After a month filled with awareness events about arthritis and other types of chronic illness, we are ready to switch tracks in June.
The journey to adapt to life with RA takes many forms and it’s important to find a balance. Last month HealthCentral’s RA site turned outwards — we are especially proud of our #ChronicLife Twitter event — but it’s time to bring it back. To that end, throughout the month of June, we will focus on your body and how to take care of it.
As you know, RA is a systemic disease, which means it can affect not just the joints, but also other systems in the body (eyes, organs, vascular system). One of the reasons we take medications for our disease is to protect all the systems in our bodies from the damage RA inflammation can cause. However, those medications also have the potential for side effects, some of them serious. Later this month, I’ll look at how you can protect your kidneys and make sure they keep supporting you.
Vanessa is also going to look at the systemic aspects of RA. She’s had some issues with her eyes recently and will write about her experience. In another post, I’ll stay inside the body, telling you how to make what’s inside visible. Which is a mysterious way of saying I’ll write about imaging tests.
Getting through day-to-day life can be a real challenge. It’s not just about having trouble opening a jar of pickles. There are so many other tasks in daily life that takes more effort or are downright impossible. But there are ways to get around the obstacles. Leslie will tell you all about occupational therapy and what it can do for you.
Life with RA is full of transitions. One particular group that’s facing an unique challenge is young adults who were diagnosed with juvenile arthritis and are now transitioning out pediatric treatment and into being an adult with inflammatory arthritis. Britt will explore the particular challenges of this group and tell us how she managed.
What’s common to us all in life with RA is a lot of appointments in the health care system. How do you juggle it all? Marianna has some excellent tips that are bound to improve your experience. Leslie is going to talk about another aspect of increased participation in the health care system: patient safety.
How do you take care of your body? What kind of articles would you like to see on adapting to life with RA? Tell us in the comments. You can also ask questions in our Q&A section and visit us on our Facebook page.
Lene Andersen is the Community Leader for HealthCentral’s RA Community. Lene (pronounced Lena) is an award-winning writer, health and disability advocate, and photographer living in Toronto. She’s written several books, including Your Life with Rheumatoid Arthritis: Tools for Managing Treatment, Side Effects and Pain, and 7 Facets: A Meditation on Pain, as well as the award-winning blog, The Seated View. Follow Lene on Twitter @TheSeatedView and on Facebook. Watch her story on HealthCentral.