Devloping Rheumatoid Arthritis Coping Skills in the New Year

  • Last week, I made my traditional December pilgrimage to the office supply store to get a new calendar. I'd been feeling out of sorts for weeks, the lack of a datebook messing with my equilibrium to the point where it felt as if my immediate future was like a ball of yarn that's been batted around for days by an enthusiastic kitten, making it hopelessly snarled. At the store, I picked up one calendar then another, hoping to find something even slightly akin to the Perfect Calendar that lived in my imagination and by some miracle, someone out there had made exactly what I wanted. When I got home, I leafed through my new book, looking at the 365 pristine pages of possibility and potential and it felt as if the tangled mess of my future had straightened and separated and I could start to plan the year.

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    This first month of the year is one in which many of us start thinking about how to improve our lives and it can feel quite overwhelming. How do you go from the vague idea of improving your life to making the actual changes that will make this happen?


    This is where we come in, because we have plans for 2011. Big plans.


    2010 was all about giving you the information you needed to get your disease under control and this year, your MyRACentral team will be dedicated to help you develop healthy coping skills so you can get on with your life.


    The idea of healthy coping skills can be an umbrella term for a host of topics, including assessing what you need to change in order to get to the healthy place, considering if surgery would allow you to function better, adding (or subtracting) from your medical care team to make sure your needs are met and that they all work well with you, setting up support systems and checking out medication options. It is also more than dealing with your disease - it is about discovering who you are and where you want to be, but in order to have the resources to dive into your life, you often have to focus on your RA and your body first.


    We're smack dab in the middle of flu season and Sara Nash will be taking a look at how that can affect our lives and how we cope with RA and in her second post, Sara will take a look at the idea of surrender. This month, Lisa Emrich will focus her attention on expanding our reference area by writing about the different kinds of surgery that are used to improve the lives of people living with RA. I'll be posting about the new RA criteria, including an interview with one of the doctors involved in developing them - this post was delayed from the end of last year because we wanted to make sure we had the best possible information. As well, I'll be taking a closer look at the idea of planning your future with RA.


    Do you have plans for the new year? We look forward to seeing your posts about your thoughts, ideas and dreams.


Published On: January 01, 2011