Sexual Side Effects of Medications

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October is National Talk About Prescriptions Month here in the US.

It’s important to be mindful of the medications we’re on. I often hear from patients who don’t know about the options they have for medications, let alone things like patient assistance programs. Many pharmaceutical companies will help you gain access to their medications in addition to staff familiar with various issues you might run into. One of the things I’ve found them most useful for is discussing side effects and how to handle them.

Side effects aren’t discussed as often as they should be. When I was going untreated for my arthritis, I was made to fear all the side effects listed during pharmaceutical commercials. When I started medications, then, I was understandably quite nervous. I would cry reading the pamphlets that came with my biologics and wonder how long it would be before I experienced a major medical event because of them.

As time went on, I became more comfortable learning and talking about side effects. Part of it was that I learned more in general, like how even vitamins can have side effects. I also do a lot of nerdy research, read journal articles and studies, and talk to people who have been in or helped run clinical trials. There is an art to discussing and reporting side effects.

Why don’t we talk more about side effects?

In general, we don’t talk enough about side effects we may be embarrassed about. It makes sense. Stigma clouds our responses, making us more timid to speak up. We don’t talk about how medications can change our bowel and bladder habits, for example. Everything thinks talking about poop is gross or that Depend products are only for the elderly. Reality is much different.

The biggest area we don’t talk about is sex and sexuality. As a society, we inject sex into everything from burger commercials to hidden jokes in children’s movies. Despite being bombarded by sex, we really don’t talk about it. Even our sexual education system is lacking in current, agenda-free information. That becomes even more true for marginalized groups like disabled and chronically fabulous people.

One thing we absolutely must start doing is discussing sexual side effects of medications we take. Sex is a natural part of the human experience, just like disability. To help start the conversation, I’ve pulled side effects of commonly used medications for various categories. I’ve removed the actual names, but will also share further down how you can look up your medications.

Possible sexual side effects of common medications

ADHD medications

  • Increased UTIs

Alzheimer’s medications

  • Increased UTIs

Anti-anxiety

  • Decreased libido or interest in sex
  • Vaginal dryness
  • Difficulty orgasming

Antibiotics

  • Yeast infection
  • Vaginitis
  • Vulvovaginal disorder

Anticonvulsants

  • Decreased libido or interest in sex
  • Difficulty getting or maintaining an erection

Antidepressants

  • Long-lasting and painful erections
  • Difficulty orgasming
  • Decreased libido or interest in sex
  • Decreased genital sensation
  • Difficulty getting aroused, getting or maintaining an erection, or ejaculating
  • Vaginal bleeding
  • Increase in UTIs
  • Breast discharge
  • Vaginitis

Antifungals

  • Decreased libido or interest in sex
  • Difficulty getting or maintaining an erection

Anti-histamines and allergy medications

  • Decreased libido or interest in sex
  • Difficulty getting aroused
  • Decreased genital sensation
  • Difficulty getting or keeping an erection
  • Increased UTIs

Anti-hypertensives

  • Decreased libido or interest in sex
  • Difficulty getting or maintaining an erection
  • Vaginal dryness
  • Difficulty orgasming
  • Difficulty ejaculating
  • Long-lasting and painful erections
  • Difficulty getting aroused

Antiretrovirals

These medications are utilized to treat HIV and AIDS.

  • Decreased libido or interest in sex
  • Difficulty getting or maintaining an erection, arousal

Asthma and COPD medications

  • Yeast infections
  • Painful menstrual cramps
  • Increased UTIs

Cancer medications

  • Increased UTIs
  • Breast enlargement in males
  • Difficulty getting or maintaining an erection
  • Difficulty getting arousal
  • Nipple pain
  • Swollen testicles
  • Breast inflammation
  • Decreased libido or interest in sex
  • Bladder spasm
  • Testicular pain

Congestive Heart Failure medications

  • Decreased libido
  • Difficulty getting or maintaining an erection
  • Breast enlargement in males

Diabetes medications

  • Increased UTIs

Diuretics

  • Difficulty getting or maintaining an erection

DMARDs (rheumatic diseases)

Disease-Modifying Anti-Rheumatic Drugs (DMARDs) is a category that encompasses a wide variety of medications. As such, this list looks a little different than the one above. Let’s go medication by medication.

