The Month (and Year) Ahead: Back to Basics with RA
Happy New Year! We hope you’ve had a wonderful holiday season, spending time with people you love best and the RA flares kept to a minimum.
Did you make a New Year’s resolution? Did you break it yet? If you’re like most people, resolutions to lose weight, get in shape and dust more aren’t going to last. Instead of making promises that won’t do anything except make you feel bad about yourself, we’d like to suggest a different approach. How about making a resolution to get more information about your condition? It’s simple, attainable and can be done while you’re surfing the Internet, looking for funny pet videos. Perfect, right?
Why are we suggesting such an easy thing?
Resolutions are about creating a new habit. Making the act of finding more information has far-reaching effects. Getting more information means you become more knowledgeable about your condition. This in turn makes it more likely that you will search out better care and be more empowered to work as a team with your healthcare providers. This can have a direct and profound impact on your health and your ability to live well with RA. This month, writers from the different HealthCentral sites will write about this topic.
Every year, we have a theme for RAHealthCentral, a topic which will guide much of our content throughout the next 12 months. The theme of 2014 is Back to Basics. Throughout this year, we will publish content that will help you increase your level of health literacy. We’ll support you by providing information that can build the foundation of becoming a knowledgeable and empowered person who has RA. We have some exciting content plans that I’m very much looking forward to sharing it with you!
Vanessa’s post for this month will kick off our 2014 theme, as she writes about educating ourselves on an ongoing basis and sharing information with others to raise awareness. Brad is touching on this theme from a slightly different angle, as well. He’ll write about mentoring, specifically on how veterans of RA can help those who are new to the disease adjust and adapt. My contribution to our back to basics theme will be writing about how to read a medical study.
We all have a unique story of how we developed RA – there are many commonalities, but just as many differences. Over the next several months, the RAHealthCentral team will share their story of when they first got RA and we hope you will do the same. Together, we will put together a clearer picture of the many different symptoms that can be part of this disease. This month, Lisa will tell us more about the beginning of her journey with RA.
Leslie is also writing about this topic, with a specific emphasis on family planning. She’ll be having a conversation with her rheumatologist about planning for a family and preventing birth defects and will share the results.
RA is an unexpected challenge and adapting to life with a chronic illness requires time and new coping skills. Lisa is tackling the topic of how to cope with unexpected challenges and shares tips on how to do so with your sanity intact. RA isn’t the only challenge that can put us to the test – regular life has a habit of throwing you curveballs, as well. Leslie will take a look at the past year and share her personal adventures and challenges.
We look forward to reading your stories over the coming months. You can connect with the team here on RAHealthCentral in SharePosts and our Q&A center, as well as on our Facebook page.