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Through the looking glass


I used to think that accepting the reality of my rheumatoid arthritis meant that I would be giving in to this disease.

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Rock bottom


I had reached rock bottom, and needed to declare as much. I also knew that everything was going to be okay.

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Who am I?


Chronic illness, pain, and depression have a tendency to rewrite our personal identities, quite often against our will.

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I’m not a patient who suffers from rheumatoid arthritis. I’m a person who LIVES with rheumatoid arthritis.

Surround yourself with people who make you hungry for life, touch your heart, and nourish your soul.Unknown

When someone with rheumatoid arthritis is surrounded by people determined to live above the illness, an interesting thing happens.

The person embraces this challenge. Connects more. Smiles more. Reaches for newer paths. Holds their care circle—family, friends, treatment team—tighter. Maybe even shares what they’ve learned with others taking their first steps along this journey.

The RA Guy Foundation strengthens these circles of support. And that makes all the difference in the world.

To learn more, visit www.raguyfoundation.org

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60-second guide to rheumatoid arthritis


Can one get a better understanding of rheumatoid arthritis in just 60 seconds? Let’s give it a try!

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Reacting to other people’s reactions


Raising awareness in others is certainly important, but it will never be as important as raising awareness within myself.

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10 things I’ve learned from living with chronic illness


A positive attitude isn’t going to “cure” me, but it’s certainly going to make it easier to overcome challenges…

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Chronic illness, pain, and depression have a tendency to rewrite our personal identities, quite often against our will.

An act to make another happy, inspires the other to make still another happy, and so happiness is aroused and abounds. Thousands of candles can be lighted from a single candle, and the life of the single candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared.The Sutra of Forty-Two Sections

Every Wednesday, I light a candle for those of us who live with chronic pain, illness, and/or depression. If you would like to see these candles on a weekly basis, I invite you to follow me on:


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You know you have RA when…


Hundreds of responses—some funny, some heartbreaking, all true. What can you add to the list?

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Autoimmune Portrait Project: RA Guy


I’ve learned the beauty of slowing down, of going out to breathe fresh air, and of taking nothing for granted.

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I thank my rheumatoid arthritis for…


I thank my RA for allowing me to realize that learning how to ask for help doesn’t make me weak; it makes me strong.

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“You know you have rheumatoid arthritis when a thoroughly productive day means you only took three naps.” —Briana

Real Profiles of RA


Just as all of us have the power to raise awareness of rheumatoid arthritis, we also have the ability to create an accurate depiction of the people who live with rheumatoid arthritis.

These profiles are one opportunity for us to share our stories. Young and old. Male and female. Recently diagnosed and long-time RA veterans. While all of these personal stories have a lot in common, each one remains beautifully unique.


I’m proud of my arthritis hands.Rheumatoid Arthritis Guy

One of the first concerns that came to my mind after I was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis was what was going to happen to my hands? As a lifelong designer and avid cook my hands are essential for doing the things that make me most happy in life. Doing Google searches for “rheumatoid arthritis hands” did nothing to quell my fears. In fact, seeing the image search results only made me more nervous.

Over the years, however, my hands have continued to show me that they are strong, even as they bear the brunt of the chronic disease with which I live. My hands may not be able to do what they used to—opening a jar has become next to impossible—but they are a true testament to the power of adaptation. My hands continue to chop, cut, stir, and mix…and when they’re not able to do as much, they happily pull out the food processor and adapt recipes accordingly. I don’t spend as much time in the kitchen as I once did, but when I do it feels like a true treat. I love the smells, the tastes and the textures.

When my hands are doing well enough to grind spices, I pull out an old grinding stone that I inherited from my great-grandmother. I only have a few memories of her, but remember her walking with a pair of crutches. While no one can tell me what actually afflicted her, I’ve been told that her hands were very crooked and always hurt. Might she have lived with rheumatoid arthritis as well? I’ll never know, but when I hold the pestle, the same one she used to hold every day as she worked in the kitchen, I feel a special connection to her. And I tell myself that if she could get through the pain and disability, so can I.

Read more about why I’m proud of my arthritis hands.

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On becoming visible


My “injury?” I got into a cage match with my immune system, and my immune system seems to have won.

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A few truths about living with chronic illness


Nothing is more important than understanding your body and your illness, no matter what others say

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What am I doing?


I am looking at mountains. I am looking at the sky. I am enjoying the breeze. I am living.

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“Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you’ve imagined.” —Henry David Thoreau

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