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50% Off RA Christmas Card – Saturday & Sunday Only!

Send Christmas greetings in style this year, while helping to raise awareness of Rheumatoid Arthritis! The front of this card includes RA Guy’s adaptation of the classic Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer lyrics, and the back of the card includes a brief informational excerpt on RA.

RA Guy, the red-jointed Superhero had a very shiny toe. And if you ever saw him, you would even say it glows.

Enter code: CARDNPOSTAGE at checkout.

More Info: http://www.zazzle.com/very_merry_ra_christmas_card-137547301513100209

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Water Exercises For Rheumatoid Arthritis

After more than a month, I finally made it back to the swimming pool this morning!

When I got sick a little over a month ago, with a bout of laryngitis that lasted almost two weeks, I knew exactly how everything was going to play out. First, I was going to stop going to the swimming pool in order to nurse my cold. While doing so was absolutely necessary, this would be a double whammy; my rheumatoid arthritis activity would increase both because of 1. my viral infection and 2. my lack of exercise (which has proven to be oh so helpful during the past year.)

So as my rheumatoid arthritis worsened over the past few weeks, I wasn’t really surprised at all. Throw in cold and drizzly weather than lingered for weeks after the official end of winter, and it was just the perfect mix for increased pain. And as the inflammation increased in every joint, the muscles and tendons started in on the fun as well. As my shoulders were particularly affected, the pain and inflammation quickly spread into my neck and shoulders, leading to a complete contracture of all of my back muscles.

(Which, if there is anything more painful than having rheumatoid arthritis active in every joint, it would be having your all of your back muscles try to continually shrink into something the size of a softball, all while rheumatoid arthritis is active in every joint.)

But I’m happy to share that this cycle is finally coming to an end. I’m once again standing in the corner of the swimming pool for an hour each morning, doing gentle range of motion and stretching/flexibility exercises. All of my joints, and my back, are happy campers. And to make it even better, the warm spring weather has finally arrived!

A lot of people have asked me how I am able to swim without making my rheumatoid arthritis worse. The fact of the matter is that I don’t actually swim, in the traditional sense. (Although I do occasionally dog paddle a few laps.) Instead, I stand at the deep end of the pool, and do gentle water exercises at my own pace. These exercises focus on warm-up, flexibility, range of motion, aerobics, and strength training. While I’ve invented some of my own variations, many of the exercises that I perform in the pool can be found in the following book:

PRODUCT INFORMATION

Water Exercises for Rheumatoid Arthritis: The Effective Way to Reduce Pain and Inflammation While Increasing Flexibility and Mobility

Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease affecting 2 million people. Symptoms differ from person to person but the most common symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis are inflamed joints, pain, stiffness of the joints, and a feeling of the joints being on fire.

Water Exercises for Rheumatoid Arthritis explains how water exercise helps relieve the pains and restrictions caused by rheumatoid arthritis. The book will explain how exercises, in general, and water exercise, in particular, are excellent ways to maintain flexibility and mobility and reduce the pain and swelling caused by rheumatoid arthritis.

More Info: http://www.amazon.com/Water-Exercises-Rheumatoid-Arthritis-Inflammation/dp/1882883632

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

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RA Guy’s “Hope! Unlimited” Mug

This mug was especially designed for all superheroes who are living with rheumatoid arthritis, including their friends, family members, and co-workers.

Hand-drawn by RA Guy, the art work includes some of the most popular comic book images from his website. The white text on the blue sky is from his “About Me” page, which represents the first words that were ever published on his blog.

You too will feel like a superhero when you use this mug!

More Info: http://www.zazzle.com/rheumarthritisguy

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RA Guy’s “Hope! Unlimited” Mug

Rheumatoid Arthritis Guy is pleased to announce the release of his “Hope! Unlimited” mug, which is now available on Zazzle.com!

PRODUCT INFORMATION

RA Guy's Hope Unlimited Mug

This mug was especially designed for all superheroes who are living with rheumatoid arthritis, including their friends, family members, and co-workers.

Hand drawn by RA Guy, the art work includes some of the most popular comic book images from his website. The white text on the blue sky is from his “About Me” page, which represents the first words that were ever published on his blog.

You too will feel like a superhero when you use this mug!

Help superheroes like myself overcome “Flare Incorporated” and reach “Hope! Unlimited”.

Ceramic Mug: http://www.zazzle.com/hope_unlimited_mug…

Travel Mug: http://www.zazzle.com/hope_unlimited_travel_mug…

One of my less frequently discussed challenges of living with a chronic and debilitating condition like rheumatoid arthritis is trying to figure out how to continually pay for all of the costly doctors visits, physical therapy sessions, and prescription medications…especially now that my illness allows me to work only a few hours a day.

Your purchase of this mug, which I spent all weekend designing, would be greatly appreciated. Your kind contribution would not only allow me to gain the satisfaction of knowing that I continue to do everything within my means to be financially productive, but it would also help to increase awareness of this disease with which I live.

Thank you so much for your help.

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

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Gripitz Exercise Blocks

This morning marks five days in a row that Rheumatoid Arthritis Guy has made it to the gym. Wow – I can’t even remember when the last time I went to work out for an entire week…I think it was back around April.

And the funny part is that instead of feeling more tired each day, I am actually feeling a little bit stronger and a little bit more full of energy. My physical therapist is just as excited, and is hoping that my fully using my muscles will help us to pinpoint certain areas that need special treatment during my sessions. Today we worked on my thighs, which we had never done before. (She tried giving me an explanation of muscles shortening and kneecaps moving, but I only partly understood.)

What is the secret to my return? At the moment, I would say it has been incorporating lots and lots of modifications into my (alternating by day) yoga and pilates classes. If I can’t bend my knee, I don’t. If I can’t use my hands, I use my forearms. If I can’t do a certain series of postures, I replace them with a series that I can do.

And the most important part of my modifications has been to continually maintain my exertion level at right around 3/4 of where I think I should be. I’ve discovered that if I get too close to my max, I will quickly burnout and actually provoke more pain…thus sending myself back to the starting line.

A reader recently recommended these Gripitz Exercise Blocks. Theyseem to be just the right thing for increased wrist protection during yoga class. I haven’t given them a try yet, but I hope to do so soon!

PRODUCT INFORMATION

GripitzGripitz Exercise Blocks

Ergonomic exercise blocks that let you strengthen rather than strain.

Using Gripitz reduces stress on the wrists and elbows and allows people with repetitive stress injuries to exercise more comfortably for a longer, more productive workout.

Also helps to prevent future injuries by providing a more natural range of motion with certain exercises.

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

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