Vanessa Collins

Patient Expert

Vanessa wrote for HealthCentral as a patient expert for Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA).

Latest by Vanessa Collins

The Truth About What RA Takes Away

Loss is part of the human condition. It is inevitable. The loss of a loved one quickly springs to mind when I think about this topic. That particular type of loss is pure anguish. There are other types of losses that we all experience in our lives. S...

You Might Have RA If"¦

A sense of humor is a gift. The ability to laugh at oneself is an even greater gift. Those of us living with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) have many challenges, but laughter in stressful situations can lift us up. Not all of the following situations are ...

How to Help a Friend with Chronic Illness

Would you like to do something meaningful for a friend in pain, but don’t know what they need? Here are ten suggestions.

10 Shopping Tips for People with Rheumatoid Arthritis

Shopping of any kind can sometimes be overwhelming and stressful. Add RA to that equation and you could find yourself avoiding shopping altogether. But it doesn’t have to be that daunting—follow these ten simple tips to make shopping an easier experi...

Custom Orthotics Soothe RA Feet

Living with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) often means living with foot pain. Topical anti-inflammatories (liquids and creams) can ease that pain to some extent. Warm water soaks can also help temporarily. When topical types of pain relief stop working, y...

Surviving the Demands of Caregiving

Taking care of someone else who is sick is hard enough, but what about when you have a chronic illness too?

Understanding People With RA

This open letter to the community offers insight for friends and family to better comprehend how RA affects someone’s life on a daily basis.

The Value of Random Acts of Kindness

Doing small, kind things for others, particularly strangers, can brighten up someone’s day–and help lighten your own frustrations.

Finding Support Online

Technology is neither good nor bad. It is like everything else. It depends on how you use it. Personally, I am thankful for the technology tools available to us today. If our hands are hurting, we can use the software, Dragon Naturally Speaking, to c...

Coping with the Stigma of RA

We have all worked with people who have required surgery to replace a knee or remove a body part that was no longer working as it should. We have worked with people who have been hospitalized with pneumonia. We have worked with people who have battle...