I have done two interviews for Health Monitor in the last five months. The first was about living with rheumatoid arthritis. The writer, Kristina Mastrocola, contacted me by email and we set up a 20 minute interview. I wasn't sure what to expect, would I be worthwhile to interview? I'm just a dumb old country boy, there are many smarter than myself that would surely be better candidates to interviw. She was very nice and easy to talk to while drawing the information out that she needed.
Last month Kristina sent the final PDF file, that had been approved for production, to me. I took a deep breath, with the exception of Cycle News I have never been in national print, and opened the file. I read it and, with the exception of one minor note about dual sport riding, everything appeared good. Oh ... and the fact that I had a photographer shoot pictures of me with my bike, at the request of the editor, and then they run a stinking street bike photo with the story! I sent Kristina a quick note back thanking her and told her that I was pleased with the article with the exception of the photo. She understood, the photo was out of her control. All was good.
Then the next day I reread it ... wait a minute. I reread it a second time. Something was curiously missing that I had overlooked in my quick read the first time. Pain, there was no mention of it. I specifically pointed that out. I still hurt everyday despite taking chemo and the DMARD's. I do not want people that read this article to simply brush it off as ... he doesn't really have RA or his RA isn't the same as mine. Why does the media insist on hiding the fact that most of us live in pain every single day? After reading the article, it is almost like an Enbrel or Celebrex commercial where it sounds like I can go run on the beach or do anything I want to do. That is far from my reality. At the end of my shift at work, some nights my feet and hips hurt so bad I that can barely walk to my truck.
I am not Superman, never have been, never wanted to be. I am not asking for anyones sympathy, just a little truth and understanding of what we live with day in and day out, after all they contacted ME to do a story about living with RA.