What’s a superhero supposed to do when his hands are hurting, but he can’t just drop everything he is doing in order to give them a rest? Rheumatoid Arthritis Guy pulls out and puts on his pair of Thermoskin Arthritis Gloves!
I don’t know if it is the slight compression or the warmth that is generated by wearing these gloves – or a combination of these two items – but I generally begin to feel some slight relief just minutes after putting on my gloves. One of the nice things about these gloves is that the material is thin and comfortable. This allows me to wear them for extended periods of time, and to continue to do what I normally do with ease.
And when they get dirty, we just wash them in the bathroom sink and hang them out to dry…within minutes, they are ready to wear again.
The one thing that I did not like – initially – about these gloves is that they have a slightly shiny scaly texture. It’s not too noticeable, but noticeable enough. In a way they look like something a superhero would wear…so I just remind myself of that, and continue to wear them with pride – whether I am in the privacy of my own house or out in public.
Thermoskin Arthritic Gloves
Specifically designed to relieve arthritic pain in the fingers and hand. Outer layer is textured to provide extra grip, while the trioxon lining alleviates skin irritation, allows skin to ventilate, and increases circulation. Velcro closure allows for ease of application. Sold in pairs. Latex free.
When Rheumatoid Arthritis Guy was young, and something went wrong, the solution was easy. Mighty Mouse to the Rescue! (Remember, back when cartoons advertised new cereals between shows and not toys during shows?) Ah, how I loved cartoons. (Come to think of it, my childhood idol was a superhero rodent? What was up with that?)
Now, when things go wrong, the solution is no longer as simple as hoping that a little mouse will come flying across the sky to rescue me. I need a solution that is a little more discreet. Sometimes I might have a minor (okay, major) anxiety attack due to a rheumatoid arthritis flare. Other times I might just not feel well and might want a little extra boost now and then.
What I turn to is a range of Rescue Remedy products that I have here in my house: the original drops, the spray, and my favorite – the pastilles. For me, Rescue Remedy is more than just a mix of five Bach Flower Essences (Rock Rose for terror and panic, Impatiens for irritation and impatience, Clematis for inattentiveness, Star of Bethlehem for shock and Cherry Plum for irrational thoughts). For me, taking Rescue Remedy is also a short meditative moment that allows me to get through the stresses of life and of living with rheumatoid arthritis.
Bach Rescue Remedy
Rescue Remedy is the original. It is available in both 10ml and 20ml sizes. To use dilute four drops of Rescue Remedy in a glass of water and sip at intervals. Replenish as necessary.
Also available in Rescue Remedy Spray, Rescue Cream, Rescue Gel, Rescue Balm, Rescue Sleep, Rescue Pastilles, Rescue Energy, and Rescue Remedy Pet.
Rheumatoid Arthritis Guy reveals the inside secrets of part of his superhero attire…on the next Inside Edition!
Okay, so my ankle protectors aren’t really made out of titanium…but sometimes it feels as if there are.
Although my ankles do get slightly swollen at times, that have yet to show any signs of permanent joint damage. On some days they are weaker than other days, which used to be a problem – until I started using my McDavid ankle braces. Now if I have a day where my ankles feel particularly weak, or if I am going to be walking more than usual, I make sure to put on my ankle braces.
This pair that I use has a lace system, which allows me to adjust for just the right level of support. I then adjust the stirrup straps (my ankles are already in heaven by this point), which provide a great amount of side support…and then top thing off with the final elastic band at the top, which hides the laces and provides that third level of support.
The best part is that with all of these levels of protection, the ankles are very lightweight and still fit easily into any pair of shoes that I normally use. Their black cover is great, and often allows me to pretend that I am wearing just a normal pair of socks.
McDavid #195 Ultralight Ankle w/Strap
Protection Level III Maximum
Worn by the best players in the game. Why spend the time and money on taping when the #195 gives you the support you need? It’s the most popular ankle brace on the market today. Used to replace costly tape for injury prevention, it features a lightweight nylon/vinyl fabric shell with two “Figure 6″ stirrup straps that may be adjusted at anytime during play without removing the shoe. These straps simulate a professional taping technique that lends additional support and protection for common injuries. Other support and comfort features include a padded lining with a notched front, elastic heel and tongue and a sewn in arch support.
Used and recommended by top professional and collegiate athletes as well as sports medicine professionals nationwide. Guaranteed to last. Fits left or right ankle and any style shoe.
Up until only a few months ago, Rheumatoid Arthritis Guy struggled with the idea of using aids to daily living. “It will make things easier for you” I was told by different people. Still, my head spun as I flipped through the pages of a Sammons Preston catalog. “Could I really be at a point where I need to use some of these items?”
Then one day, things got really bad. I could no longer cut my own food. Lifting a glass of water was difficult – I had to change to plastic tumblers. Holding a fork was a challenge.
I had two choices. The first was to not use assistive devices, and find myself somewhat helpless during the worst of my flares. The second was to start using assistive devices, and to maintain some levels of independence during the worse of my flares.
I chose to start using aids to daily living. The funny thing is, I absolutely love using them. The do make things much easier! I now wonder why it took me so long to accept this reality. (Must have been pride.)
So when it comes to knives, I now have two rules.
Rule #1: Always use a steak knife with a serrated edge, no matter what is being served. Just the other night we went out to dinner, and I asked for a steak knife to eat my salad. A serrated edge goes a long way in reducing the amount of strain on arthritis wrists.
