about lauren

Live your life from your heart. Share from your heart. 
And your story will touch and heal people’s souls. 
– Melody Beattie

sharing my life story

I am 32 years old and I live in Denver, CO. I was diagnosed about 8 years ago with Rheumatoid Arthritis, a chronic auto-immune disease that I will struggle with for the rest of my life. The diagnosis has now been changed to Psoriatic Arthritis, which is psoriasis of the skin in addition to rheumatoid arthritis in the joints. Before my diagnosis, I was a ballerina for 18 years, studied classical piano for almost 20 years, and was pursuing my Masters of Fine Arts in Advertising Account Planning at the Academy of Art University. I work as a Project Manager at a small events planning agency, which keeps me creative. Now that I struggle with chronic joint pain and fatigue, food allergies, daily granny pill boxes full of medications, monthly infusions at a hospital and monstrous medical bills, I feel like an 80 year-old trying to live a 30-something-year-old’s life. It has been difficult to give up some of my passions and become less active over the past few years. But I am learning the small ways to stay strong and start new hobbies, so that this disease won’t control my life. And these daily battles and chronic figurings-out are what I’m going to share with you – because even if I just touch one person with my story, it will be a success.

why a blog, you ask?

Not only is my daily life flooded with overcoming my disease while pursuing my career as a young adult, my new marriage, and traveling (which is one of my passions), there’s another chronic pain in the butt that comes along with all of this – the big bad health insurance system. I am weekly, if not daily, filing rebuttals and resubmitting paperwork for claims with health insurance companies, doctors offices and specialty pharmacies just to keep up with the overflow of medical bills and expenses.  It is a frustration that I have had to take into my own hands and constantly fight for my rights and needs as the patient – as a victim of this malfunctioning system.  I can’t help but think how many people are victims of this big bad system because they don’t understand how they are being taken advantage of – and that’s why I started a blog.  Plus, it’s a great way for my family and friends to keep up with my constant adventures and struggles, successes and disappointments, and to see how I’m fighting against this diagnosis on a daily basis. Most importantly, I hope to change someone else’s life, or simply create awareness, by sharing my story.

Now you can find me on facebook!


14 thoughts on “about lauren”

  1. Hey Lauren, I came across your blog google searching “playing keyboard music rheumatoid arthritis”. I’m a 26 year old college student, diagnosed with RA at age 12 and was thinking about taking a beginning keyboarding music class this fall. I think it will be ok, typing doesn’t seem to bother me much so I wouldn’t think it’d be much different. I just want a musical outlet and am limited with the RA. Reading this inspired me a bit so I think I may just go for it. Anyway, seeing that your diagnosis is so new and mine is so… not new… haha, maybe we should get in touch! I also love your Melody Beattie quote. Anyway, e-mail me or find me on facebook, I don’t think it’s just a coincidence that I came across your page. Wishing you the best. – Mary

    • Hi Mary! I’m so glad that my story has made an impact on someone. I would say that beginners keyboard lessons would be a great thing for RA! It will help keep your wrists moving, but it is low-impact movement. Plus, music truly heals the soul 🙂 I would love to connect on facebook, so I will try to find you. Stay strong!

    • Hi, Lauren…”Denise” got me in touch with you. I like your blog! My husband and I have been vacationing in PHX for the past couple of weeks. Thankfully I’ve felt pretty well other than the extreme pain and stiffness in the A.M. Today, though, a flare-up occurred and have been pretty miserable. Currently I’m on 5 mg. of prednisone, 6 capsules of sulfasalazine a day and Methotexrate (my 3rd week). My Dr. and I are trying to see what “formula” works. I hate being on the steroid and the chemo type drug and want to try more natural things. I have found (or so it seems) that when I indulge in too many carbs, the flares are more frequent. I also want to check out the pilates class when I get home. I feel like this weak little bird. Well, great to “meet you” and will be checking back with ya. Happy Thoughts!

  2. Thank you for your blog! I so identify with the ” I feel like an 80 year-old trying to live a 27 year-old’s life.” I’ve just been diagnosed with RA at age 29. Best of luck to you and I’ll definitely be following your journey as it seems so close to my own.

    • I’m so glad you found me! I wish you luck as well with your RA journey. Definitely don’t hesitate to share your experience on here as well. I’d love to hear about it!

  3. Hi Lauren, what a lovely blog you have. I’ve nominated you for the Very Inspiring Blogger award. Check out my post to see how it works. http://theroadiwander.com/2013/08/24/on-inspiration-and-the-inspirational/

  4. Summer Scirocco said:

    Hi Lauren,
    Just ran across your blog, (I’ve been thinking about starting one myself). I am 27, and have psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis. I can relate to so many of your posts. I’m so glad I found your blog. I needed just that inspiration to start my own.


    • I am so happy that you found my story so that you know you’re not alone on your journey. What works on your psoriasis? I have found that tar shampoo is helping, but not the best smelling. Would love your advice too!

  5. Hello Lauren,
    Have enjoyed reading your story. My partner has Rheumatoid Arthritis and her life is dependent on cymzia as well as a cornucopia of other drugs. Her biggest challenge of late is getting her cymzia injection to arrive on time. The red tape with these drugs in Australia often means going without a dose and of course this puts my ladies life in the hands of the gods.
    Thank you Lauren for taking the time to make your experience known.
    Tell Johnson.

    • I am so sorry your partner has to deal with the red tape for her biologic. It is so frustrating having to worry about that when you also have to worry about the chronic illness. I wish you luck in your journey together! I suggest writing the insurance company about your struggle so they are aware.

  6. Kim Allen said:

    Hi Lauren! I was excited to find your website. I am newly diagnosed but, looking back, was “coming down” with RA since about 2010. I start treatment next week. Like you, I was an athlete (figure skater) and, like you, I am frustrated and fascinated by the “figuring outs” of this disease. I found you because I didn’t understand why I keep getting sunburned — even though I don’t go in the sun much — even through car windshields! I’m glad you have this BLOG and look forward to reading more. Thank you for doing this for all of us who fight this disease, the treatment which sounds like it can sometimes be worse and the insurance companies (Don’t get me started! I had a disabled daughter so I went through many years of fighting for her care – I know what you mean!) Warm regards, Kim Allen

    • Thank you so much for your comment. It is wonderful to hear from other people who are going through the same journey. I wish you all the best with your treatment! Let me know what you’re starting with. I’d love to hear if it works for you.

      • Kim Allen said:

        Thanks for the reply — will do! Tomorrow’s the big day. I hope they have it in stock at a pharmacy. I want to shoot it up (pardon the expression) right away!!!

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