CreakyJoints: How Do You Continue To Stay So Positive?

In a Special Guest Blog Post, RA Guy answers the question he is most frequently asked by his readers: How does he manage to stay so positive, despite the challenges he faces on a daily basis?

“For me, a positive attitude doesn’t mean that I hope my pain goes away; it means that I hope to be able to cope with this pain even better.” —RA Guy

Over the many years of blogging as Rheumatoid Arthritis Guy I have received many messages from readers, more so than most people might be able to imagine. A majority of these messages can easily be divided into two groups. The first are from people who appreciate the sense of humor that I continually apply to my life with RA. (Because sometimes, a wicked sense of humor is the only way forward!) The second are from readers who tell me that they are inspired by my ability to maintain a positive attitude, despite the challenges that I face on a daily basis.

While I make it a point to respond to each and every email personally, I must admit that there are times—especially when my rheumatoid arthritis symptoms are at their worst—that some of these messages start to slip through. So I would like to take this opportunity to respond publicly to the one question that I am asked most frequently: How do you continue to stay so positive?

Read More: http://www.creakyjoints.org/blogs/special-guest-bloggers/ra-guy/2012/11/11/how-do-you-continue-to-stay-so-positive

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Reward Your RA Success


If you have been diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis (RA), the Reward Your RA Success program is for you! You can earn points toward rewards while learning how to better manage your RA.

Once you have joined, earning points is easy. Use the Rewards Bar at the top of the page to take Educational Quests—auto-guided tours presenting articles, videos and quizzes on rheumatoid arthritis.

Completing the Quests earns you points—and sharing your progress along the way on Facebook and Twitter earns you even more points!

Earn points and you’ll unlock Achievement Badges, found in the Rewards Bar. These track your number of site visits, overall points, how often you post our links to Facebook and Twitter, and how many of your friends click on those links.

Read More: http://rewardyourra.org/

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How Do You Deal With The Fatigue?

I’ve always been a huge fan of incorporating lifestyle measures, stress reduction, mindfulness-everything, gentle exercise (which I’ll admit, is the one item on this list where I can use the most improvement) and a healthy diet into my rheumatoid arthritis treatment plan. What is your experience with these issues and their relationship to fatigue? When my RA is most active, nothing seems to help but frequent naps…but on more mild days, I’ve found that all of the items mentioned above really help. Dr. Irwin Lim–a rheumatologist from Australia–asks the same, in the following post.

By Dr Irwin Lim, Rheumatologist

Rheumatoid arthritis, as well as the other inflammatory arthritides, are very much better treated in this day and age. And yet, it’s common to hear patients speak of tiredness or fatigue. Sometimes, this is profound and crippling.

When the disease is active, and I can detect objective signs of inflammation, the disease activity is an easy scapegoat. The more active the disease, the more systemic the symptoms. Fatigue will likely occur.

However, it’s much harder to explain when the disease seems well controlled. This is especially true if the disease is felt to be in remission.

If I cannot detect swelling of joints, and the patient denies joint symptoms, and the monitoring blood tests are all normal, how do we explain continuing fatigue?

I don’t have that answer.

Sometimes, it’s attributed to a side effect of the medications used. Sometimes, fibromyalgia is diagnosed as a coexisting problem and this is blamed.

I don’t think the answer lies in more medication.

Instead, I think lifestyle issues need to be addressed. Patients who have lived with a chronic disease, become deconditioned. Pain and stiffness reduces normal activity. Over time, muscles, tendons and ligaments become weak. In some, weight gain is an issue. Tolerance of effort reduces.

I believe it’s important to act early in the disease to encourage mindful eating and regular, targeted exercise to address these issues.

Randomised control data? I’m not sure that exists but it does seem to make common sense.

Medications can only improve one aspect of rheumatoid disease. Lifestyle measures remain an important, but unfortunately, often forgotten goal.

If you’re a patient, please share your experience with fatigue. If you’re a doctor, please share how you deal with this difficult symptom.

Dr. Irwin Lim obtained his fellowship with the Royal Australasian College of Physicians in 2003 in the specialty of Rheumatology. As director of BJC Health, Irwin developed the initial clinic in Parramatta to a multisite and multidisciplinary group. He strives to develop innovative, effective treatment solutions for patients suffering from chronic disease.

For more information, please visit www.bjchealth.com.au.

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