The Month Ahead: Stigma Contest and Living Your Life with RA

  • Wow! Over several weeks in June and July, the community sent in some incredible submissions in the HealthCentral anti-stigma photo contest. I’d encourage you to pop over to the contest page to see some truly inspirational stories of persevering with chronic illness. While you’re there, why not vote for your favorite? You can help that person win $500!


    The anti-stigma photo contest was very much about raising awareness and fighting misperceptions of chronic illness in a positive way. Through this contest, we hope to show that life goes on when you have a chronic illness. It may look somewhat different and you may have to do certain things in a different way, but ultimately, we continue living our lives, including some wonderful successful accomplishments!

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    This month on HealthCentral’s RA site, we are focusing on that very aspect. Life goes on, but RA does affect many aspects of your life. The RA team will bring you information on how to manage and adapt.


    A big part of adapting is feeling relatively well. Treatment is of course a big part of that, but there are other things that can affect how well you’re coping. Vitamin D plays a role in managing pain and Lisa will explore the topic of RA, pain and vitamin D. Speaking of pain, it’s an unfortunate fact of life that sometimes, we get injured. Earlier this year, Vanessa broke her shoulder and wrist and spent the next several months learning how to recover from an injury with RA. She’ll share her experience and wisdom with us.


    RA affects your daily life and how you work with tools. This month, two of our writers are going to focus on aspects of your life that can include sharp instruments. Marianna will be sharing shortcuts for the kitchen and offering tips on how to make cooking with RA a lot easier. Many of us have hobbies, but the pain of RA can put a damper on our ability to use our hands. Brad is passionate about woodworking and will share how he’s been able to continue his hobbies and what difference it makes in his life.


    This year, our writers have shared their stories of how they live with their condition and this month, Leslie will talk about her life with Lupus and RA. Chronic illness can create challenges in many aspects of your life and marriage is no exception. Research shows that a chronic illness can have a serious impact on relationships. Later this month, Lisa will write about how to keep your marriage healthy when one partner has a chronic illness.


    Although we’re all very much in summer and vacation mode here in the northern hemisphere, August is traditionally a time when back-to-school topics start entering the conversation. Leslie is headed for the second year in her MA in Health Advocacy and she’ll write about going back to school with a chronic illness.


    You may have noticed that I haven’t included any topics for myself this month. That’s because I’ll be taking August off. I’ll still be writing, though — it’s time to get serious about my next book. Be good to yourselves and each other while I’m gone and I’ll see you in September!


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    The rest of the RA team will still be here, looking forward to hearing your stories of how you live with RA both on the site and on our Facebook page. Don’t forget to vote in the antistigma photo contest every day until August 8! And just before I go… The photo contest may be over, but that doesn’t mean that we should stop celebrating our accomplishments. I encourage you to keep celebrating the big and small accomplishments of your days. And please tell us about what makes you proud.

Published On: August 04, 2014