Dear Santa

There have been many times that my Christmas list ran into multiple pages.  Forgive my past greediness.  This year,  I want only one present.

Please bring me my very-own-personal medical researcher.  I understand that scientists are in short supply this season, but this is what I truly want – someone who would research those medical puzzles that I find so intriguing.

There are so many people with RA symptoms whose inflammatory markers are normal.  How can someone’s hands be swollen and red, yet have an ESR of only one (1)?!  I will put my medical researcher to work on discovering a new test that documents/quantifies this phenomenon.

I’m told that I don’t carry “the” gene that predisposes people to RA.  What if there’s more than one and I carry one that hasn’t yet been found?  You see, Santa, I have a cousin with RA, and another cousin with some mighty familiar-sounding symptoms that haven’t been diagnosed.  Going back generations – my great-grandparents’ generation (I couldn’t get health history further back than that) – there is RA in the family.

Ancestry is a curiosity, Santa, but from a pragmatic standpoint, I can’t do a whole lot about the past.  I’d sure like a shot at bending the curve on the future, though.  Genes might hold a key.  You see, I have a daughter who has Raynauds.  She exhibits the same overwhelming, inexplicable fatigue that my RA started out with.  She also experiences occasional bilateral joint pain; she is afraid that she is going to get RA, too.  And she hides it from me so that I won’t worry about her, but sometimes one of the other kids rats her out.  When that happens, I make her take ibuprofen; it helps, and I’m not sure whether or not that’s good.

It breaks my heart to see her hurting and afraid of her future.  So please, Santa, for Christmas this year I would like a medical researcher to solve the riddles surrounding autoimmune diseases and find a cure.