I move when I can, and rest when I can’t.
I rarely make any commitments before 12 noon.
I start my day by soaking in a long, hot bath…followed by sweeping the hardwood floors in my house. (The sweeping is both a meditative, and physical, exercise…it helps me stretch, and warm up.)
98% of what I eat are made-at-home meals that start from fresh, unprocessed foods.
Sugar and dairy are HUGE inflammatory triggers for me, so I’ve eliminated them almost completely.
I’ve also stopped eating all other animal products (other than fish and seafood), and have noticed an overall reduction in my pain and inflammation levels.
Artificial flavors and chemical sweeteners send my body into an immediate downward spiral, so I stay away from them religiously.
I tried pharmaceutical medicines for years on end, and they only made me worse. (Prednisone nearly killed me.) So at a certain point, both my rheumatologist and I decided this wasn’t the path for me.
I’ve gotten used to people attacking me for the way I treat/manage my RA. But that’s okay. Because in the end, the only person who knows what’s right for me, is…me.
I exercise as much as I can because if I don’t, my muscles quickly start to feel like they’re falling in on themselves. (Years of extreme electrotherapy allowed me to regain flexibility in my contractured/atrophied muscles…and while they’ve gotten better, they’ve never lost the memory of what happened.)
I don’t worry about what might happen tomorrow. I don’t fret about what happened yesterday. I take a deep breath, and live for today.
I try to help others, because in doing so, I help myself.
I no longer have anxiety attacks; if only because I know all they do is make any bad situation worse. It wasn’t easy to reach this point, but I was ultimately able to train my mind to do so.
I don’t deny my reality, ever. In fact, when the pain is at it’s worst, I try to connect with it the best I can, and learn something new about the pain, and about myself.
I’ve stopped beating myself up when my symptoms flare. (Again, doing so is probably one of the last things that will help, when I’m in such a situation…)
I no longer label my days as being “good” or “bad.” A day is a day, to appreciated in all its beauty, and uniqueness.
When I see others struggling with their disease, I wish them the best (I really, really do)…because I’ve been in that place, and I know just how scary, overwhelming, and never-ending it can feel at times.
I feel fortunate to have reached a better place; one where my RA is still present every minute of every day, but where I’ve figured out how to LIVE with it, best I can.
And even having reached this spot, I sometimes still fall back into that darkness…but when I do, I remind myself that it’s only temporary.
And all of a sudden, things don’t seem so frightening any more…everything becomes another opportunity to learn, and to remind myself that while I many not always be able to control everything, I can still control a lot.
I appreciate the freedom that this disease has brought into my life.
These words may seem shocking to some people, I know…but the truth is, every time I lose control of part or all of my body, if for even a minute, my mind no longer abides by the physical limitations that result from the pain and inflammation.
Instead, it soars.
Stay tuned…for the next adventure of Rheumatoid Arthritis Guy!