Sunday Break

Because there is no such thing as taking too many breaks!


Stone Carving

Tiwanaku is an important archaeological site a few miles south of Lake Titicaca, which to this day contains many remains from the Tihuanaco culture. This culture existed before the Inca Empire, during the years 300-1000. I love all of the stone carvings in the red stone. With family coming to town, I will more than likely soon be visiting once again.

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Once again my stomach is taking a beating from all of my medicines.


If only every day were as good a football day as yesterday! There is a tight three-way race for the season leader in my football pool, and I am one of those up there fighting for the lead!


My parents are leaving the U.S. this morning and arrive here tomorrow morning at the break of dawn. Next week on the same day it will be my sister and brother-in-law who are repeating the trip down here to South America.


Stay tuned…for the next adventure of Rheumatoid Arthritis Guy!

From The Archives

Survivor: Tierra Del Fuego
RA Guy on June 3rd, 2009

SurvivorWhile surfing online last night, Rheumatoid Arthritis Guy came across a leaked document that included all of the secret details about the upcoming season of the hit CBS reality show Survivor.

The link has since been taken down, but I’ll go ahead and share with you what I remember.

This season’s big twist (spoiler alert!): In order to be eligible for the show, contestants must be living with rheumatoid arthritis. (In a related twist, producers have agreed to eliminate any upper or lower age limits.)

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In the couple of months leading up to the season premier of Season 19 of the Survivor, this blog post was actually one of the top Google search results for anything related to the show. I always wondered about how much confusion this might have caused people who stumbled across my version of what the new season would be like!

Other People’s Eyes

Since Rheumatoid Arthritis Guy lives with a chronic illness that is misunderstood by many people, it should come as no surprise that many times in the past he hoped that people could see the world through his eyes, if only for a short time. “If only they knew what it was really like to live with rheumatoid arthritis.”

Let me qualify this a little further, though, because I never wanted anybody else to actually experience the pain that I experience on a daily basis…I would never hope this onto my worst enemy (if I had a worst enemy). I just wanted them to get a little better sense of the physical and emotional struggles that are ever-present.

For a long time, I got sort of stuck in this phase of believing that people around me would never understand what it is like to live with rheumatoid arthritis, unless they lived with it directly. Then it dawned on me…they are living with it directly. They often do see the crippling effect that it has on my entire person. During my mother’s last visit, she once asked me if I was in pain. She commented that when my pain is at it’s worst, it is easy to tell because it is written all over my face.

Maybe others really are seeing things through my eyes, more than I think might be the case.

There was one of my siblings, who contacted my parents during my recent two day internet service outage to make sure that I was okay. (I was not answering my Vonage phone nor responding to email, so this created some concern.)

There is my partner of almost ten years, who unwillingly continues to explore new lows in our relationship – a relationship that has been rocked this past year by the presence of chronic illness.

There is that person within my support network, who continues to go above and beyond in order to help me not only get back on my feet, but to guarantee that I remain standing upright.

There is a kind friend who I met online this past year. We do now speak often, but when we do we always share interesting bits of information ranging from the trivial to the profound. This morning I found out that she is mourning the death of her her father.

There are readers, who continue to be more generous that I could have ever imagined, when it comes to making donations here in my blog.

I have learned that yes, I do need a lot of support as I continue to live with rheumatoid arthritis. But support is a two-way road. I too have to provide support to those who are around me, near and far.

Together, we can get though all of the challenges that we would otherwise face alone.

Stay tuned…for the next adventure of Rheumatoid Arthritis.

Gripitz Exercise Blocks

This morning marks five days in a row that Rheumatoid Arthritis Guy has made it to the gym. Wow – I can’t even remember when the last time I went to work out for an entire week…I think it was back around April.

And the funny part is that instead of feeling more tired each day, I am actually feeling a little bit stronger and a little bit more full of energy. My physical therapist is just as excited, and is hoping that my fully using my muscles will help us to pinpoint certain areas that need special treatment during my sessions. Today we worked on my thighs, which we had never done before. (She tried giving me an explanation of muscles shortening and kneecaps moving, but I only partly understood.)

What is the secret to my return? At the moment, I would say it has been incorporating lots and lots of modifications into my (alternating by day) yoga and pilates classes. If I can’t bend my knee, I don’t. If I can’t use my hands, I use my forearms. If I can’t do a certain series of postures, I replace them with a series that I can do.

And the most important part of my modifications has been to continually maintain my exertion level at right around 3/4 of where I think I should be. I’ve discovered that if I get too close to my max, I will quickly burnout and actually provoke more pain…thus sending myself back to the starting line.

A reader recently recommended these Gripitz Exercise Blocks. Theyseem to be just the right thing for increased wrist protection during yoga class. I haven’t given them a try yet, but I hope to do so soon!


GripitzGripitz Exercise Blocks

Ergonomic exercise blocks that let you strengthen rather than strain.

Using Gripitz reduces stress on the wrists and elbows and allows people with repetitive stress injuries to exercise more comfortably for a longer, more productive workout.

Also helps to prevent future injuries by providing a more natural range of motion with certain exercises.

Stay tuned…for the next adventure of Rheumatoid Arthritis Guy!