The Month Ahead: Turning Points and Life with Rheumatoid Arthritis

Patient Expert

Just last week, the ice in the Toronto harbour melted and for the first time in months, there is open water to be seen. My windows are no longer frozen in fact, they're open, letting in the fresh air and I'm wearing lighter sweaters. The seasons have reached the turning point. Winter is on its way out and spring is inching in. Later this month, Vanessa will share her joyful view on spring`s arrival.

HealthCentral is committed to helping you live well with RA by bringing you reliable information and inspiring stories in new and innovative ways. This month on the RA site, we are celebrating turning points in a number of different ways.

This is inspired by new stories in our groundbreaking Live Bold Live Now series. These are slightly different than the profiles of myself and fellow RA site writer Brad Carlson. The new stories are shorter and feature conversations between the person profiled and someone who played an important role in their turning point. In this new Live Bold Live Now feature, Gay Watters, Jodi McKee, and Robin Edds talk about their turning points, from struggling to living well with RA. These are three amazing and inspiring women and I encourage you to watch their stories today.

Another turning point is a new way to connect with you in the community. Britt is changing her role from writer to social ambassador. This will enable us to connect with you on social media in a variety of new ways, making the RA site even more responsive to the topics you care about. Watch for Britt's post later this month explaining her new role.

An important turning point in life with RA can be the moment you start identifying patterns. This can be patterns related to pain, flares, side effects, fatigue, and many other aspects of life with this disease.

In the next few weeks, I will post an article about the new CreakyJoints Arthritis Power app, describing the behind-the-scenes work of developing this powerful new tool that includes our voice in arthritis research. Taking a step away from technology, Marianna's post looked at the different patterns that can contribute to flares and how identifying them can help you manage this part of life with RA.

Dealing with pain is a big part of our lives. This month, we have several posts on different aspects of managing chronic pain. Massage can be an important tool for pain management and Leslie will write more about this topic. Mindfulness is another technique that many have found useful in dealing with chronic pain. Later this month, I'll interview the author of In Your Own Hands, a doctor who has firsthand experience with chronic pain and mindfulness practice.

It isn't just about what you do to physically and mentally cope with pain. It's also about the reactions of others and that can be a real challenge. Do others understand your pain? Do they accept what you have to do to deal with pain? In her second post this month, Leslie will write about explaining pain to others.

To make sure you don't miss any of these posts or our other content, you can subscribe to the RA site newsletter, as well as other HealthCentral newsletters. Go to your profile and click on the fifth tab along the top to manage your subscriptions. You can also subscribe to an individual writer's posts by clicking on their name to go to their profile. On the right-hand side of the profile by the area called Recent Activity, you will find a subscribe button.

Have you experienced a turning point in your life with RA? We look forward to hearing your stories, both here on the RA site and our Facebook page.