Cathy Kramer

Cathy Kramer

Real Profiles of Rheumatoid Arthritis
Real-Profile-Kramer-Cathy
Photos © Cathy Kramer

Name?

Cathy Kramer

Age?

42

Location?

Chicago, Illinois, United States

How long have you lived with RA?

January 2004-present

What advice would you give to someone who has just been diagnosed with RA?

Educate yourself and then figure out a path that is right for YOU. Find not only friends in the RA community, but also outside it, that support the path you have chosen for yourself. Find health professionals that support your choices. Don’t be afraid of meltdowns. Be good to yourself. Try new things. Listen to your body. Don’t stop moving!

Do you use any mobility aids?

I don’t use mobility aids, however, I generally have someone near me and have LOTS of help.

How has living with RA helped to improve your life?

Life with rheumatoid arthritis is not easy. Each day is a mystery as to how I will feel. However, living with RA has given me the gift of finding my own personal strength. I have learned that some days I need to let go of the control I want to have over RA and by doing so I actually gain more control over me. I know my strengths and have built on my weaknesses. I have learned to ask for help and how to accept it. I have learned to share my needs. I have met the most amazing people. Some may say that RA has taken a lot from me, but I like to think that in the process of dealing with RA, I have received more than it has taken and for that I am thankful.

Do you have any visible signs of RA?

I have been very fortunate in that I don’t have any visible signs of RA except a limp that comes and goes. I do have some concerns about my knee and we will have to see where it is when all the swelling finally leaves, but so far so good.

Can you please describe some of your favorite coping strategies for living with RA?

Each day I remind myself of all the good in my life – there is a lot. I remind myself that “my body is healing” and I believe it. I cry when I need to and don’t feel guilty about it. Most importantly, I surround myself with positive/supportive people.

Can you please describe your current medical (traditional and alternative) treatments?

I have been medication free for almost two years. This is the path that feels right for ME. I believe in alternative medicine. I am currently using probiotics, digestive enzymes, homeopathy, fish oil/hemp oil, detoxing my body, and following The Body Ecology Diet.

Is there anything else about yourself that you would like to share?

I am a proud momma to 13 year old Alexander and 11 year old Sophia. I have also been married to my best friend Steve for the last 21 years. Together my family and I enjoy life with our three year old border collie, bike riding, homeschooling, TV/movies, nature, and more.

Individually I am somewhat of a natural girl – I love natural hair color, cosmetics that are safe on our skin, whole foods, farmers markets, natural remedies, rainstorms, watching people, and more. I am a daughter, sister and friend. I enjoy teaching English as a Second Language to adults, organizing events for our homeschooling group, spending time with friends, reading in quiet places, time alone, and exercising (yoga, bike riding, light weights, walking).

I think of myself as a positive person and allow that to guide me through the rough days and the easy days.

Cathy blogs regularly at The Life and Adventures of Cateepoo.

6 Comments
6 comments
  1. Jules says:

    I love meeting the people behind the blogs that I read! I also like reading about all of the different paths we are taking. This just highlights that there are so very many different ways to approach our journey. Thanks for sharing so much of yourself Cathy!

  2. Melissa says:

    And Cathy is just a wonderful in real life as she is online! I think she is the first person with RA that I have ever met that feels peace with her RA.

    She really inspires me…

  3. Sister FlareUp says:

    Your profile is lovely. Since you like the natural approach … Another thing that I recently discovered is iodine — my doc had recommended it as a way to ease inflammation and I discovered I was very deficient — it seems to help – it comes in drop form as a supplement and is sourced from kelp. You can test yourself by applying topical iodine and seeing how long the color stain stays if it goes away quickly it is a sign of deficiency (4 hours or less).

  4. Terry says:

    Cathy, thank you for sharing your story. I think its great that you are medication free and able to enjoy your life so fully in spite of RA. Thanks again!

  5. mary says:

    I JUST READ ABOUTYOU CATHY. MY DAUGHTER HAS RA AND IS HAVING A VERY DIFFICULT TIME. SHE IS ON METHO, EMBREL, PREDIZONE AND NOTHING IS HELPING. SHE IS IN HER LAST YEAR OF COLLEGE AND VERY DISCOURAGED. I WOULD LOVE FOR HER TO BE MEDICINE FREE. MY DAUGHTER WAS BORN WITH IT. WE FOUND OUT WHEN SHE WAS IN KINDERGARTEN. I AM GLAD THAT SOMEONE OUT THERE WITH RA IS DOING SO WELL. I AM GOING TO HAVE MY DAUGHTER READ ABOUT YOU. IHOPE YOU CONTINUE TO DO SO WELL.

  6. tricia says:

    thank you for sharing your story; i am newly diagnosed and struggling to find my way; i like the natural approach, and have not started on meds, but am fearful about deformity…i will check out your blog—refreshing to hear a different approach…blessings to you. Peace!

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