TheRAConnection Presents: Ask the Expert with Angela Durazo
Angela Durazo shares important information on communicating with your doctor about rheumatoid arthritis. Ms. Durazo discusses
- How to make your relationship with your doctor a partnership,
- How to prepare yourself for your doctor’s visit in order to optimize your time and insure all your issues and questions are addressed, and
- How to communicate openly and honestly with your physician.
In 2011, as Angela began her journey towards qualifying as a professional long distance triathlete she experienced stiff, painful hands and wrists. Angela, first thinking she was sleeping in a weird position soon realized something more complex was going on. In 2012, seven physicians later, she was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis. Angela’s body rejected the initial biologic treatments and her RA flared. Bedridden due to pain with a permanent loss to the range of motion in her hands, arms and shoulders, she went from being a competitive triathlete to being unable to walk or open a water bottle.
Responding poorly to conventional treatment, Angela sought relief through dhea treatment, changes in diet, supplements, and physical therapy. Angela was determined to get back to racing and earned her first amateur top 3 placement in 2013, only 10 months after her RA diagnosis. That same season she qualified as USA Triathlon Top 10% in the nation in her age group against able bodied athletes. In 2014, Angela raced professionally in the “para’ physically challenged “PC” PT4 division. By the end of 2014, Angela decided to stop competing as a professional triathlete and pursue her acting career full-time. Years of athletics had taken their toll and Angela decided it was time to start a new chapter. Angela relocated to Los Angeles and is currently working on her first film.
Angela works directly with a team of supportive medical professionals, keeping an eye on her disease, attempting to prevent further damage. While her path might be a unique one, she is hoping that by “breaking the rules” she’s writing new ones for others who might find themselves in similar shoes.
Join the Conversation and Learn More about Communicating with Your Doctor
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Other Web Chats in this Series:
*The Ask the Expert Series is not intended to be a substitute for healthcare professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Speak to your healthcare provider about any questions you may have regarding your health.