The Unsung Heroes

 

If you have Rheumatoid Arthritis, osteoarthritis,  Ankylosing Spondylitis, or any critical illness your pain and stress can be off the charts. Truth time: You’re not the only one hurting. Another negative side effects of being diagnosed with Chronic Arthritis is the strain it can put on our families. Our diseases can wreak havoc on day to day life.

We need to talk about their struggles, too. They do so much for us, so it’s important to acknowledge and validate their feelings.

A BIG SALUTE TO;

To the parent of a child with juvenile arthritis who wakes up earlier than usual to prepare a warm bath, so their child can move his/her joints before heading off to school. It is the parent who has to prepare a good breakfast because their child will need to take morning medicines. It is the strength of a parent who cries in the shower alone, but puts on a brave face in front of their child as they prepare their biologic injection.

To the friend of a person with arthritis who learns to hold their hands differently because crossing their fingers is way too painful.

To the spouse/partner of a person with arthritis who quietly helps his loved one dress, put on their shoes, and get ready to face the world every day, while no one else has any idea of what it may have taken to get them out the door. It is the spouse who waits patiently after the clinic doors close, leaving them alone with their thoughts and prayers as their loved one undergoes yet another shot. Thank you my hubby!

To the child of a person with arthritis who grows up all too soon by taking care of their parent, reversing the traditional caretaker roles. These children, who mature before their time, learn to take on a myriad of adult-type responsibilities. Thank you my baby!

When someone with rheumatoid arthritis like me is surrounded by people determined to live above the illness, an interesting thing happens.

The person embraces this challenge. Connects more. Smiles more. Reaches for newer paths. Holds their care circle—family, friends, treatment team—tighter. Maybe even shares what they’ve learned with others taking their first steps along this journey…like what has been my mission!

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MAY – My RA Musings:

 

I must admit my websites name is RA Positive Hub…but yes, some days it’s pretty hard to stay positive!

Whenever negative knocks at my door, I make sure my full room is filled with positivity, so there is no place for negativity, these are those difficult flare up days!

As every RA Warrior is well aware, it could be exhausting explaining to people why you’re not working, or why you are not socialising, or why you are not driving and so on…but never give up!

Actually, in my good old days if I heard “but you actually don’t look sick from out you look fine”, I would be upset…

But as time passed and I gracefully learnt to accept my ailment it gave me courage and hope in some of my darker moments. Today I can say all my baby steps on the road to well-being, are counted as my major achievements and have been placed in a better space to manage myself.

We have special months dedicated for ailment awareness…and month of May is ARTHRITIS AWARENESS MONTH.

So, let us go out in full spirit, spread the word and make the world a better place, thereby try to change the community mindset! Awareness is the key as it does not only help to make the lives of Arthritis Warriors much easier but also, if the community at large is made aware of the ailment and a conscious inner awareness can be ignited, they themselves will be on the constant look out for their own wellbeing and their families and automatically become good care givers if they have RA Warriors like you and me in their families!.

Be Positive and Blissful!

 

 

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What were some of my lifestyle changes I had to make as an RA Warrior!

How RA affects my health; it’s as simple as that. My lifestyle choices affect all aspects of my physical well-being, and that includes my joints.  I constantly experience a struggle to determine the right balance of lifestyle habits in order to enhance my quality of life and to try to achieve a normal life, independent of my established RA.

(RA) is a health condition I have realised that has played several different roles in my life. Sometimes it is strong and angry. Other times it can be gentle and in control. It has a way of making surprise visits when least expected. Funnily it has a personality of its own. Keeping RA in check means finding a balance of medications and lifestyle changes that allow me to lead the live I desire.

RA not only influences my everyday life and work, but it also affects my relationships. The condition has an impact on many different parts of my relationships, and influence the roles I assume, the division of chores in the household, mutual family plans and leisure activities. All holidays and outgoings require planning including travel, movies or family gatherings. A few times I had to cancel my trips as I was not feeling too confident of my health.

I constantly find myself balancing between ideality and reality!

As a reminder, I am sharing what worked for me; this does not mean that it will work for everyone. I do not have any medical training other than living with chronic illnesses and pain for 18 plus years, yes but I know more than the new RA warrior who has just been diagnosed!

  1. Staying Active

Exercising for most will be the last thing we want to do when your joints ache, but I have seen through the years that physical activity alleviates joint pain and stiffness, increases joint mobility, strengthens muscles and improves my mental health.  I do at least a small amount of yoga movements every day. I do what I can to make sure the muscles in my body are able to help my joints work well and to protect them from themselves.

My prime mission is I always want my joints and my muscles to remain as strong as possible, hence I keep using them daily. The trick is to use them the right way.

I will vouch that these lifestyle changes, along with my medications, have assisted me in helping to achieve greater mobility and reduced pain.

  1. Always maintain a Healthy Weight

Always concentrating on my BMI and ensuring not to put any extra kilos through the years. As any additional pounds worsens my aches and pains.

  1. Eat a Balanced Diet

Concentrate on foods which assist to fight inflammation, strengthen my bones and boost my immune system. These include foods rich in inflammatory-fighting omega-3 fatty acids like salmon, olive oil; antioxidant-rich herbal teas; fibre-rich multi whole grains and beans; and vitamin C-rich citric fruits. Found myself to be allergic to some foods hence totally avoid them and feel better. Diet -based and lifestyle- based disease management is very hard.

