how to perform every day tasks without hurting and damaging my joints, sometimes with the help of aids. And I saw a social worker who helped me deal with the anger, frustration, sorrow and acceptance of RA.

This combined effort helped my condition to stabilize. Though I realized I could never be the way I was, at the same time I had left rock bottom behind me. My wife and I decided that this was the best time to jump off a cliff: We had a baby. And this is when my life really started to turn around. Even though looking after my son is tough with RA, he is my biggest source of inspiration and energy. I went to see a career guidance counselor and discovered my passion for writing. I joined the Rheumatoid Arthritis Patients In Training (RAPIT) program and got fitter and stronger than I had thought possible. And I had managed to give RA a place in my life, though at times it still felt as a very unwelcome visitor.

On this blog I hope to write about my experiences as a Dad with RA. I welcome your comments and suggestions and initially hope to write a new piece every week.

Thank you for your time, take care of yourself and remember to keep passing the open windows.

© Ferhaan Kajee, August 2009

Published in: on August 26, 2009 at 10:56 am  Comments (9)  

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9 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Congrats on your new venture. I’ll be returning often to read your blog. -Deb

  2. Glad to see you blogging, thanks for sharing your experiences living with RA!

  3. From one of my friends at Daily Strength:

    What a great start – and this:

    RA is a chronic, inflammatory autoimmune disease that causes the immune system to attack the joints. It has been described as ‘a disabling a painful inflammatory condition, which can lead to substantial loss of mobility due to pain and joint destruction’. I would compare it to ‘A shot at love with Tia Tequilla’; painful, debilitating and mind numbing. Something I could definitely live without.

    made me LAUGH OUT LOUD, literally. I think I haven’t come across a better description.

    keep up the great work

    Tort

  4. Your journey so far sounds very inspirational. I can’t wait to read more.

  5. Welcome to the RA blogosphere (from another relative newbie)! I’m looking forward to reading much more from you.

  6. Welcome to the blog world. RA is an interesting journey, isn’t it?

  7. Welcome! I’m looking forward to reading your blog, and to hearing your perspectives on parenting with RA. I’m a 39-year-old mom with RA – diagnosed at 36, found out I was pregnant with our first (and, so far, only) little one the same week! He’s now almost 21 months old.

    Question for you – what is the RAPIT program, and where do you find it? I would love to hear more about this!

  8. Thank you all for the welcome and comments! It’s heartwarming.

    Cathy, the RAPIT program was developed in Leiden, the Netherlands. I managed to find one synopsis of it in English: http://graychiropractic.wordpress.com/2009/04/20/high-intensity-exercise-for-rheumatoid-arthritis-patients/

    On rapit.nl, one can find addresses, where RAPIT is held. I have no information yet on the scope of RAPIT outside NL. I was lucky that my physiotherapist was interested in it and set up a group himself.

  9. Just read your blog, you write with a real ‘gentleness’ which is very engaging to read. My youngest starts school soon so I can relate to some of your lovely story about bookkid. It’s so true that even though RA creates more challenges as we parent, it can help us to be more creative as to how we spend time with our kids.
    Thanks…


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