Impossible Choices…RIP Glenn Frey

For those of us struggling with autoimmune disease, Glenn Frey’s death hits especially hard. In case you haven’t heard, Mr. Frey suffered with Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) for 15 years. And based on what I’ve read, Mr. Frey had long taken powerful biologic drugs to slow the progression of his disease. These medications suppress the body’s immune system, which seems to have caused him to contract both acute ulcerative colitis and pneumonia. And his pharmaceutical-weakened immune system wasn’t properly equipped to fight back. Often, that is what “complications from rheumatoid arthritis” means.


This news was a sobering reminder of the impossible choices we patients face. So, I shared my thoughts on FB earlier today, and wanted to repost for all of you here:

In early 2012, the heavy drugs I take for RA disabled my immune system from fighting back against the flu. I ended up in the ER with sepsis, and required life-saving measures. This is the catch-22 of current treatments for autoimmune disease. Without the drugs, many people with severe RA (like Glenn Frey and me) cannot perform daily tasks, or even get out of bed. With the drugs, we are at greater risk of developing other illnesses, and our immune systems are so suppressed that we have a hard time fighting them. Beyond that, the drugs are very costly, they treat but don’t cure our diseases, and despite the commercials, they often only provide partial relief. So, it’s easy to understand the love/hate relationship we have with these drugs.

Thousands of stories like Mr. Frey’s, along with my own, motivated me to start this blog in Jan 2011, with a goal of raising awareness and helping others battling RA. They are why I constantly seek new Eastern and Western options for treating my disease. They are why I practice gratitude daily and strive for a healthy, positive mindset. They are why I fuel my body with amazing nutrition everyday, to give it the best chance to fight back. They are why I share that nutrition with everyone I meet.

These pharmaceutical treatments are a key part of my toolkit, and I am grateful that they help me get out of bed most days. But I refuse to rely on them completely, and Glenn Frey’s story illustrates the truth of these impossible choices, and why we must keep searching for answers. Thank you for the music. RIP.






10 thoughts on “Impossible Choices…RIP Glenn Frey

  1. Judy says:

    I was diagnosed over 2 1/2 years ago with RA. Immediately went online and learned about the horrible drugs. Looked at diet and promptly began anti inflammatory diet. Plus natural supplements. Healed gut inflammation with fermented foods and probiotics. In 4 months the Rheumatologist who told me I’d be crippled if I didn’t take the drugs, declared me in remission. Still tried to push a drug on me. Because the big pharmas pay her to do that.
    Over 2 years later I have no pain. No joint damage and anti inflammatory eating is my new and loved lifestyle. Drugs create patients. Nutrition creates relief and cures.

    • Hi Judy! Thanks for reading. I’m so glad nutrition has worked for you. I am certainly an advocate for everything, including great nutrition, Eastern medicine, meditation, etc. Unfortunately, these diseases manifest themselves differently in everyone, and the treatments that work for one set of diseases may not work for another. Regardless, I’m thrilled to hear that you’ve improved your quality of life. That’s definitely the goal for all of us. Congrats, and thanks again!

  2. Fit n Fine TN says:

    Reblogged this on Fighting Back and commented:
    An important post from another RA Vet. Pharmaceuticals CAN be dangerous and we must be our own advocates. We must each find our unique balance… be aware and FIGHT ON!!!

  3. Fit n Fine TN says:

    Glenn Frey’s death was a terrible loss. A talented man passing far too young but his legacy goes beyond his music. He has increased awareness for those of us on the frontline of RA and many other autoimmune diseases. Hopefully, he has also increased awareness for our friends and loved ones. Our choices are life altering as is our disease and we must be vigilant…
    FIGHT ON!!

  4. Susan says:

    So,so sad about Glenn Frye. I do not have RA but another auto-immune disease..they think! After a year of torture at the hands of wound care, they decided to send me to a derm Doc, who diagnosed me with a auto immune disease and started IV drugs that Immediately caused awful side effects.Why try to eat right when they want you immunity to fail??????

    • I’m so sorry to hear of your struggles. We all have hard choices to make, and the “right” balance is different for everyone, and changes over time. Thanks for reading…I wish you the best in your journey!

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