World Arthritis Day Challenge: Take Back What’s Yours!

On this day before World Arthritis Day 2011, I would first of all like to thank everyone who has helped raise awareness of Rheumatoid Arthritis during these past few days; the number of people who continue to share and read RA Guy’s 60-Second Guide to RA has been greater than I could have ever imagined. To me, this shows that together we all have the power to raise awareness of this disease with which we live!

Living with rheumatoid arthritis, or any other autoimmune disease, brings many challenges into a person’s life. Raising awareness, and educating others about the particulars of our chronic illness, goes a long way in making things just a tad bit easier. Beyond this, however, are all of the personal challenges that result from the chronic pain, debilitating inflammation, and disability.

All too often, rheumatoid arthritis seems to take away so much from our lives. It could be that performing our favorite physical exercise or sport just becomes too much to do, or a loss of dexterity in our hands causes us to stop enjoying some of our favorite hobbies. Other times, what illness takes away can be much more comprehensive; we start losing our ability to enjoy life, and find it much more difficult–in general–to experience happiness.

While at times it may seem that changing this flow of events is just too daunting, I–for one–believe that doing so is possible. So, starting tomorrow, I’m going to present myself a new challenge…and I’d like to invite my readers to participate as well. Yes, rheumatoid arthritis has taken away a lot from our lives…but I think it’s about time that we start taking back what’s ours…one thing at a time!

Here’s how it works:


1. Reclaim one thing, big or small. It could be that favorite sport or pastime that seems to have slowly faded away during the past few months or years, or it could be that dream that you’ve always had…even before rheumatoid arthritis entered your life. ‘Reclaiming’ can mean many things; it could mean doing something just as you’ve done in the past, or (and for me this is even more interesting) figuring out how to adapt or modify a certain activity to fit your current life. Even more, it could mean replacing something that has been taken away with something else that is completely new!

2. However long it might take you to do so, enjoy your ability to reclaim one thing! Keep it private, and use it as a daily reminder to let yourself know that you–and not your illness–is in charge of your life. Or, share it with the rest of us, and let others be encouraged by your success. I will post here on my blog (either with your name or anonymously, it’s your choice) any messages I receive from individuals describing how they have indeed been able to RECLAIM | One Thing.

Happy World Arthritis Day 2011!

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

20 Comments
20 comments
  1. amanda says:

    my daughter is going to reclaim her basketball tonight first game almost to the day since she first started her pain.

  2. Marge says:

    I have just started working again on the race car I worked on before RA…in 2009. That is a major accomplishment for me….I still have pain everyday though! I am have RA, but RA doesn’t have me!!!!

  3. Anna Marie says:

    What a great idea. I’m new to RA and don’t yet know what RA has taken away but learning every day that the simplest things are getting more difficult. Tomorrow is a new day. Thank you!

  4. Tracie Carlson says:

    Another wonderful blog! I will be reclaiming my kitchen, I love to cook and be in the kitchen. Thank you!

  5. Charizza says:

    This is such a great idea! I haven’t continued learning my tin whistle for months now and since I can’t play piano for a while I’ll reclaim that (tin whistle) until I can play piano again…I’ll still be able to play a musical instrument. I won’t let RA take that away from me! :D

  6. Wren says:

    I’m not sure what lost thing I’ll reclaim, or what new thing I might try. But thank you for the challenge, RA Guy! I’m gonna do it.

  7. Susan says:

    I am reclaiming my art. I will be in my studio each day, working, playing, doing, creating, and I will start today!

    New techniques may emerge, new materials and tools may be required. Part of the creative process will be learning how to work happily along side my new friend, RA.

    I let the pain and then fear of pain take this part of my life two years ago. It’s time to take it back. Thanks, Guy, for being our superhero and reminding us all that we are more than RA.

  8. Jaime says:

    Its been almost 20 years having RA… Being a young adult (25), I have given up on a lot of things that made me happy.. I’m reclaiming them TODAY!!! I’m going to start running again!!!

  9. Cammie says:

    Since RA I have given up some of the things that I love so much. I an going to reclaim my sewing. I have a quilt top I have not finished yet. I will finish this quilt. It may be slow and in stages, but I will finish the quilt. RA will not take that joy from me.

  10. Frances says:

    I hope this isn’t to TMI but I’d like to reclaim my love life. Intimacy has been a challenge due to pain & I’d like to re-open that aspect of my life again.

  11. Tracy says:

    I will reclaim my JOY! If I want to work on knitting the scarf I started three years ago, or go for a walk, or anything (!) I will do it with joy instead of with fear and dread. I will do this for me, and for my children!

  12. Cathy says:

    Now that I have reclaimed bike riding, I am trying to go back further in my life to the time I was a child and I was able to live in the exact moment I was in without worries of what may come.

  13. Kay Mistlebauer says:

    I watercolor, and sketch, but over the past year I have trouble drawing as fingers do not cooperate, so instead of being so perfect I will start to do less drawing and will watercolor in a looser way…letting the water and colors mix whatever way they want on the paper, with some help from me, but no perfection. The paintings are a surprise sometimes, and turn out very beautiful! What a joy it is to see the beauty of the colors and surprise of how they turn out! Taking back my art full force. Good luck to everyone else in what they have decided to take back.

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