how to advocate for yourself

The Month Ahead: Family, Friends & the Holidays

Lene Andersen Health Guide November 01, 2012
  • The last few days have been worrisome for all of us. We've been worrying about those in our community who live on the East Coast in the path of Hurricane Sandy. We hope you got through it with yourself and your possessions intact. Please leave a comment to let us know how you made it through. Did the atrocious weather affect your RA? Was your ability to be prepared and get through these difficult days affected by your disease?

     

    Buddha said that "a family is a place where minds come in contact with one another." In this way, the RAHealthCentral community is a family made of friends. We are there for each other when there’s no one else to turn to. We cry and laugh with each other. And every time we connect, our minds come into contact and we create another moment of family.

     

    The November HealthCentral theme is family and friends. How does your RA affect your family and friends and your relationships with them? How do you deal with family gatherings and other get-togethers? Has RA made your relationships stronger or caused cracks? How do you share information about RA and your reality with the people you know? Writers from many HealthCentral sites will explore these topics - on the RAHealthCentral team, look for posts from Leslie and V.

     

    November is the start of the holiday season, cause of many gatherings of family, friends and colleagues. The intensity of preparing for the holidays and the heightened social life puts extra stress on everyone, but for people who live with a chronic illness, the stress can cause flares of symptoms. In her second post, Leslie will write about preparing for the holidays with RA. We hope you will share your tips on how to get through it all in one piece, as well.

     

    Being at a holiday party or family gathering is one of those situations which many people with RA in an at times awkward position. Do you have a glass of wine or don't you? Would alcohol interact with the medication you take? Can you drink alcohol in moderation or not at all? Later this month, I'll write a post with more information about this important topic.

     

    Medications cost money. Sometimes a lot of money. Last month, the larger HealthCentral theme was about the cost of chronic illness and staying healthy. Carrie Beth will continue this theme into this month, writing about FSA accounts and how they can help you stay afloat.

     

    We take the meds because they help us suppresses disease that can cause so many problems, not just in our joints. RA is a systemic disease, affecting other systems in the body, such as your heart and your lungs. Brad has recently had a scare involving his lungs and will write about his experience and the lung issues that can happen with RA.

     

    November is the occasion for many awareness events and one of them relates to arts and health. Lisa, our resident musician, will tackle this topic, writing about the role our place in her life with RA.

     

    We look forward to the discussions these posts will create in the RAHealthCentral family. Check out our Facebook page for another way of our minds coming into contact with one another. Every week, the RAHealthCentral team members will post photos and stories in our RA2day awareness campaign on our Facebook page - we hope you will, too!