  1. Constantly on the lookout for balanced Vitamin D levels

Avoid vitamin D deficiency as it can worsen existing arthritis symptoms. Not having sufficient vitamin D can lead to a pro-inflammatory result and can cause symptoms to arise or worsen. Hence always control it with regular blood tests and Vit D supplements.

  1. Manage my Stress

I always recognize what causes my stress and divert what I can. Schedule time for breaks, my hot baths, avoid people who antagonize me and give me negative vibes. Negativity is a no-no for me. My daily routine involves relaxation exercises including a few minutes of meditation, deep breathing and guided imagery.

  1. Fighting Fatigue

Resting my body is an important aspect when living with rheumatoid arthritis, especially during a flare-up. Dealing with the day to day pain and stiffness of RA during flare ups can be draining. Fighting fatigue is all about a balance between rest and activity and that is what I am on top of it.

  1. Always try Alternative Treatments along with my Medications

Over the years I have also relied on a combination of lifestyle changes, medications and alternative treatments to control my symptoms and prevent flare-ups. The addition of these changes and alternative treatments have helped to reduce my dependence on drugs and lower the side effects and costs of RA medications. It could be a massage therapy, herbal or essential oils, acupressure, NST, etc, I cannot pinpoint to one single medium, but I have never stopped my medications.

When we take steps to control our RA symptoms, we are at a lower risk of developing additional diseases and permanent damage.

Incorporating all the above into my lifestyle has helped me to not only live well—but thrive—with rheumatoid arthritis.

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Speak our hearts out…….

 

I Just thought ..Let us speak our heart out in these COVID times

Join me, get comfy and have a virtual cuppa coffee with me in these lockdown times.

We all know sometimes you just need a friend, a hug, and time to care for the ‘you’ inside. We understand that arthritis affects lives in ways beyond the physical; it can hurt your emotions, your self-esteem and cause worries too. Too much of the corona virus Stress, Anxiety and Worry talks happening around.

This section is a pure hug in words!

I will releasing small podcasts and if you have your views please respond.

I am working on my website to get it more interactive ..hopefully it gets done soon.

This is all from the heart! Let us give each other some moments of strength in all this uncertainty.

Be safe be happy! Watch out for my next round !

 

An RA Warrior trying to find and share Wellness in Current Challenging Times

When we learn to cope up with chronic illness like arthritis, we have undergone various losses through our life’s journey. COVID 19 has put the world in a zone where each one is coping with loss in some shape or form. When I visualize, I feel we have walked that road and have become tenacious in nature and possess the grit and determination to face the current challenges and overcome them positively.

We as Arthritic Warriors never know what’s our tomorrow going to be like and COVID 19 has put the entire universe into a wait and watch the situation.

Let us help ourselves identify the important steps to take to ensure we’re mentally and emotionally well during these challenging times.

Emotional & Mental Wellbeing: All of us will find ourselves in a super stressed zone concerning safety and hygienic surroundings. Learn to pace out household chores as per our body’s daily limitations.

Find a healthy balance in relation to media coverage. Being exposed to large volumes of negative information can heighten feelings of anxiety. While it’s important to stay informed, we may find it useful to limit our media intake if it is upsetting us or our family

Exercise – every little helps

Doing just a small amount of regular exercise can make a big difference to both our physical and mental health and wellbeing. It can boost our mood and help us relax. Try to make exercise a regular part of our day.

If we like to get outside, this might be a frustrating time. But there are things we can do at home to move.

Making exercise a part of our daily routine is a useful way to give structure as we’re all adjusting to the change

Medications -take them on time an without missing a dose

Eating Healthy

Staying at home during the COVID-19 pandemic is challenging for everyone, and the increased anxiety can cause people to abandon their healthy eating intentions and snack on whatever is around. But with a little thought and planning, we can make good food choices and even boost your mood and immunity

Keep in touch

Feeling connected to other people can boost wellbeing.
With social distancing and self-isolation, it’s important to keep in touch with our friends, family, and community.

 

Stay Safe…Stay Happy!

Let us strengthen our confidence by sharing experiences

We have just finished our Annual World Arthritis Day Meet.
What a memorable event it was..participants described that one of the most
important take home point was meeting others with the same disease and sharing
experiences with them.
The exchange of experiences and knowledge from doctors, fellow patients and
other healthcare professionals made them less worried when they heard them talk.
They knew that periods with increasing and fluctuating symptoms were normal
when having arthritis. Sharing experiences suggest that symptom validation in
group sharing environment gives a legitimacy of symptoms and fears as normal
patient education may endorse participants with increased empowerment and
control of their situation through separating the disease from the person and
consider the arthritis symptoms as challenges they can work on.
Try and connect with other patients and share and hear their challenges and you
share your side.
We need to encourage, lift and strengthen one another.
For the positive energy spread to one will be felt by us all. For we are connected,
one and all.
Stay connected…

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It’s World Arthritis Day Today!

As someone who lives with arthritis every day, you can help elevate arthritis awareness on Oct.
12 — World Arthritis Day.
While arthritis is 24/7/365, this is a special day to remember the disease’s far-reaching impact.
The key message is a simple one: Don’t Delay, Connect Today
We @ RAPositivehub.com will be marking the month of October as the Arthritis Month of
Awareness.
So watch out for the upcoming articles.