  • Methotrexate: vaginal dryness, fertility issues, decreased libido
  • Prednisone: decreased libido
  • Hydroxychloroquine: difficulty getting aroused/erections
  • Sulfasalazine: difficulty getting aroused/erections, reversible fertility issues
  • Cytoxan: fertility issues
  • Biologics and Biosimilars haven’t really been researched enough to really say what any long-term side effects are, especially on sexy things

Heartburn medications

  • Decreased libido or interest in sex
  • Difficulty getting or maintaining an erection

Mood disorder medications

  • Difficulty getting or maintaining an erection
  • Long-lasting, painful erections
  • Decreased libido or interest in sex
  • Difficulty ejaculating
  • Difficulty orgasming
  • Increased UTIs
  • Vaginitis
  • Breast enlargement and pain

Muscle relaxers and nerve damage medications

  • Difficulty orgasming
  • Decreased libido or interest in sex
  • Difficulty getting or maintaining an erection
  • Difficulty ejaculating
  • Inability to achieve orgasm
  • Pelvic pain
  • Enlarged breasts
  • Inflammation in the foreskin and head of the penis
  • Swollen cervix
  • Pain during sexual activity

Multiple Sclerosis medications

  • Yeast infections
  • Missed periods
  • Difficulty getting or maintaining an erection
  • Breakthrough bleeding
  • Decreased libido or interest in sex
  • Breast enlargement
  • Long-lasting, painful erections
  • Swelling in the urethra

NSAIDs

Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications are things like ibuprofen, naproxen, and other (possibly over-the-counter) pain relievers.

  • Increase in UTIs
  • Difficulty getting aroused
  • Difficulty getting or maintaining an erection
  • Urinary incontinence
  • Vaginitis
  • Fertility issues

Osteoporosis medications

  • Vaginitis
  • Increased UTIs
  • Endometrial pain

Sleeping medications

  • Decreased libido or interest in sex
  • Breast enlargement
  • Vaginitis
  • Swelling of the urethra
  • Increased UTIs

Statins

  • Difficulty getting or maintaining an erection
  • Difficulty getting aroused

Didn’t find your medication category listed?

If you’re curious to find out more about sexual side effects, there is a relatively easy way to go about it.

I use Drugs.com to look up medications. I’ve just always found it the easiest site to use for any med-related research. You can see variants on pills, look up interactions, and more!

The problem is a lot of sexual side effects aren’t listed on the patient/consumer page. For the most info, you’ll have to scroll down to the section labeled “For Healthcare Professionals.” Look for things in the category ‘Genitourinary.’

It’s okay if what’s listed isn’t easily understandable. Googling a word is always acceptable.

What do you do if you think one of your medications is causing sexual side effects?

The most important thing to do is bring up your concerns with a physician. This could either be the prescribing physician (i.e., rheumatologist), primary care doctor, or a health care provider specializing in that area (i.e., gynecologist).

Before you bring it up, though, it may help to track some information. I always feel better when I can show my health care team what I’m talking about.

I find it best to keep track of symptoms. It always helps when we have data to backup what we say, even if it’s basic. You could do something like write down each time you have difficulty becoming aroused. You could go super nerdy, too, and plot things like vulvar pain in Excel. Plot points tend to do better when you can create a numerical value for what you’re plotting, so keep that in mind.

You can then look at if the medication is helping you, other medications you could try, or ways to combat the effects you’re dealing with. There isn’t always a way to get off a prescription or switch to a different one, and that can be hard to deal with.

The key is to figure out what is most important to you and work within your wants and needs.

Were you surprised by anything?

I know I was! The Lyrica I’ve been on for years sits in the muscle relaxers and nerve damage medication category. In fact, that’s what the last few side effects really reference. As someone going through pelvic floor therapy for pelvic pain and spasms, I was surprised to see that this medication might be contributing to this problem. Since this is a relatively new issue, I don’t believe Lyrica caused this for me. That doesn’t mean it doesn’t play a role.

The tough thing is that Lyrica is the only thing that really helps me medically to lower my fibromyalgia pain. Since I work for myself now (and know flogging helps me), maybe it’s a good time to consider lowering my dose.

Ask the Sexperts: Facebook Live

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My friends over at Tool Shed Toys are hosting a Facebook Live tomorrow night (October 17th)!

