Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Mickelson, Arthritis, and Me



    My first reaction when I read the headlines about Phil Mickelson having arthritis was, “His age is catching up with him. Maybe he will become a spokesperson for one of the big drug or medical supply companies like his golfing buddies, Jack Nicklaus or Arnold Palmer.”
   Then I read the news releases and a couple of reporters write-ups. This is from one on Yahoo Sports.
“Mickelson revealed Tuesday he has psoriatic arthritis, which causes his immune system to attack his joints and tendons. He noticed the first symptoms five days before the U.S. Open, and the pain eventually got so bad he made a visit to the Mayo Clinic”
   Psoriatic arthritis! That phrase hit me like a ton of bricks. I read the article and then sat staring at the screen for a good 5 minutes. So many thoughts went flooding though my head and emotions. Like, “How long has he had psoriasis?”
   I adore Phil, always have, he is a fantastic golfer, ranked this week at world’s number 2 player. I still can’t believe that he missed moving in the number one spot by one stroke. It will happen the next time he plays, I think. Yes, I am still a Tiger fan, but I think it is Phil’s turn now.
   I am not a medical person, so therefore I do not want to give medical advice in any fashion, not even a minor description. I can write about my personal experiences. I have had severe psoriasis for 50 years; however, I never talk about it. It is a very personal subject. I have severe arthritis, am disabled and getting worse. Since I had no insurance, I did not see a doctor until I got on Medicare. I have had doctors tell me I have RA and PA, plus arthritis. Aren’t I special to be gifted with that, when so many people only have one kind? One of my other special gifts is that I cannot take most medicines because I have severe reactions to them.
   The paper said Phil is being treated with Enbrel, a weekly treatment that has good results for many people. He went to Mayo Clinic, again an excellent medical choice. I am so sorry and sad that Mickelson has these problems. I suspect many more golfers have various forms of arthritis than the public knows about. Honestly, it is no one’s business.


   Be assured I will be watching when Phil becomes world’s number 1 golfer. He is already #1 in my book.

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