D-Day-The beginning of the end.

Although the tide had already turned for the Nazis , June 6-1944 was to become the final push for the allied troops to free Europe from the Nazi regime.

the British 22nd Independent Parachute Company, 6th Airborne Division being briefed for the invasion, 4–5 June 1944

Theodore Roosevelt Jr., son of former US President Theodore Roosevelt,was the only general on D-Day to land by sea with the first wave of troops. At 56, he was the oldest man in the invasion,[29] and the only one whose son also landed that day; Captain Quentin Roosevelt II was among the first wave of soldiers at Omaha Beach.

At the time of the D-Day landings on June 6th 1944, Roosevelt was a frail man, not in the best of health; needing the aid of a walking stick. His health had suffered as a result of the first World War, he had arthritis . Despite his poor health, he proved to be a fine leader and as depicted in the film the longest day, he would famously state: “We’ll start the war from right here!”. He made this famous quote after discovering that the allied landings on Utah Beach were approximately 2 km off course.

Theodore Roosevelt Jr, died as a result of a heart attack on July 1944, just over a month after D-Day.

He was awarded a Medal of Honor.

Brigadier General Theodore Roosevelt Jr.
Unit: 16th Infantry, 1st Infantry Division

‘Citation: For gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty on 6 June 1944, in France. After 2 verbal requests to accompany the leading assault elements in the Normandy invasion had been denied, Brig. Gen. Roosevelt’s written request for this mission was approved and he landed with the first wave of the forces assaulting the enemy-held beaches. He repeatedly led groups from the beach, over the seawall and established them inland. His valor, courage, and presence in the very front of the attack and his complete unconcern at being under heavy fire inspired the troops to heights of enthusiasm and self-sacrifice. Although the enemy had the beach under constant direct fire, Brig. Gen. Roosevelt moved from one locality to another, rallying men around him, directed and personally led them against the enemy. Under his seasoned, precise, calm, and unfaltering leadership, assault troops reduced beach strong points and rapidly moved inland with minimum casualties. He thus contributed substantially to the successful establishment of the beachhead in France.’

It was a young postmistress in Ireland who played an important part in D-Day.

When Maureen Flavin took on a job as postmistress at the Blacksod light house in Co. Mayo in Ireland she had not anticipated the other job which was bestowed on her.The job was taking barometer and thermometer readings(basically weather forecasting) at the remote Blacksod weather station on Ireland’s west coast. But she did do her job and it made a global impact.

On her 21st birthday, June 3 1944, she took the barometer readings and noticed a sudden drop, indicating bad weather was coming. Maureen gave the report to Ted Sweeney who was the lighthouse keeper and they sent it in and, Maureen , quickly received a call from a British woman asking them to check and confirm the report.

The report was send again and an hour later, she received a call from the same British woman, asking her to check and confirm again, which she did.

Unbeknownst to Maureen the Allied leaders who were in London were relying on her weather reports to judge whether they should proceed with the D-Day launch as planned. The chief meteorologist, a Scottish man named James Scagg, was giving General Eisenhower regular weather updates.

He advised Eisenhower that based on Maureen’s report Operation Overlord, which was planned for June 5,1944, should be postponed.

sources

https://www.army.mil/d-day/history.html

RTE Doc on One

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theodore_Roosevelt_Jr.#D-Day

https://www.cmohs.org/recipients/theodore-roosevelt-jr

Donation

I am passionate about my site and I know you all like reading my blogs. I have been doing this at no cost and will continue to do so. All I ask is for a voluntary donation of $2 ,however if you are not in a position to do so I can fully understand, maybe next time then. Thanks To donate click on the credit/debit card icon of the card you will use. If you want to donate more then $2 just add a higher number in the box left from the paypal link. Many thanks

$2.00

Rheumatoid Arthritis is not the end of the world. It is just a new chapter in your life

I have done blogs on Rheumatoid Arthritis before and I probably will do more in the future . It is something that the life of many, including me. However it is not the end of the world. It is merely a new chapter in your life if you get it.

