M Allen

M. Allen

Real Profiles of Rheumatoid Arthritis
Real-Profile-Allen-M
Photos © M. Allen

Name?

M. Allen

Age?

35 years

Location?

Southwestern Ontario, Canada

How long have you lived with RA?

5 years diagnosed but suffered with systems many years before this.

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

Take a deep breath. It’s not the end of the world, but it is scary. Read all you can. Learn from others. Take it one day at a time.

Do you use any mobility aids?

I do not have any mobility aids yet. I am working on getting orthotics because of my feet issues.

How has living with RA helped to improve your life?
I have been (and sometimes still am) a very independent person. Having RA has forced me to not be “an island unto myself”. I have to take it easy sometimes and give myself permission to take rests. I used to be a perfectionist with my home. Now, I’d rather enjoy my children and take things easy than worry about what my house looks like. Having RA has also taught my children that some people need help and we should help others if we can.

Do you have any visible signs of RA?

I have large nodules on my right hand and smaller ones on my left. I have nodules on my feet, knees and elbows. I used to have large nodules on my elbows but had them removed before I was officially diagnosed. I do not get to wear cute shoes that other women my age wear. I have to wear shoes that do not give me pain. Unfortunately I haven’t found many.

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

During rough times I really enjoy listening to music that lift my soul.. I also enjoy reading my Bible. I have friends that I can vent to as well.

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

I am currently on 15mg of methotrexate, 5mg of Folic a week, 20mg of Arava, 200mg of hydroxychloroquine, 10mg of amitriptyline daily. I also see a massage therapist and chiropractor monthly.

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

I am a divorced Christian mother of three. I have homeschooled all three children for six years, but this year I’m only schooling my youngest. I love my lab-shepherd Ginny. I also love to scrapbook, watch tv and movies, read books, outdoors and the beach.

M. Allen blogs regularly at Making Lemonade…. Please take time to read one of her recent posts, which I thoroughly enjoyed: Year in Review.

8 Comments
8 comments
  1. Marianne says:

    M. Allen, you and mothers like you are such heroes. That you do it all on your own is a miracle unto itself. You inspire me.
    About shoes ( I had to give up my beautiful shoes too!) I like Indigo, by Clark. They make stylish flats, and the leather is soft like butter. I get mine a size or half a size bigger, for days when my feet are swollen.

  2. Sharon says:

    These profiles are fantastic! Very encouraging & inspiring! I’m looking forward to reading more in future. Well done!

  3. Karen says:

    Hi,

    Have just come across your profile. I too am 35 and have just been diagnosed so I’m reeling from shock slightly. I am originally from southwestern Ontario but now live in London, UK. I am reading as much as I can about RA, trying to wrap my brain around the diagnoses and what it means for me. I was thinking of moving back home in the next year or so, but was wondering about treatment for RA in Ontario. On the practical side, is the treatment expensive? Do the prescriptions cost a lot? I think I’m just trying to think of all possible scenarios for the future and things I now have to consider when making life decisions.

    Your profile is very encouraging to me. I am going to read more of them to hopefully stop this sense of doom I have at the moment. Thanks.

  4. nan says:

    I so agree with your comments about house upkeep. I too was a perfectionist but once the RA came, 15 years ago, I had all three sons still at home and decided that the time with them was far too precious to spend it chasing dust bunnies! I still like my home neat but have learned to compromise and I now have a bi-weekly cleaning lady so she does the deep cleaning like toilets and floors. What a difference! Nan

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