Alexa

Alexa

Real Profiles of Rheumatoid Arthritis
Photos © Alexa

Name?

Alexa

Age?
21

Location?

Clinton Township, Michigan, United States

How long have you lived with RA?

9 years.

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

I would say be strong, don’t let it get you down and discourage you, you’re still normal and can do what everyone else can do, you’ll just do it a little bit differently. I would also tell them to go to Rheumatoid Arthritis Guy because having others that share the same struggles as you do helps you feel as though you have your own little support system cheering you on.

Do you use any mobility aids?

I do not use any mobility aids, although I have been thinking about getting some.

How has living with RA helped to improve your life?

I take less for granted now and really appreciate the days where it isn’t painful to do my favorite activities. I really appreciate those who understand my condition and it has made my family and friendships grow stronger. My entire life attitude has been improved and I always try to think positively about my RA. Because of this, my positive thinking carries on to other things like my attitude on being able to do well in school and at my job.

Do you have any visible signs of RA?

I have some nodules on the side of my foot that is slowly worsening and my toes are swollen to different sizes. My second toes look completely different from each other because one has RA and the other does not. There is often swelling but it comes and goes.

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

Painting, painting gets me through everything, it is the one thing that I can really do that doesn’t hurt. When I paint, I forget the worries of arthritis and can even sometimes forget I have it in the first place. Another emotional coping strategy that I have is going on Rheumatoid Arthritis Guy, I can laugh at those “You know you have RA when…” comments.

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

I have been trying to fix my diet and exercise more to strengthen my body. I am on indomethacin tablets but have been thinking about going on Humira. I would prefer to get into remission through diet and exercise but I think I will give other medications a try to see if it can prevent joint damage better.

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

I’ve got a wonderfully supportive family and boyfriend that love me and want the best for me. I love teaching and can’t wait to do my student teaching this year with second graders. I also love traveling, it is an adventure for me (plus the fresh air in the England countryside does wonders for my mood). I am so blessed to have the opportunities that I am given and the strength that I have been able to carry throughout my difficult times.

3 Comments
3 comments
  1. Linda Nilsson says:

    Hi,
    I read about you on the http://www.rheumatoidarthritisguy.com
    I’m 21 years old and I’m in a regional group called young rheumatics region north in Sweden and we are thinking about having a Youth exchange with Britain. Do you know of any group/association or similar for young people with Rheumatoid arthritis? Is there any group in London for young people with Rheumatoid arthritis? And how can we get in touch with them?

    Sincerely
    Linda Nilsson

  2. Joyce says:

    Hello everyone! My sister who just turned 60 has been diagnosed with RA. She’s a nurse, so she knows all of the worst case scenarios, who is having a hard time dealing with this and doesn’t want to talk about it.
    How can I and my other 4 sisters help her? She works full time and has always had a hard time healing from surgeries of which she’s has many.
    Any advice or books she could read or we could read would be appreciated.

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