Rule #2: When my wrists are really bad (yesterday was a bad wrist day, but this morning, at least, seems a little better), use my angled lightweight cutlery knife. The handle to this knife is vertical and cutting requires a rocking, and not a sliding, motion. Both of these aspects greatly reduce the strain on my swollen wrists.
Angled Lightweight Cutlery Knife
For those with limited wrist or arm movement. 1¼” diam. handle has finger contours for a comfortable grasp. Knife can be used without cocking the wrist. Weighs 1.6 oz.
Over the past few years, Rheumatoid Arthritis Guy has put together a pretty decent collection of aromatherapy essential oils…although there are some important oils that I still need to buy, in order for my collection to be more complete.
I have tried all types of diffusers, ranging from electrical to candle-lit. Each one of them is nice in it’s own sort of way, but I spent a lot of time looking for that perfect diffuser. I wanted it to be nice to look at, easy to use, quick to take effect, and it would be nice if it could add a little humidity to the dry high-altitude environment in which I live.
As I walked around one of my favorite cooperative stores in San Francisco (Rainbow Grocery) a couple of months back, I came across the Zen Collection Bliss Aroma Diffuser. Not only did it have everything I was looking for in a diffuser, but it was also on sale! I was sold.
For most of my life my favorite color has been – and continues to be – blue, but in the past year or so I have found myself, for some reason, being particularly attracted to orange. This model was available in two colors: blue and orange. I chose orange.
During my flare this past week, I have used my diffuser on an almost daily basis. Sometimes it’s running quietly in the background while I am working or reading in a room, and other times it’s an integral part of a relaxation/meditation session. As I type these words, it’s sitting right next to me on my nightstand, misting away.
While I often might mix my own essential oils (I particularly like rosemary + ginger), I also have some prepared blends from Aura Cacia. My favorites are the Relaxation Blend and the Creative Juices Blend. (I also have a Medieval Mix Blend, which is wonderful!)
Whichever combination of diffuser and essential oils I use, one thing always remains the same – when I incorporate aromatherapy into my day, I have a little extra peace of mind. This helps me when times are smooth, and when times are rough.
Relax with this most advanced & innovative ultrasonic aroma diffuser & ioniser. Feel your worries fade away in humidified & fresh ionised air & aroma. 5 in 1 functions: Aroma Diffuser, Mini Humidifier, Air Purifier, Ionizer, Small Night Light. Advanced ultrasonic technology which produces vibrations at a frequency of 2 million times per second without using heat (heat alters & destroys the properties of essential oils). Releases tiny droplets of water vapour which is highly beneficial for our skin & general well being & has been known to provide relief for symptoms of respiratory problems. Improve air quality & prevents damage from second hand smoke, stale air and allergens. It functions as an ioniser by releasing negative ions into the air (known as “air vitamins”) which combat harmful positive ions. This may provide many health benefits e.g. improves breathing, strengthens the immune system, etc. The item has a built in soft glow light which can be used as a night light. Combines oriental & western cultures with modern science & technology.
Last night, I had one of my longest cries in a long time.
On Monday of this week, I called my doctor because my rheumatoid arthritis continues to worsen, even though two weeks ago we upped all of my medications and added a one-month Prednisone boost. One of the worst feelings in the world--even though I know that these meds often ...
After a couple of relatively symptom-free weeks, my rhuematoid arthritis is once again knocking me down. Today I didn't get out of bed until around 1:00 p.m. Even then, I did't much get past first gear...although I am proud to say that even as my day passed by in slow-motion, I was able to make it into the kitchen to ...
"Quality of Life (QoL) is a phrase used to refer to an individual’s total wellbeing. This includes all emotional, social, and physical aspects of the individual’s life. However, when the phrase is used in reference to medicine and healthcare as Health Related Quality of Life (HRQoL), it refers to how the individual’s wellbeing may be impacted over time by a ...
Nine years ago tomorrow--on the day that I turned 30--I submitted a letter of resignation to my manager. My roaring twenties were over, and I could not be happier. By all practical purposes, the previous decade had been filled with many different successes: I graduated from Columbia, I graduated from Harvard, and only a few years later, I was earning ...
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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I had big plans for this morning. First, I was supposed to wake up early to take my dog Alva to the vet, so that we could check her blood sugar levels. Then, later in the morning we were going to do some shopping, followed by lunch at whatever restaurant happened to be in the vicinity of wherever we found ...
Many readers know that, for almost the past year, I have been treating my rheumatoid arthritis without medications. Some people have interpreted this as me saying that I'm not doing anything for my RA, something which could not be further from the truth.
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Yesterday morning, I started my Friday in my usual way: I left my house at 10:00 am, in order to go to physical therapy. (I rarely ever make commitments before lunchtime, but I will make an exception for PT.)
During my session, we did some of our regular therapies: heat, ultrasound, and electrotherapy. I was a little surprised that toward the ...
This is a rheumatoid arthritis flare:
January 16, 2011
I woke up crying today.
It used to be that I could alleviate some of the pain by staying still…but today, the exact opposite seems to hold true.
It hurts to sit down. It hurts to stand up. It hurts to lay down. Pressing my forearms down on a tabletop, placing all of my weight ...
"Physical therapists, also known as physiotherapists, comprehensively assess RA patients in an ongoing manner. The evaluation of each patient includes an examination of affected joint flexibility, bony alignment/joint deformity, muscle strength, endurance, mobility, ambulatory status, and the ability to perform activities of daily living. It can be a delicate balance to enhance mobility and strength without fatiguing the patient or ...