First lets start off with the scary bits. I know some of you might think the picture above is scary enough, but let me assure you, it doesn’t have to get that bad.

Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic inflammatory disorder that can affect more than just your joints. In some people, the condition can damage a wide variety of body systems, including the skin, eyes, lungs, heart and blood vessels.

RA varies a lot from person to person. It can affect almost any joint, the small joints of the fingers, thumbs, wrists, feet and ankles are most commonly affected. Knees and shoulders can also be affected and, less commonly, elbows, hips, neck, and other joints. Most people are affected in more than one joint. RA usually affects both sides of the body – not always at once, but usually within a short space of time.

Unlike the wear-and-tear damage of osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis affects the lining of your joints, causing a painful swelling that can eventually result in bone erosion and joint deformity. The inflammation associated with rheumatoid arthritis is what can damage other parts of the body as well. While new types of medications have improved treatment options dramatically, severe rheumatoid arthritis can still cause physical disabilities.

Symptoms

Signs and symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis may include:

  • Tender, warm, swollen joints
  • Joint stiffness that is usually worse in the mornings and after inactivity
  • Fatigue, fever and loss of appetite

Early rheumatoid arthritis tends to affect your smaller joints first — particularly the joints that attach your fingers to your hands and your toes to your feet.

As the disease progresses, symptoms often spread to the wrists, knees, ankles, elbows, hips and shoulders. In most cases, symptoms occur in the same joints on both sides of your body.

About 40% of people who have rheumatoid arthritis also experience signs and symptoms that don’t involve the joints. Areas that may be affected include:

  • Skin
  • Eyes
  • Lungs
  • Heart
  • Kidneys
  • Salivary glands
  • Nerve tissue
  • Bone marrow
  • Blood vessels

Rheumatoid arthritis signs and symptoms may vary in severity and may even come and go. Periods of increased disease activity, called flares, alternate with periods of relative remission — when the swelling and pain fade or disappear. Over time, rheumatoid arthritis can cause joints to deform and shift out of place.

Causes

Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease. Normally, your immune system helps protect your body from infection and disease. In rheumatoid arthritis, your immune system attacks healthy tissue in your joints. It can also cause medical problems with your heart, lungs, nerves, eyes and skin.

Doctors don’t know what starts this process, although a genetic component appears likely. While your genes don’t actually cause rheumatoid arthritis, they can make you more likely to react to environmental factors — such as infection with certain viruses and bacteria — that may trigger the disease.(In my case and this is just a theory I think it may have been trauma)

Risk factors

Factors that may increase your risk of rheumatoid arthritis include:

  • Your sex. Women are more likely than men to develop rheumatoid arthritis.
  • Age. Rheumatoid arthritis can occur at any age, but it most commonly begins in middle age.
  • Family history. If a member of your family has rheumatoid arthritis, you may have an increased risk of the disease.
  • Smoking. Cigarette smoking increases your risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis, particularly if you have a genetic predisposition for developing the disease. Smoking also appears to be associated with greater disease severity.
  • Excess weight. People who are overweight appear to be at a somewhat higher risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis.

Now that is the scary bit out of the way. We can focus now on how to write that new chapter of your life. There are many options available on how to deal with RA. To me the best thing I did was following a course called “Living Well with Arthritis and Related Conditions” which is a course which was designed by the Stanford University in California. It is a 6 weeks course of 2.5 hours sessions each.

The strength of the course it is given by people who have RA themselves, together with someone else, sometimes a healthcare professional and sometimes even 2 people with RA.

The course was so beneficial to me that I ended up as one of the tutors or leaders.

It is not so much a self help program nut more a self management program. It covers a variety of subjects like problem solving, breathing techniques, diets, physical activity, distraction and action plans. It is all in plain understandable language.

This is a interview I did with one of my co leaders. Where we both discuss on how we we deal with the disease In the video my co leader, Andrea, gives an example one of the distraction exercises called ‘Guided Imagery’

At the bottom of this blog I will add the links to Arthritis Ireland and some further information by the Mayo Clinic.

