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Living With RA

Updated on August 16, 2014

Living with Rheumatoid Arthritis

I have been living with Rheumatoid Arthritis since 1996, so I wanted to gather the most useful information and links that I have found over the years, to hopefully help others that receive this life changing diagnosis.

I am a real patient that lives with this disease. I created this lens to provide support and information for other patients. I am not here to sell you snake oil, or take your money in order to profit on your pain. So many lenses and websites seek to take advantage of those of us with chronic illnesses in order to make a quick profit. My advice to anyone living with arthritis, is to find a doctor that you trust, and don't be fooled by magic pills, creams, and potions that promise to cure your disease.

By the way: The hand in the photo is mine. Not bad for a 48 year old that has had rheumatoid arthritis for all these years.

I look forward to meeting other people with RA. Please post your comments below, or feel free to contact me directly

hand photo, © Julianne Gentile

Get Moving! - exercise is the best medicine

I wish that more doctors would prescribe exercise for RA patients. Maintaining an exercise program has been the best medicine for me. Regular activity increases my mobility and energy level, while reducing my pain.

Leslie Sansone: Walk Away the Pounds
Leslie Sansone: Walk Away the Pounds

This is my favorite exercise program and I do this several days a week. There are three DVDs from an easy 1 mile to a high energy 3 mile. The exercises are easy on the joints, yet they really help me with my mobility and energy level.

 
Tai Chi for Arthritis (6 Languages Edition)
Tai Chi for Arthritis (6 Languages Edition)

This is a wonderfully relaxing program designed specifically for people with arthritis. I enjoy Tai Chi in the evening, or on days when I want a quiet workout. This is great for beginners.

 
Chair and Standing Routines: Ageless Yoga, Vol. 1 - Great for Seniors and for People Unable to Sit on the Ground
Chair and Standing Routines: Ageless Yoga, Vol. 1 - Great for Seniors and for People Unable to Sit on the Ground

This is a wonderful program of gentle exercise for seniors and others with more severe arthritis, or those that have been inactive for a long time.

 

Arthritis Magazines - stay up to date on Arthritis research, treatments, and other news

Arthritis Today
Arthritis Today

Monthly magazine containing articles for people with arthritis.

 

Disclaimer

I am not a doctor, I am a paitient. Please remember this, and discuss your questions and concerns with your doctor.

I'd love to hear from other people that are living with RA. Please take a moment to say hello.

RA Chatter

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  • Lady Lorelei profile image

    Lorelei Cohen 4 years ago from Canada

    I am not sure if you know but all windows computers have voice recognition software in them. Just go to your start menu and type it in the search box and you should be able to find it. It is not a perfect system but it does help you to accomplish more when the arthritis is painful.

  • profile image

    Donnette Davis 5 years ago from South Africa

    Just stopping by to say thank you for this very useful information on RA.

  • profile image

    julieannbrady 6 years ago

    RA did affect my grandma who lived in Cleveland, Ohio for most of her life. I wonder how the coldness of the weather might have affected her? And, had she moved to a warmer climate, like Florida, would she not have suffered so? I'm thankful that advances in therapy have helped those who suffer with RA.

  • profile image

    anonymous 6 years ago

    I don't have RA but sure do appreciate you gathering all these resources together for those seeking information.

  • profile image

    harryr 6 years ago

    Been living with arthritis myself for the past ten years. First few years were tough but everything changed once I started Remicade treatments, gave me my life back,

  • profile image

    anonymous 6 years ago

    @mysticmama lm: You are so lucky and so smart for using yoga. You are right about people, and their lack of common sense when it comes to RA. Have you been told that you need surgery on you hands? I would love to hear from you, as this is my situation, needing hand surgery, and not convinced that it wiil work.

  • profile image

    anonymous 6 years ago

    I have lived with RA for 15 years. I am gratefor for my Rheumatolgist who recommended

    rituxan infusions. I don't have stiffness in the morning, and have a normal life. My biggest

    problem is with my hands. My right hand is so deformed, I am considering surgery.

    Does anyone have any experience with hand surgery involving the tendons. I have seen

    3 hand surgeons and can't decide what to do. The recovery may take up to 3 months, which means you can not work, b/c you don't have use of your hands. I look forward to hearing from someone, anyone.

  • profile image

    anonymous 7 years ago

    My sister has RA. She does good some days and others not good. She now has it in her neck. Doctors told her if. she loses the bone in her neck. She will have a strokeon the left side and be in a wheel chair. She use to knit, and i notice when i was down this fall. Was going to show her how to make fudge.. Now i see why she cannot do it. The hand do not work. She is having real bad head aches. I know of the shots. And with out the shot she cannot walk. Does anyone know when this desease will take my sister? She looks like a little old lady. With a big heart..

