I Thank My Rheumatoid Arthritis For…

RA Guy Adventures of RA Guy

I thank my RA for allowing me to become the person I currently am.
I thank my rheumatoid arthritis for allowing me to realize that learning how to ask for help doesn’t make me weak; it makes me strong. I thank my RA for showing me that life goes on, no matter what obstacles appear in my path. I thank my RA for reminding me, on a continual basis, about the importance of eating healthy foods. I thank my RA for teaching me that, in the end, having a “career” matters very little. I thank my RA for allowing me to accept that if I can’t do something today, I am not a failure…I will just try again tomorrow. I thank my RA for providing me the opportunities to experience the beauties of rebounding from the lowest lows, and in appreciating life for everything it is (and isn’t), especially after previously having wanted to “end it all” on more than one occasion. I thank my RA for allowing me to meet so many other inspiring individual–both in person and online–who understand the importance of always looking for the silver lining no matter what happens. I thank my RA for encouraging me to continue moving, even (especially!) on those days when doing so seems like the most impossible of tasks. I thank my RA for showing me just how much warmth can be gained by sitting in the sun for a few short minutes. I thank my RA for giving me the opportunity to learn how to work through negative emotions in a way that doesn’t hurt myself or others. I thank my RA for showing me that one of the most beautiful things about support is that is often comes from where we least expect it. I thank my RA (and it’s associated reduced income and costly regular medical expenses) for encouraging me to appreciate the joys of having a non-consumerist based lifestyle; double thanks for making me more frugal than I ever thought possible. I thank my RA for teaching me that while I may not be in control of what happens to my body, I can always be in control of what is going on in my mind. I thank my RA for demonstrating that quite often the biggest steps backwards are actually huge steps forward. I thank my RA for teaching me the beauty of physical, emotional, and mental stillness. I thank my RA for showing me that stress has no place in my life. I thank my RA for allowing me to realize that prioritizing my well-being above all else is not an act of selfishness; it’s an act of survival. I thank RA for constantly reminding me that I should take nothing for granted. I thank my RA for never letting me forget that laughter is indeed the best medicine. I thank my RA for showing me the importance of focusing not on the past and not on the future, but on the present. I thank my RA for teaching me that a smile is one of the most precious gifts that a person can give or receive.

I thank my RA for allowing me to become the person I currently am.

Stay tuned…for the next adventure of Rheumatoid Arthritis Guy!

The New York Times: Actress, Artist, Sometimes Both At Once

RA Guy Community News

WordsandPictures
By MEKADO MURPHY

In the new romantic comedy “Words and Pictures,” a rolling office chair becomes a tool for art creation. Juliette Binoche, playing an art teacher whose rheumatoid arthritis affects her ability to paint, lies on her stomach across the chair, grabs a paintbrush and swivels from one part to another of the canvas on the floor. Passion and pain become a part of each stroke, as Ms. Binoche both plays a visual artist and is one.

The film, due May 23, follows the competitive relationship between an art teacher and an English teacher (Clive Owen) at a prep school. Both have strong opinions about which medium of expression matters most. The paintings by Ms. Binoche’s character, Dina Delsanto, are seen in various finished and unfinished forms throughout the movie. But there are no art doubles here. Ms. Binoche created all of the canvases herself.

Read More: www.nytimes.com/2014/05/18/movies/juliette-binoche-brings-own-art-to-words-and-pictures.html

The Columbian: Arthritis Not stopping 20-Year-Old Nursing Student

RA Guy Community News

TheColumbian

Camas woman, who has lived with disorder since a tot, shows early, consistent care crucial

By Marissa Harshman, Columbian health reporter
Published: April 14, 2014, 6:00 AM

Twenty-year-old Kelly Slauson doesn’t know life without rheumatoid arthritis.

Diagnosed when she was just 18 months old, Slauson’s life as she knows it has always included medications, doctor’s appointments and joint stiffness.

“I thought every kid had to get shots on Friday nights and go to the doctor all the time,” said Slauson, who lives in Camas.

When Slauson was only about 7 or 8 months old, she started walking. But her parents later realized something wasn’t right.

Slauson would walk, but then, after napping, would wake up and revert to crawling. Or, if she did walk, it would be with a limp. Her pediatrician referred her to a rheumatologist at Seattle Children’s Hospital, where she was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis, an autoimmune disorder in which the immune system mistakenly attacks the body’s own tissue.

Read More…

Visual Journal: My Story

RA Guy Adventures of RA Guy

Over the past few months, I’ve grown increasingly frustrated. Using a keyboard and mouse has become quite a challenge on most days, due to the chronic pain and inflammation in my hands.

I’ve always considered myself to be a designer and not a writer, though…so I recently took out some of my tools that I haven’t used in ages (cutting pad, metal straight edge, blade cutter, and glue sticks). I put my printer to work, and started to cut and paste away.

I quickly found that there was something extremely therapeutic about creating a visual journal, both in being able to perform actions that I thought were no longer possible with my hands, and in finding a way to communicate without words.

This is my story, as told by images that make my soul smile.

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Stay tuned…for the next adventure of Rheumatoid Arthritis Guy!