The Month Ahead: Setting Goals for Living with Rheumatoid Arthritis

Patient Expert

And it’s official: Summer is here! For so many of us who live with chronic illness, the warmer—and somewhat more steady—temperatures means we get the chance to spend some time outside instead of being locked in our homes. For me, one of the best things about this time of year is thinking about the things I want to do before winter settles in again.

Before I get started on what’s coming in June on the RA site, I want to share the news that Vanessa will no longer be writing for us. She is facing some health and life challenges and has decided to focus her energy on those so she can get better. We are going to miss her warmth and compassion in this community.

Planning can be a challenge with rheumatoid arthritis (RA). You may make plans and set goals, but the disease can get in the way, delaying — or even cancelling — what you had wanted to do. This month, we are focusing on how to set goals for the future and work towards achieving them in a way that makes sense when you live with chronic illness.

The RA team is going to approach this theme in different ways. I will write about setting goals with your healthcare team to better manage your RA. Britt is planning a post about how to maintain a healthy diet and exercise plan that can help your RA and what to do when the disease gets in the way. Marianna is going to leapfrog off this topic, writing about how to incorporate the kind of visualization used by athletes to move forward with RA. Anna’s perspective on setting goals will be to help you remember to do the little things that make up your everyday life and improves your days.

We are also going to take a look at kids. Or rather having them versus not having them. I’ll be writing about fertility and infertility when you have RA. Leslie will take a look at birth control and how this disease may impact your choices.

We are not going to forget about summer. Many of us live with sun sensitivity, either due to our condition or the medications we take to control it. In her second post for the month, Leslie will write about finding a way to enjoy summer when you are sensitive to the rays of the sun.

Many of us drive to where we want to go and for those of us who are having trouble walking, getting a handicap sticker for the card can be important. Later this month, I’ll give you some tips on how to get one.

For those of you who are more active and enjoy athletic pursuits, Anna is planning a very cool post. As you know, she enjoys running and will share information about beginner-friendly fun runs to help you stay active with RA in an enjoyable way.

Join the conversation here in the comments section, or on our active and friendly Facebook page. We look forward to seeing you!

What are your plans for the summer?

Lene writes the award-winning blog The Seated View. She’s the author of Your Life with Rheumatoid Arthritis: Tools for Managing Treatment, Side Effects and Pain and 7 Facets: A Meditation on Pain_. _