Real Profiles of Rheumatoid ArthritisPhotos © Cassie Lane
Coventry, Connecticut, United States
How long have you lived with RA?
I was diagnosed quite recently, but I can only guess as I have had many symptoms for the past 4-5 months.
What advice would you give to someone who has just been diagnosed with RA?
Try your best to stay positive and find some humor in it. Life’s too short to look at what you don’t have, or what you are unable to do. If you have kids, watch them grow and learn. If you feel you are “too young” to have RA, find a positive perspective, think of all the people you can help just by listening and being supportive. If you are spiritual, pray or meditate.
Do you use any mobility aids?
How has living with RA helped to improve your life?
It has actually made me very grateful. For my children, my husband especially, I was afraid with something like this he would become frustrated and leave. But he’s had my back 100%!! And the kids are great help too!!
Do you have any visible signs of RA?
I walk very stiff and sort of limp a lot. I have incredible difficulty bending either of my legs just to sit down, getting up is even worse lol. Also, packages…they suck, cannot open them very well.
Can you please describe some of your favorite coping strategies for living with RA?
Looking at what I still have rather than what I do not. A lot of self talk/reassurance. Writing seems to help as well! Helping others whether it’s RA related or not, there’s always somebody who is worse off than you.
Can you please describe your current medical (traditional and alternative) treatments?
I have not seen a rheumatologist yet, the only thing I am taking is Motrin 600 to curb the pain. I also do a lot of yoga to help stretch and release tension. Much meditation to relax my mind and nerves.
Is there anything else about yourself that you would like to share?
I was also diagnosed with MS in early 2010, so upon hearing that I could have TWO autoimmune disorders really threw me for a loop. It’s been a ride but I am determined to stay strong and live a healthy, active life.