  • profile image

    anonymous 7 years ago

    Thanks for this useful lens.

  • profile image

    anonymous 7 years ago

    Hello, you just got added to my favorites : ) Well just finally got the positive RF test yesterday (the forth test they have done). Not that I am happy it is just that I am in so much pain for the last two years and I have herd everything from I am depressed to it's in my head. So now off to meet the RA Dr. next month. I will not let bring me down at least I can start a treatment and hopefully get better use of my hands! Thank you for the blog useful information!

  • profile image

    anonymous 7 years ago

    Great resource for RA sufferers. Although I have no personal experience of it, my understanding is that it is debilitating, and that some days are worse than others. I hope you are able to get to a point where you are physically capable of opening your vegan restaurant and that it gives you the satisfaction and pleasure you desire. *SquidAngel Blessed*

  • mysticmama lm profile image

    Bambi Watson 7 years ago

    I was diagnosed with RA when I was 23 & thank Yoga for still having as much mobility as I still have ay 46. My RA didn't really start slowing me down until I hit my 40's ~ I find the hardest thing about having RA is trying to explain to other people how painful & physically limiting it can be, since people can't see RA unless they look at my swollen hands before the meds kick in, they often have a hard time believing it's real ~ or maybe that was just my unsupportive X lol :)

  • javr profile image

    javr 7 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

    We knew a wonderful aunt that struggled with RA back in the 1970's and 80's. It's interesting to see that exercise is helpful. Good luck!

  • profile image

    anonymous 7 years ago

    Thanks for helping spread the word!!

  • giacombs-ramirez profile image

    gia combs-ramirez 7 years ago from Montana

    What a great resource for those who have RA. May your own journey be always and all ways into better wellness and wholeness!

  • CrossCreations profile image

    Carolan Ross 7 years ago from St. Louis, MO

    Excellent support for RA on this well-formatted page. Lensrolled and faved. :-)

  • profile image

    anonymous 7 years ago

    For kids with JRA, check out JGCAF.org

  • profile image

    anonymous 9 years ago

    Good info here about RA. My daughter has Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis. The last 15 years have been quite challenging.

  • healthadvisor1 profile image

    healthadvisor1 9 years ago

    Very informative.

    Great lens. Rated it 5 stars.

    Feel free to visit http://personal-sexual-health.co.uk/

    because a healthy body is an investment.

  • profile image

    Dr_Joe 9 years ago

    Very informative.

    Great lens. Rated it 5 stars.

    Feel free to visit Weight Loss Diet Advice | Diet Plans | Diet Pills.

  • BarryKrost profile image

    BarryKrost 10 years ago

    Very informative lens. I don't have RA, but I have clients who do. I will send them here. Thanks.

  • juliannegentile profile image
    Author

    Julianne Gentile 10 years ago from Cleveland, Ohio, US

    I'm so sorry you had to go through this. I remember how frightening it was when I was first diagnosed. I thought my life was over, especially since I had just given birth to a baby and was afraid I'd never be able to hold her. Are you in remission now?

  • profile image

    Proximity-Freedom 10 years ago

    I am a 29 year old female and was diagnosed 2.5 years ago. went to bed fine and woke up the next morning unable to move my legs. Within about 3 days, I was hardly able to move anything and broke into a massive fever. I was suicidal when diagnoed, but have no come off medication and 90% better.

  • juliannegentile profile image
    Author

    Julianne Gentile 11 years ago from Cleveland, Ohio, US

    Be wary of the scammers on Squidoo. I am really disappointed by the lenses selling snake oil to those of us with arthritis and other chronic illnesses. Please speak with your rheumatologist before wasting your money on these "miracle cures" promised online.

  • juliannegentile profile image
    Author

    Julianne Gentile 11 years ago from Cleveland, Ohio, US

    Tai Chi is wonderful for RA. While it may not affect the disease, it does increase mobility. I would recommend Dr. Paul Lam's Tai Chi for Arthritis program.

  • oniyagi profile image

    oniyagi 11 years ago

    I'm curious about the effects of martial arts on RA. I know that there are a host of Tai Chi videos and books out there targeted towards people with arthritis, and I'd like to be able to recommend some to my MA blog readers as I have had some inquiries on the subject. If you have any info, I'd love

  • juliannegentile profile image
    Author

    Julianne Gentile 11 years ago from Cleveland, Ohio, US

    Hi Amanda, I'm sorry that your father has been suffering. I know it can be hard, but there is always hope. I was once very ill and now with good care, I feel pretty good most of the time.

  • profile image

    ABMarano 11 years ago

    My father has been living/suffering with RA for about 10 years. It has taken its toll on not only him, but our family - as he and my mom are still young and have 3 children in their young adult and teen years. I am always looking for new sites/suggestions that can help ease their pain.

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