Hi! My name is Kristin Seaman 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!
“Just when the caterpillar thought the world was over, it became a butterfly.” As you may have guessed, I frequently wear gloves (fingertipless, Isotoner, etc). 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 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.
– 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 and after below mentioned 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 artificial mechanical valve.
– 3/10/2004, second open heart surgery – Cleveland Clinic, to repair 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.