Here are details from their event page:

When it comes to sex, it seems like the more you learn, the more there is to learn. Do you have a question or three about sexual health or pleasure? Wanna get an honest answer and a couple of good laughs? Spend the evening in the virtual company of Tool Shed staffers Lucky and Hudson and anonymously ask your secret questions. We’ll combine honesty and humor, while providing accurate, up-to-date information to anyone with questions. Please join us!

For this event, we’ll go live from our Tool Shed Facebook page at 8:30 pm (Central) on October 17. Questions can be sent to our Facebook message inbox starting at 7:30 pm (Central). Sending us a question grants us permission to read the question aloud, but we will never reveal any personal details like your name, age, or location when reading the question.

Lucky is one of my favorite people in the world. As a midwife and sex educator, she is incredibly knowledgeable. On top of that, she knows so much about sex and chronic illness.

This really should be quite a treat, so make sure to check this one out!

Vibrant Weekend Sale!

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The weekend is here, and so is Vibrant’s newest sale!

You can save 15% off their newest toys by using the code NEW15. This offer is valid until 11:59 pm Mountain Time on Sunday, October 15th.

My suggestions? Well, the Broad City Yas Kween Bullet looks super cute and fun. The Elvie Kegel Exerciser looks amazing, and I’ve heard great things. If you’ve been looking for a dilator kit, the 5-piece one from CalExotics is a hit.

As far as things I’ve tried on this list, I highly recommend the Doxy Massage Wand Vibrator. I haven’t written my review yet, but I am in love! It’s incredibly helpful for my terrible back and neck. Oh yeah, and it’s an effective sex toy, too! Many people find them helpful in taking steps towards finding what tools they like best.

love the Almost Naked Lube from Good Clean Love. I also don’t think you can ever go wrong with Sliquid lube selections.

If those toys aren’t your bag, you could save 45% off the Ola Vibrator by using the code VIP45.

Otherwise, you can always use the code CHRONICSEX to save 10% all non-sale prices. Heck, to save even more, check out these toys under $50!

What are you waiting for? Head to Vibrant today!

Ways to Help California Fire Victims

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There are over a dozen fires raging through California right now. Most of them are in and around where my sister lives – Northern California. They have not had to evacuate yet, but with her having asthma and small kids, the tension is high.

She’s not alone, though. There are a ton of people sitting on the edge of evacuation zones struggling with ash, heat, and more.

Thousands of people have evacuated, lost their homes, or worse. Right now, the death toll sits in the mid-20s with nearly 300 people missing.

Here’s how to help if you’re in the area:

  • You can open your home for free via Airbnb. This is currently open through the 30th, but I’ll bet it gets extended.
  • You can donate supplies and clothing to Love on Haight in SF. Tutto Capelli Salon, 1234 Go Records,
  • Donate to the North Bay Fire Relief fund at Redwood Credit Union locations
  • Volunteer! You can register at the Sonoma Community Center (open from 9-5 daily). You can also register online at CVNL for Marin and Napa.
  • Sonoma County Animal Services needs food and supplies. Napa Community Animal Response Team needs help with sheltering and moving animals. Hop Along and Second Chance Animal Rescue needs foster pet parents and donations.
  • Here are evacuation centers and other locations you can drop off supplies to:
    • Yuba-Sutter Fairgrounds Evacuation Center – 442 Franklin Avenue, Yuba City
    • Veterans Memorial Building and Hall – 1351 Maple Avenue, Santa Rosa
    • Petaluma Community Center – 320 N. McDowell Boulevard, Petaluma
    • Sonoma-Marin Fairgrounds – 175 Fairgrounds Drive, Petaluma
    • Napa Valley College Gym – 2277 Napa Vallejo Highway, Napa
    • Ramekins Culinary School and Inn – 450 W. Spain Street, Sonoma
    • Sonoma Valley High School – 20000 Broadway, Sonoma
    • Sonoma County Animal Services – 1247 Century Ct, Santa Rosa
    • RYSE Center – 205 41st Street @ MacDonald, Richmond
    • Salute E Vita Restaurante – 1900 Esplanade Dr, Richmond
    • Seaport Storage Center – 1703 E. Bayshore Road, Redwood City
If you’re remote, like me, or can’t venture out due to the ash and smoke, you can still donate:
Are you affected by the wildfires in Northern California? Here are some of the resources in the area offering shelter, food, and other supplies. Make sure to keep up with evacuation orders in your area.

