Hi! My name is Kris and I am the Gal With Gloves. I am the survivor with a tick tock tick heart full of stories to tell. I am a fighter whose spirit won’t be crippled by my disease. Find me on social media as GalWithGloves!
I frequently wear gloves (fingertipless, Isotoner, etc) to help manage my RA and Raynaud’s syndrome issues. I have shared my life with Rheumatoid Arthritis (also now known as Rheumatoid Auto-immune Disease) since age 15.
The gloves have resulted in nicknames: girl with gloves, coat and glove chick, which I updated to bionic glove chick after my Mitral valve was replaced with an artificial mechanical valve, which ticks with every heartbeat.
I recall being completely healthy and climbing trees, sliding down grassy hills on flattened pieces of cardboard (the tropical form of sledding a la Okinawa).
I recall possessing the innocence of good health known prior to the destructive devastation of Rheumatoid Arthritis.
Most days, I enjoy the fact that I can hear my mechanical mitral valve tick; my beacon of life.
Other days, I miss the quiet of a heart that was once whole.
“Just when the caterpillar thought the world was over, it became a butterfly.”
– Rheumatoid Auto-immune Disease,
1994 to current date. Symptoms controlled via Humira since 2006.
– Brought into ER and ICU on 8/9-10/2002 and was told that I would not survive to the next day due to the destruction of my mitral valve from endocarditis, leading to pulmonary edema, congestive heart failure, mini-strokes. I got fired up and proved the doctors wrong. Hospitalized for 6 weeks. After first open heart surgery, had a complete recovery from all symptoms. My cardiologist still refers to it as a medical miracle.
– 9/2/2002, first open heart surgery, Mitral valve replaced with an artificial mechanical valve.
– 3/10/2004, second open heart surgery – Cleveland Clinic, to repair asymptomatic pseudo-aneurysm which developed during the healing process from first open heart surgery.
Though your health condition may think that it has a right to destroy your body, it doesn’t have the right to destroy your heart, mind, soul, nor hope. If you struggle with this at all, I’m here to listen. Just comment if you need to talk.