Patients Rheumatoid arthritis
What are your biggest daily challenges while living with RA?
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EVERYDAY LIFE WITH RHEUMATOID ARTHRITIS
Rheumatoid arthritis causes joint pain and swelling, reduced mobility and physical weakness. General tiredness, trouble sleeping and exhaustion are other common symptoms. All of these symptoms can greatly affect your everyday life and overall wellbeing.
Living with rheumatoid arthritis isn't always easy. One reason is because it's often difficult to predict the symptoms: They may get better or worse the next day – it's hard to know in advance. Having a "bad" day can be very difficult and make some people feel like they have fallen down into a deep dark hole. This can be made worse by worries about the future because it's so difficult to predict how the condition might develop in each person. But various treatments can stop the condition from getting worse or slow it down.
It's common to have stiff and painful joints in the morning, making it difficult to get up and start the day. Everyday chores like cooking, laundry, cleaning, garden work and recreational activities can become a challenge as the disease progresses.
But many people develop strategies to better manage daily activities over time. One example: When you do laundry, you don't necessarily need to hang up the entire load all at once. You could start with only some of the wet, heavy clothes and then finish the rest later on. There are a number of different devices and aids that can help make it easier.
Most people who have rheumatoid arthritis still want to mainly manage on their own in everyday life despite having the condition. Support from family and friends is then especially important. It's also important for them to have a good understanding of the condition and the associated limitations it can cause.
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I have had RA for over 5 years now and like your mother, getting going in the morning tends to be the most difficult. I used to live in New York and it was much worse then, but since I have moved to Arizona the heat seems to have helped to a certain extent.
Another difficult thing is to button my pants! I have actually began to buy stretchy waistbanded jeans to get rid of that problem!
One of my biggest struggles is going grocery shopping, especially when I am flared up. However, what I do to cope with this or make it easier, is I order groceries online using Amazon Prime or my local grocery, which delivers. This helps because I do not have to go up and down the aisles pushing the cart, lifting the items I need, and then loading and unloading the groceries. Instead I just carry the groceries from my doorstep to the counter.
If I am home, which I usually am, I even have asked the delivery man to bring them in for me!
One of the biggest struggles I have is holding silverware, especially when I need to cut food with a knife. I was always so self-conscious about this, but I have gotten better.
I actually purchased special silverware that is made toward those suffering from RA. The silverware is larger, has a comfort grip, and is tilted for easier use. I have also tried silverware that is like a strap around your hand, which does not require use to use your fingers and thumbs. The muscles of your hand and elbow basically do all the work. This makes it much easier for those in advanced stages of RA.
I would recommend such silverware to anyone who is having a lot of trouble eating with and using the regular silverware. It is awkward at first when you use this type of silverware around others, but we should not be ashamed of our diagnosis. We should do whatever it takes to make life simpler, easier, and more enjoyable.
I agree with others on here, for me getting up in the morning is so hard, I really struggle with fatigue. Type and using a mouse at work can also be painful, I recently asked my company if I can get a special mouse and desk setup, we'll see if they approve it!
I am 24 and was diagnosed last month with RA, but I noticed symptoms in the middle of March. For me, the biggest struggle is holding onto anything with my hands. It hurts to carry my phone, carry a water bottle, open doors, or even typing on my laptop. Also the pain I feel when I first wake up in the morning makes it impossible to fall back asleep, so most days once I wake up once I am awake for the rest of the day.
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I’m currently in a flare up and right now I’m experiencing a few struggles: slow moving, brain fog, I dropped a large glass bottle of hot sauce due to hand tremors. Luckily for me when I hang out with my friends from church and we go hiking or canoeing, they’re always looking out for me.
I have the same struggles as everyone else. I’m 38 and I was diagnosed at 18. Lately I have more difficulty preparing meals or doing stuff at work. I am a teacher. Exercising helps a lot and faith in Christ!
How are you today? Have you seen this discussion yet?
What are some of the biggest challenges in daily life with RA? Is it the joint pain or stiffness? The fatigue? The treatments? Something else?
@Mband5003 @Monimac51 @Dlancrn @Steene @CatK2021 @Houghemani @leaftheif2000 @Vergeson_84 @Fionad69 @TuffyOneKenobi @chrissymka @Ma3casto @anablus81 @TARA MOM @Lorifitts @srrmaui @ShareQ81 @Akinney1974
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Courtney_J, Community Manager, Carenity US
@Courtney_J Swelling in feet. It has been determined that I have a partial lung collapse. After seeing a Pulmonologist and having a scope done it was determined that I have had this for a "while" and did not know this. Two weeks ago, I had an episode of shortness of breath after seeing my cardiologist. This took place while I was walking to my car in the hospital parking garage. I was assigned by the hospital's rapid response team and was taking to the ER then hospitalized for observation overnight. It turns out that I had twenty pounds of fluids around my heart. Now I will be seeing a Heart Failure Specialist. The HFS doctors that are in the office with my cardiologist only see patients until 2 pm each day which is not convenient for folks that still work so I will be seeing a HFS that sees patients that still work as she is more accommodating for work schedules for folks that still work. She is very down to earth and more concerned with health of folks than their own work schedules. The HFS that I will see even treated Jerry Garcia of the Grateful Dead which I think is cool. She is awesome as is her NP. She also treats my husband.
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