 

Shelter

  • Check out Airbnb’s open home program. It’s free and people in the area are opening up their homes to help.
  • Official shelters
    • Cloverdale
      • Cloverdale Citrus Fair – 1 Citrus Fair Dr.
    • Healdsburg
      • Healdsburg Community Center – 1157 Healdsburg Ave.
    • Petaluma
      • Casa Grande High School – 333 Casa Grande Rd.
      • Cavanaugh Youth Center – 426 8th St.
      • Church of Christ – 370 Sonoma Mountain Parkway
      • 1st Presbyterian Church – 939 B. St.
      • New Life Church – 1310 Clegg St.
      • Sonoma-Marin Fairgrounds – 175 Fairgrounds Dr.
      • Veterans Memorial Hall – 1094 Petaluma Blvd. S.
    • Santa Rosa
      • Cook Middle School – 2480 Sebastopol Rd.
      • Elsie Allen High School – 599 Bellevue Ave.
      • Finley Community Center – 2060 W. College Ave.
      • Sonoma County Fairgrounds Pavillion – 1350 Bennett Valley Rd.
      • St. Eugene’s Cathedral School/Gym – 300 Farmers Ln.
    • Sebastopol
      • Analy High School – 6950 Analy Ave.
      • Hessel Church – 5060 Hessel Ave.
      • St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church – 500 Robinson Rd.
    • Rohnert Park
      • Burton Recreation Center/RP Community Center – 5401 Snyder Ln.
      • Sally Tomatoes – 1100 Valley House Dr.
      • Technology Middle School – 7165 Burton Ave
      • Waldo Rohnert Elementary School – 550 Bonnie Ave.
    • Sonoma
      • Adele Harrison Middle School – 1150 Broadway
      • Sonoma Raceway – 29355 Arnold Dr.
      • Sonoma Valley High School – 20000 Broadway
      • Sonoma Veterans Building – 126 1st St. West
    • Windsor
      • Windsor High School – 8695 Windsor Rd.
    • American Canyon
      • American Canyon High School – 3000 Newell Dr.
    • Calistoga
      • Calistoga Fairgrounds – 1435 N. Oak St.
    • Napa
      • Crosswalk Community Church – 2590 First St.
      • Napa Valley College Gym – 2277 Napa Vallejo Highway
    • Fairfield
      • Alan Witt Sports Complex – 1741 W. Texas St.
      • Solano Community College – 4000 Suisun Valley Rd.

Restaurants

  • Amy’s Drive Thru (58 Golf Course Dr. W, Rohnert Park) is offering free meals to those evacuated.
  • Sauced BBQ Restaurant (151 Petaluma Blvd S Suite 129, Petaluma) serves free food from 9-4 every few days for victims and offers a place to rest and view TV.
  • Better Homes and Gardens (186 Main St., Sebastopol) will give you a cup of coffee and wifi and you can charge your phone.

Wifi and Computer Use

  • FREE Internet/Comcast/Xfinity: Removed restrictions and opened their WiFi hotspots for all to use through Fri. 10/13 Log in as “Guest.”
  • Copperfield’s Books (140 Kentucky St, Petaluma): Free wifi, allows dogs, water, stickers & crayons for children.
  • Mystic Theatre/McNears/The Roaring Donkey (23 Petaluma Blvd. North, Petaluma): Offering laptops for fire victims to use if they need to get a hold of their financial institutions or family. They have wifi and chargers, too. Ask for Sierra Bradley.

For pets and animals

  • Strong’s Second Chance Ranch (771 Liberty Rd, Petaluma) is offering to home horses, can message on Facebook.
  • Chanslor Ranch (2660 CA-1, Bodega Bay) – Offering free beds and campsite. Kid and pet- friendly.
  • Sonoma Humane Society (5345 Highway 12 West, Santa Rosa) – Taking in animals for boarding, lost & found animals. No cost vet treatment for burn victims, owned or stray animals affected by fires. Open 8-5 daily.
  • Unleashed Dog Training (301 2nd St, Petaluma) is boarding and open if you need a place to hang. Call at 707.763.9882
  • Marin Humane Society (171 Bel Marin Keys Blvd, Novato) is offering free boarding.
  • Misc animal issues: Anyone encountering animal-related issues can call 707-565-4406. This number will be available 24/7 until further notice. Donations can also be made through this line. Please be prepared to share information about the number of animals, type of animals, address and location for the animals, and any information about the families associated with the animals, if known.

