Swinging Away With RA

How rheumatoid arthritis helped Cheryl Crow discover her love for swing dancing.

Lori Murray
More Sharing +

Cheryl’s tips for keeping optimism alive

Get a goal.
Of course, you have treatment goals—relieving pain and stopping joint damage—but you also need a life goal, something to strive for. I’ll never forget when my rheumatologist, Dr. Jennifer Gorman, said, “My goal is to have you dancing 80 years from now!”

When you hit a snag—improvise!
When I feel a twinge on the dance floor, I take a break and enjoy the music and conversation. If I’m having a particularly sore evening, I’ll ask my partner not to do certain moves that can cause hand pain.

Listen to your body!
Pay attention to changes and don’t just “live with” the pain. For example, when my feet started hurting after dancing for a short time, I knew something was wrong. I told my doctor and we decided it was time to try another medication.

Live life with enthusiasm.
My punctuation mark of preference is the exclamation point! I started a blog called “The Enthusiastic Life” (theenthusiasticlife.wordpress.com) to chronicle my career in occupational therapy and my hobbies like swing dancing and cooking. For me, social media is a great way to share my thoughts and connect with others who have RA. 


April 2013