Lana Barhum Lana BarhumGary McClainAbbey Crandall See all Community Advocates

Hi, I'm Lana

I was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis a little over five years ago after many years of dealing with symptoms that no doctor could explain.    All I wanted was closure and, to me, that meant finding an answer to why I didn’t feel normal.  Several days after having my now five year old, I awoke to the inability to walk or use my hands and within a week, I finally had a diagnosis and this time, it sank in that it was real thing.

Steroids, a lack of energy, and physical pain take a toll on you. What the illness does to us, we cannot control. How we respond, how we choose to fight back, and how we go on is our defense against the war waging inside of us. Imagine being in a dark room and trying to make your way around. Then, imagine that you find a light switch and the room becomes dim, not bright, but enough for you to navigate your way. For years, I was in the dark about what was happening to me, and then one day, the room became dimly lit.  What I wanted was closure but instead I found that there were more questions than there were answers. I learned that I had to change my perceptions on what closure meant to me and in this case it meant accepting that RA was now a part of my life.

One of the things that I do know is that I am not alone and that there were so many exceptional people who, like me, are looking for closure, answers and normalcy.  You are here because RA has touched your life and because you struggle daily with the limitations that RA poses.  That is why I became involved with Rheumatoid Connect and I hope that you find the answers you need so that you don’t have to face your challenges alone.

Welcome to the community.  Make yourself at home and I will be here to answer any questions that you may have.

Lana Barhum
Patient Advocate