Other

  • Petaluma Swim Center (900 E Washington St, Petaluma) is offering free showers for victims with soap, shampoo and towels provided. Check their FB page for times and dates.
  • Synergy Health Club (1201 Redwood Way, Petaluma) is offering free showers plus towels to those in need. Also, a place to relax with couches and TV.
  • Adventure Recreation Center (2200 Petaluma Blvd. N., Petaluma) is open limited hours for kids to play out of the smoke. Free for fire victims, and they have coffee. Proceeds from others will be donated to relief efforts.
  • Ethical Clothing (122 Kentucky St., Petaluma) has free clothing for those in need. For non-evacuees, they will also sell newly donated items for $25 a piece and donate the money. Check their FB page for hours.
  • Yoga Hell (1484 Petaluma Blvd N., Petaluma) is offering free yoga classes and showers.
  • If you’re affected by the Tubbs fire, there is a FB group for you. Facebook also has a community help section for those dealing with the fires, including those willing to volunteer.

Originally posted on Oct. 12. Updated Oct. 12.

October 12th is World Arthritis Day

B&W photo of kirsten with short dark hair looking up; a teal translucent overlay with white text: "October 12th is World arthritis Day" and "Chronic Sex"

TW death and dying, mentions of abuse and neglect

Hooray, it’s World Arthritis Day?

Arthritis is something that’s been big in the news, even if you haven’t realized it. Lady Gaga and Selena Gomez both live with types of arthritis. Confused? Read on!

Basics on Arthritis

Arthritis isn’t just for old people, even though that’s who we usually associate with that word. What arthritis means is bone (arth) swelling (itis). Diseases that feature this symptom commonly, whether as the main symptom or just a possible one, often get listed under this umbrella. Some of the over 100 conditions that are under this umbrella include Rheumatoid Arthritis, Lupus, Fibromyalgia, Ankylosing Spondylitis, Gout, Osteoarthritis, Lyme Disease, Scleroderma, and Tendonitis. Sometimes, this list includes Inflammatory Bowel Diseases like Crohn’s Disease.

Most of these are invisible diseases, meaning you can’t tell someone is ill. While there are many people who utilize assistive devices like wheelchairs, there are plenty who don’t. That may be due to a lack of access or funding, physical accessibility of their surroundings, lack of a concrete diagnosis, concerns on displaying as ill/disabled, not needing them, or a number of other things.

These conditions affect 1 in 4 people in the European Union and 1 in 5 adults in the United States. Here in the US, it’s one of the leading causes of disability. More than 200 billion Euros and 156 billion US dollars are lost each year due to these diseases. That includes lost work time as well as medical bills. That’s a combined total of nearly 400 billion US dollars or 331 billion Euros.

Yikes!

Juvenile Arthritis (JA)

The ACR says that 1 in 1,000 American children develop some kind of ‘chronic arthritis.’ The most commonly cited statistic is that 300,000 children have a type of JA, though it’s debated whether or not that is limited to just the three main types of JIA. These are Systemic, Oligoarticular (up to four joints), and Polyarticular (five or more joints).

I tend to think this number is more limited to the main JIA types, leaving out juvenile fibromyalgia and other conditions. Most organizations characterize these other kinds as ‘Pediatric Rheumatic Diseases.’

Some types of JA are short-lasting, like Kawasaki Disease and Fifth Disease. Others, like the JIAs and Juvenile Lupus, are life-long. Remission may be possible. Since that often depends on how quickly someone is diagnosed and treated, it’s not always achievable for many of us.

“Wait, us?” you say?

Yeah, I have SJIA. And it sucks.

photo of lil kirsten laying on a couch as a child; she has on a green tank and some character underwear
My last ‘well’ picture from September 1993. I got sick with Systemic Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis that November.

Systemic JIA (SJIA)

Systemic JIA (or Still’s Disease) hits roughly 10% of the above statistic. A salmon pink rash accompanies this and is not usually itchy. (If I recall correctly from my copy of A Primer on Rheumatic Diseases, only 5% of us ‘enjoy’ the itchy version.) It can look like welts, small circles, or hives. This rash usually comes along with the fevers SJIA brings. It can also be triggered by stress, high emotion, and rubbing or scratching (AKA the Koebner Phenomenon).

kirsten with splotchy sjia rash on her chest

Fevers can peak up to several times a day, but generally happen at least once a day. While it affects joints, SJIA also affects organs. Aside from the skin, it likes to attack organs heavily involved in the immune system like the spleen.

