Welcome to the RA Community!
You've found the best site for rheumatoid arthritis information and community on the Internet and I don't just say that because I work here. Our site has much to offer, both to people who have just been diagnosed with RA as well as those who have lived with the disease for years. We have high quality information about RA that is updated frequently during the week and our wonderful community members post SharePosts and answer questions every day.
An easy way to stay in touch with information posted by the RA Community team is to sign up for our weekly newsletter. You can sign up and manage your newsletters under the 'Settings' tab in your profile. Every Thursday you'll get a weekly newsletter with links to SharePost written by Experts and Contributors, the Community Post of the week and news stories related to RA, chronic pain, medication, etc.
Our site is organized to help you negotiate your journey through living with RA.posts and articles are published within larger categories, such as Diagnoses, Living With, Treatment, etc. These are placed on the left sidebar of the page and you can poke around the site within these categories to find what you need. Within each larger category, there are sub-areas to more specific topics. For instance, in the Living With category, you'll find posts on Costs and Insurance, Parenting, Relationships, Emotional Health, etc. One of the best ways of getting to know the site is to click around and she would you find.
We have a great reference area where you can find information on all kinds of topics. The Basics of RA has articles and video about symptoms, causes, lab tests and more. Our area for the Newly Diagnosed collects a variety of posts on how to live with the disease, including relationships and sex, working, parenting and self advocacy. You can also read my post Are you new to RA? Then read this - it collects links to many of the posts that are especially helpful to those who have just been diagnosed.
We're extra proud of two of our newer specialty areas because they are intended for those for whom there isn't a lot of information and support. For our younger users, we have an area with information and posts about Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis (previously Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis), what it is, how to get through school living with JIA, self-esteem and more. In our Pregnancy and Parenting with RA section, we have collected posts that go beyond the basic of "stop taking your meds and get pregnant" and give you information and resources about how to actually live through planning for baby, pregnancy and parenting.
But that's not all! We have a number of other specialty areas on the sites that collect information about specific conditions and issues. You can learn more about Psoriatic Arthritis and Pain Management. As well, in the fall of 2011, we hosted a project on Domestic Violence and Chronic Illness and Disability where writers from many other HealthCentral communities wrote about the issue and how it intersected with their particular condition.
You've Got Questions? We've Got Answers!
If you have a question, you can visit our Q&A section where Experts, Contributors and community members answer questions based on their own experience and knowledge. You can browse through questions already posted or leave one (or more) of your own.. You can also click the Ask a Question button in your profile.
Finding people who know exactly how you feel is very important to living well with RA and we have a vibrant, involved and supportive community of users on the site. One of the best ways to get involved is to read the SharePosts that other users have posted or to jump right in and write one yourself! Introduce yourself, vent about your frustrations or share your successes. Don't be shy - we're a friendly bunch. You can write a post clickin on the Create a SharePost button on your profile.
The HealthCentral Network works hard to give you a great experience on each of our sites, but every now and again, there are bugs. If you experience problems anywhere on the site, you can report them on our general Contact Us page by clicking on Technical Feedback. If the problem continues or is a really big one, you can send me a message and I'll pass along your report to our technical team.
Thank you for choosing HealthCentral's Rheumatoid Arthritis community. We look forward to meeting you!