Shana

RA Guy Real Profiles of RA

Photos © Shana

Name?

Shana

Age?

45

Location?

Outside Butte, Montana, United States

How long have you lived with RA?

Almost two years diagnosed.

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

Educate yourself about the disease. Traditional treatments, homeopathic medicine, self care, everything regarding this disease so you become a better advocate for yourself.

Do you use any mobility aids?

Yes, my husband. No, seriously! He helps me when I am having difficulty walking, opening a jar, cooking, showering, dressing…you name it.

How has living with RA helped to improve your life?

My first reaction was NOT AT ALL, but after some thought on the matter, I realize it has forced me to slow down and enjoy the things which actually matter in our life. Togetherness, a warm home, family, a fire on a cold day, my baby girls, my wonderful husband, and that first drink of coffee in the morning (no, really lol!).

Do you have any visible signs of RA?

Swelling in the fingers. I can’t make a fist some days. Feet and toe swelling. A limp at times.

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

A funny movie, quiet times, a good book, a walk when I’m able, a warm bath or shower, cuddles with my girls, and of course I sometimes cry.

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

I take Enbrel injections weekly. Prednisone 5mg a couple times a week. Multi vitamin, vit D, Iron, Cinnamon, Raw Honey, Turmeric Root, Medical Marijuana (CBD edibles). I started with prednisone, methotrexate, then added Humira. Humira was stopped and Enbrel started. Then methotrexate stopped and Arava started. Arava stopped. I feel like a guinea pig sometimes!!

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

I used to work as a Registered Nurse in various Emergency Departments (I was a traveler) doing Pediatric/Adult Traumas and Codes. I am the caregiver of our 6 1/2 year old daughter who has TRAPS, a Genetic Auto Inflammatory disease. Her health and well-being are number one, before my own, but I do recognize that I will not be able to care for her unless I take care of myself. It is a struggle. Before I got this disease, I was very active in the outdoors, hiking, hunting (archery and rifle), fishing (fly and spin). Trying to get back to it. I have a blog at irishdoe.simplesite.com.