It can also cause Macrophage Activation Syndrome (MAS) which can be fatal.

Death

The SJIA communities I know have lost nearly a dozen children and adults over the last few years due to MAS or other complications related to the disease. In 2012, I actually lost my best friend at the time to complications from an infection related to her SJIA.

Even other kinds of arthritis can be fatal.

Living with one of these conditions can decrease your life expectancy by up to 15 years. Each patient handles these kinds of issues their own way but I, for one, am scared as shit. I try not to show it that much, but I have ‘existential crisis’ days where I’m constantly having panic attacks over death and dying.

It’s fucking scary.

Day-to-day Life

Like anyone, I have good days and bad days. After Monday’s PT, I found myself incredibly sore. I’m still dealing with swollen knees from it and it’s Thursday. I have canes, but they try to murder my hands and I can’t do without typing. It’s ‘easier’ to just deal with the knee crap than work to find something better.

When you have one type of arthritis, you can wind up with others. My kneecaps grind and hurt all the time, part of patellofemoral arthralgia. I suspect I have tendonitis in a few spots and have dealt with bursitis a few times, too. Fibromyalgia kicks my ass often. I struggle with holding hands, playing with the piggies, and even wearing clothes. That doesn’t even get to things around the house or work stuff I do. It sure as hell doesn’t address my intimate life, either.

a photo of my daily pills (four gummies, three capsules, five pills, a nasal spray vial, and a syringe) against the cover of a book called 'Chronic Illness: Impact and Intervention' (7th edition)
Meds as of June; sadly this pile has grown

I take more naps than I would like. I have to rely on medications to function. If I’m late by even ten minutes, my body screams. I have a million things to try to lower my pain – lotions, migraine glasses, copious amounts of caffeine, CBD oil, high-tech gadgets, etc. Still, I wind up struggling through at least half my week.

Fatigue, brain fog, and chronic pain all enjoy working together to harm us. They bring depression and anxiety to the party, too. My childhood adds just a dash of PTSD for good measure. Who am I kidding? It’s more than that. Hell, I can barely sleep in my bed right now because of pain and nightmares. It’s really, um, unpleasant? Uncool? Shittastic?

Still, I’ve been on a biologic medication that keep my SJIA steadily ‘okay’ – and has since the summer of 2015. It’s the longest I’ve been on one biologic. Seven different meds have failed me in eight years. Kineret keeps my labs looking… well, the best I’ve ever seen them in my entire life. I’m very lucky to be sitting here today, especially with 14 years of neglect, without real treatment.

I very easily could be dead. I maybe even should be, statistically.

Living with Arthritis is Still Living

Despite being in unrelenting pain, I know that I’m not alone. There are so many of us in similar situations, dealing with undertreated pain. We go through life looking for resources to help us live as well as possible, even creating them if we have to.

Shit, that’s why I write about what I deal with, right?

Plus, I’ve gotten to do some pretty cool things and meet some of my heroes. So that’s neat.

12 small square photos surround a larger blue square photo with light blue and white text: "I am an American with a pre-existing condition #healthhasnoparty"; starting in upper left and moving clockwise - photo of Kirsten with former MTV VJ Karen Duffy; photo of Kirsten's pill bottle tops with a necklace featuring the Japanese character for strong; photo of Kirsten up close with very red right eye; photo of Kirsten with her Rep. Mark Pocan; drawing of Kirsten from Healthline using an inhaler; distorted selfie of Kirsten in front of muscular and skeletal posters in an exam room; a photo of Kirsten and Kenzie (Life According to Kenz); selfie of Kirsten with a bear snapchat filter that adds in a cute medical facemask; photo of Kirsten using a ventilator; selfie of Kirsten wearing a purple shirt that says "Disability is a natural part of the human experience" from Ollibean; selfie of Kirsten kissing her Biofreeze roll-on; photo of Kirsten's left leg elevated with various kinds of KT Tape and wraps on

At the end of the day (usually), I’m still alive. I’m still living the best life that I can while I can. In the end, that’s all we can do, right? Live well, help others, and push for better changes in our world.

Hopefully, snagging some information on arthritis can help y’all be mindful of what others may be facing. At the very least, I hope I undid some of the stigmas out there.