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Vanessa Collins

Patient Expert

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

Latest by Vanessa Collins

A man brings a care package to a friend with a chronic illness.

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.

Custom Orthotics Soothe RA Feet

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...

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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.

Finding Support Online

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...

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Balancing The Benefits and Risks Of Steroid Injections

It may not seem as though winter is over, but Spring is officially here. It has been a long, cold winter season. I know we are all ready for some bright sunshine and yellow daffodils blowing in the breeze. Spring often spurs us to action… Out with th...

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Sero-Negative RA: Early Symptoms, Denial & Diagnosis

** **"You have Sero-negative RA," my new rheumatologist. Dr M said. She was mater-of-fact. No doubt in her voice or her demeanor. My reply was, "I know." I was strangely calm that day, May 10th, 2011. I had known in my heart for ...

Do Not Be Afraid To File For FMLA Protection

Do Not Be Afraid To File For FMLA Protection

The first thing I did was call Human Resources and ask how to go about filling FMLA paperwork.