Real Profiles of Rheumatoid ArthritisPhotos © Lori Elkins
Gahanna, Ohio, United States
How long have you lived with RA?
It came on in Feb. 2011. I was diagnosed Aug 2011.
What advice would you give to someone who has just been diagnosed with RA?
Educate yourself, ask questions, be pro-active. Keep fighting, don’t give up or give in! Remember that God has a plan for your life and RA is part of that plan. Know that there is a bigger picture that we can’t see.
Do you use any mobility aids?
Currently I use wrist and ankle splints. The ankle support helps the pain. The wrist splints limit my mobility which causes less pain. On a lighter note, my kids are mobility aids too…they help do things, get things, move things, and best of all, love on their mommy (which gives me inner strength)!
How has living with RA helped to improve your life?
Living with RA has made me more aware and sympathetic to others. I was already a compassionate person, but RA brings out a whole new level of caring and concern. It also puts life into perspective a bit more. Yes, RA isn’t great, but it’s not terminal. I’m grateful for all my blessings!
Do you have any visible signs of RA?
The only visible signs I have would be my wrist and ankle splints. Other than that, my friends and family can tell by my face if it’s a bad day.
Can you please describe some of your favorite coping strategies for living with RA?
Prayer is the best coping strategy! Second to that is being able to talk to/vent to someone who understands or just someone who loves me (like Mom!)
Can you please describe your current medical (traditional and alternative) treatments?
Currently I am taking Prednisone and Hydroxychloroquine (Plaquenil). I also have upped my intake of vitamin D significantly and started working with a physical trainer at my gym who is certified for working with arthritis patients.
Is there anything else about yourself that you would like to share?
I am a single Christian mom of two wonderful kids; my son is 9.5 and my daughter is nearly 8 and we all have ADHD (woohoo!). I work full-time, go to school full-time, and am active in our church. We love the Lord and are grateful daily for all our blessings.