“We Make the Most of Every Day With RA!”
Five women with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) share their go-to strategies for making the most of every day with RA.
“Give yourself some TLC”
7-year RA patient: Amanda John, Greensboro, NC
- Nap! I came home from work the other day and I was exhausted and achy. All I wanted was to lay down. So I did! I slept for 30 minutes and went out to meet a friend feeling like a new person. Good mood and less achy! Naps are a key part of my treatment arsenal.
- Have a home spa day. At least once a week, I set aside time for at-home spa day. First, I take a long hot bath with Epsom salts. After I am out of the tub, I soak my ankles or wrists in a bucket of hot water with Epsom salts. This may be my favorite part—it feels so good on my joints!
- Try giving alcohol the boot. Certain types of alcohol increase my joint pain, namely beers and higher-tannin wines. I decided to experiment and eliminate alcohol for a month. Joint pain reduced, and I’m sleeping like a baby!
“Become your top priority”
9-year RA patient: Cathy Kramer, Naperville, IL
- Have a mantra for the tough days. During the most difficult months of my RA journey, I had swelling, pain and stiffness from my neck to my toes. But I woke up every day and repeated throughout the day, “My body is always working toward optimal health.”
- Flaring? Be kind to yourself. Last week I experienced a pretty rough flare in my hip. Instead of freaking out, I remained calm and realized that it was a sure sign I needed to take time for myself.
- Start a blog. I felt a strong desire to share what was happening to me. Never did I realize I would find the community of friends I have discovered.