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Ainslie Durnin

"For the last year or two, my pain has been like zero, like no pain. So I’ve made a really strong effort to be active and keep moving, because I think as long as you're moving, your body is working. But if you stop, that's when things seize up."

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Charlotte O'Shea

"Sometimes I feel guilty for needing other people. I’m stubborn and want to show that I can do things for myself."

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Gay Watters

"I didn’t know how long I was going to be able to move. Yoga has been a tremendous blessing. I feel the strength building."

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Heather Flores

"I used to become so frustrated when people would try to make suggestions of how to 'heal' myself. People who ‘doubt’ my level of illness can’t make me dismiss how I’m actually feeling."

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Jocelyn Phillips

"I’ve lost a lot of strength in my hands. That’s probably where my RA is the worst. Even though I’m not up to riding horses competitively anymore, I still ride. I can still chase other dreams. RA has not taken that away from me."

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Jodi McKee

"Pain is no fun. The first year or two it was really hard trying to figure out what was going on. Thankfully, I love doing creative things. It fuels me because I can lose track of time when I'm working on a project."

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Joseph Encinia

"Having grown up with arthritis and heart disease, I never really tried to make my body healthier. I was always told, 'Be careful, be careful! Don't do much, you know. Don't stress out. Something could trigger.' That's really the biggest part of what yoga has taught me with arthritis was how to have a balanced life so that I can enjoy myself."

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Joy Geltmacher

”I’d run when I could, during a non flare-up time. That would mentally help me. And now, of course, my running community totally helps me. Even when my labs dropped down and I’m not doing as good and I can’t run as fast, I know I have my friends to talk to.”

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Kat Elton

"Some days my body needs a lot of help and some days it doesn’t. The good days are when I get out there and ride my bike. It’s one of my favorite things in the world."

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Katherine Macfarlane

"I was diagnosed at 13 months and have never known life without doctors’ appointments or chronic pain. RA is this tremendous footnote to everything that I’ve done in my life."

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Keith Eshbock

”The diagnosis that I had RA was sort of a relief, to say, ’Okay, we got this. We know what’s going on. I’m an old guy. These things happen, and let’s treat it. Let’s do something about it’…I try to find something that is interesting to learn. Because winters in New Hampshire get a little bit long, it’s something to occupy the mind.”

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Kirsten Schultz

"I was given six weeks to live just before my sixth birthday. It was not the happiest birthday party. I made it through though, and after the age of seven, I didn’t see any more physicians until my senior year of college."

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Kris Klos

”It was scary at first…I had to sit down and try to figure out what the hell ’rheumatoid arthritis’ actually means., and understand it better, and find out what I can do to offset it. What I’ve learned, though, is you’ve got to listen. You really have to listen.”

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Lori Quinn

"I struggled with the label of ‘disabled.’ I didn’t want the world to see me that way and I didn’t want to buy the T-shirt and I didn’t want to be that…I shifted my focus to what do I want to do? How can I make a difference?"

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Mariah Leach

"During my pregnancy, I felt very alone and unsupported. Through my RA, my children will learn not to judge people by their appearance."

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Melody Kopsch

"I thought I was never going to be able to be active again. But now that I'm in remission, my plans have kind of gone back to how they were, and I know that if I do ever have a flare again or anything, I know that I can get through it because I've gotten through it once before."

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Nora Delaney

"You have good days and bad days, but your attitude on how you want to address those days is the most important thing. You have got to get out and you’ve got to get moving. Even if it means walking across your kitchen floor, you’ve got to keep those joints lubed up…when your whole body isn’t moving and your heart’s not beating, you’re not going to get out of the hole."

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Pattie Adams

"I have a hard time doing anything with my hands. The swelling got so bad that I had to have my wedding rings cut off. RA or not, continuing to paint is part of who I am. If I were to give up on my painting, I would not be me."

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Russel Bayh

"There are days that I'd like to go out there and work on something, and there are days that I have to limit what I can do because I hurt. Mentally you just try to stay in the game and somehow you work through the pain flare. Maybe the next weekend you can go out and play."

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Susan Klinker

"I know you feel like it, but it’s really not the end of the world. You can do things. You can do research. Don’t leave it up to your doctor to tell you how you’re going to do the treatment…after that, I started interviewing doctors. I said, ‘I don’t need to put up with this. I need a doctor who is going to have a dialogue with me.’"

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Twila Hiatt

"Just one slow little step in a walker and rehab, and a lot of patience, and I finally got back on my feet…I had pictures of my grandkids, just stared at them, going, ‘I’m gonna get better for them.’ And that’s what I wanted."