When you’ve just been diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA), there’s a lot to process within. You may not be sure how to feel about this new marker, and you’re worried about how it’s going to impact your life. But at the same time, the diagnosis may put your mind at ease, as your doctors will finally be able to treat the condition that’s been causing your symptoms. As you begin to find your new normal with Rheumatoid Arthritis, these recommendations may help you steer more easily.
At the same time that you’re trying to understand the possible impact a chronic (ongoing) illness will have on your life, work and relationships, many questions come up about lifestyle changes, loss of job & independence, relationships, treatments and medications.
Though each person is different – one size most certainly doesn’t fit all – it is generally understood that good support can help you adapt to and thrive with RA.
Support is about relationships. It is to encourage , lift and strengthen yourself, it does not mean you are meek and dependable.
A number of researchers have found that positive or helpful support from close friends and family leads to lower levels of frustration and reduced pain levels in the person with RA
You are the expert on what you want and need. Give some thought to your internal and external resources, and identify who and what could help make living with RA easier for you. Then reach out to these resources, and ask for what you need. Life is a give and take, and now it’s your turn to amend your lifestyle for a better tomorrow.
Keeping in mind that even well-meaning loved ones and others may not be able to identify your needs, actively collaborate with your support network of partners, family members, friends, coworkers and communities to seek what you need to ease your journey with RA.
Support groups can provide an especially effective way to receive the emotional support and information you need to help cope with and manage your RA. Even people with good personal support networks can benefit from meeting with others who share similar experiences and the daily inspirational challenges of living with RA. Doing so will be good for your health!