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 ...

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.

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

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

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...

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...