I hope this blog will be a help for all of those who have RA or live with someone who has the condition.

sources

https://www.arthritisireland.ie/living-well-with-arthritis

https://www.arthritisireland.ie/

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/rheumatoid-arthritis/symptoms-causes/syc-20353648

Why people with Rheumatoid Arthritis can still exercise and why it is important.

Someone send me an Irish Times article recently called “Why exercise is so difficult for people with rheumatoid arthritis” The article was extremely misleading. It was referring to studies carried out on people with Rheumatoid Arthritis.

Allegedly the studies found out: “In a groundbreaking new experiment involving older women and exercise, researchers found that even a gentle session of leg lifts set off an exaggerated nervous system reaction in those with rheumatoid arthritis. Light exercise also negatively affected the inner workings of their muscles and blood vessels”

In the text it already alludes to ‘older women’ not all Rheumatoid Arthritis patients, not even all female Rheumatoid Arthritis patients. The unset of negative effects could also have been brought on by other age related conditions.

The study the article referring to is titled: Increased sympathetic and haemodynamic responses to exercise and muscle metaboreflex activation in post-menopausal women with rheumatoid arthritis”

The titled and the clearly refers to post-menopausal women with Rheumatoid Arthritis ,not men, juveniles or even pre-menopausal women.

But the Irish Times article brushes all Rheumatoid Arthritis patients with the same brush.

The article also fails to mention what can be construed as exercise, it really should be called physical activity. It only highlights the negatives where the positives of physical activities outweigh the negatives.

Physical activities can include exercises like swimming, aqua-aerobics, cycling, walking or any light exercise. Not only is good in a physical way, it is also works wonders for the mental health.

Exercise also works as a distraction for the pain caused by Rheumatoid Arthritis. Pre Covid 19 I went to gym at least 3 times a week. I found the pain or soreness caused by the exercises were easier to deal with then the pain caused by Rheumatoid Arthritis. That is how dealt with it, but that doesn’t mean that it works for others. There are different levels of Rheumatoid Arthritis and the treatments vary from patient to patient

Physical activities can also include a bit of gardening, some light housework, dancing even singing. All these things help to ease the pain or to distract from it. Even sex can help with the pain and is also a physical activity.

Stanford University, California USA have developed a program which helps people with Rheumatoid Arthritis and other Chronic conditions to live well. It is called “Living A Healthy Life with Chronic Conditions” The program is rolled out in Ireland by Arthritis Ireland as ‘Living Well with Arthritis’ for people suffering with all variations of Arthritis and related conditions.

The HSE, also provides the program for other Chronic conditions, as well as Arthritis.

The living well program is a very important tool for anyone with Arthritis to cope with the daily life. Not elements of the program will apply to everyone, but some elements will.

I am in the fortunate position to be a course leader, but I also took part as a participant. When I saw the Irish Times article I was very annoyed because it will turn a lot of people of exercising or doing physical activities and that really is the last thing they need. Rheumatoid Arthritis patients need to stay physically active, It doesn’t mean they have to run a marathon every day, but simple activities ,even exercised that can be done sitting on a chair.

Of course you need to consult with your medical team to see what works best for you. Misinterpreted data as in the Irish Time article will do more harm then good and makes it harder for people who are on the frontline helping people with Rheumatoid Arthritis , to convince patients how important physical activity and exercising is.

It is not only important for your physical health but also for your mental health. It is one of the distractions to help you cope with the pain and the fatigue.

I am sure the author of the Irish Times article meant well, but when you omit some vital information, and take it out of context, it completely changes the narrative.

Sources

https://www.irishtimes.com/life-and-style/health-family/fitness/why-exercise-is-so-difficult-for-people-with-rheumatoid-arthritis-1.4570390

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33180998/

https://www.mountsinai.org/health-library/diseases-conditions/rheumatoid-arthritis

https://www.arthritisireland.ie/