The Month Ahead: Back to School and Being Proactive About RA

  • I know a woman who, when her kids were small, would count down the days of summer vacation in her calendar. Every day when she looked at a new page, she would see there was one less day until school started. Around the beginning of August, in the depth of trying to entertain three active children, she'd start twitching and needing a lot of chocolate. And I'm pretty sure she's not alone.


    We're not quite there yet, but the season for back-to-school is approaching and kids aren't the only ones who are preparing for school. Leslie is working on a graduate degree in sociology and will tell us how she prepares for that. Cathy will write about the educational adventures from another point of view: that of going back to school as a teacher.

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    August 1-7 is World Breastfeeding Week. Breast-feeding your baby is an important aspect of protecting them from disease, as well as enhancing your own health, but what do you do if you're a new mother with RA? Lisa Emrich is busy researching a post on breast-feeding and RA medication and Cathy will also write about this topic, telling her story of having to make a hard choice between breast-feeding and taking RA meds.


    Staying within the topic of babies, but this time the four-legged kind, Brad will post about the important benefits of pets. To give a bit of a manly balance to the topics of babies and breast-feeding, Brad will also share his experience of having to retool his woodworking shop to better accommodate his RA.


    Another theme for MyRACentral in August is being proactive in a variety of ways. This is Immunization Awareness Month and it is generally recommended that people who live with RA stay up-to-date on vaccinations, such as flu, pneumonia and tetanus, especially if they are on immunosuppressant drugs. Several of our members will write about vaccinations, both from a more scientific point of view, as well as sharing their personal experiences. V will post about another aspect of being proactive, sharing her adventures with orthotics and speaking of adventures, Sara Nash  has a friend who is in training for marathon and will interview her about how RA affects this experience. In her second post, Sara will explore farmer's markets and the benefits of local produce.


    We're all working towards the goal of finding remission and later this month, I'll talk with a representative from the NYU Langone Medical Center about this goal, tools to help you get there and new advances in research making it more possible in the future. One of the essential tools to getting good treatment is having a good rheumatologist, but some of us aren't sure we're getting the best care possible. Next week, I'll dive into the delicate issue of being proactive about getting the best people possible for your medical team.


    We look forward to reading your SharePosts about your lives with RA and hope you will be inspired by our themes to share your own experiences. See you in the comment box!

Published On: August 01, 2011