A wonderful woman who also happens to have Rheumatoid Disease (Arthritis) writes a very informative, enlightening blog called rawarrior.com. It is a community of fellow RA/RD sufferers who want to vent, scream, cry and help one another. Kelly Young facilitates this blog and she is nothing short of amazing. Anyway, she wanted us to write a little something regarding our journey with this disease and how we cope.
People who aren't afflicted with this disease would probably be surprised by how much most of us suffer. They would be surprised because most of us don't like to complain. For the most part, we are silent sufferers. It is one of the reasons why Kelly's site is so wonderful. We can bitch and complain as much as we want to one another and know that everyone gets it. It is such a relief to know that you aren't alone, because that's how most of us feel. We feel like people don't understand and quite honestly, most don't. So, what do I do when my feet, hands, shoulders, neck and/or back are making me want to scream and cry? Well...
|Buns for Easter|
I crotchet. I'm not terribly good...or fast for that matter, but I love to do it. It's good for my hands up to a point. I can only do it for short periods of time like maybe an hour. I feel so accomplished when I finish a project, which usually takes me about a year to do an afghan. I can't blame it all on the RA either; I am a HUGE procrastinator. Good out of the gate but then I lose interest and stop working on it for awhile. I'm currently working on an afghan for my oldest son. Hopefully I finish it before he turns 30 (he's 27 now).
I take my medication and try to eat as healthy as I can. This is still a learning process for me and I'm not saying I don't ever eat junk, because I do occasionally. I quit smoking after 30 years. It's been about 6 months and I am very proud of myself for doing it finally. I try to stay ahead of my pain if at all possible so it doesn't become unmanageable. I have to because I work in a law office 37 hours a week and I need to show up and be ready to deal with clients.
I play with my dogs. It is probably better for me than it is for them. I have two labs and they are wonderful. When I'm really hurting and just want to lay on the couch, sometimes I can't stand looking at their cute little doggie eyes that say, "throw the ball for me mom." Okay. Just this once.
One of the best things that I do to keep RA from taking over my life and defining who I am is going to the RA Warriors site. It is such a lifesaver sometimes to be able to vent and share our stories with one another. Thank you Kelly for all you do. I think everyone appreciates you probably more than you know.
These are some of the things that I do to keep this disease from owning me. As long as I can, I will. I think that will be my new mantra. I hope I never give up or give in to it. I am a strong woman and I refuse to let it define me.