Daily things I do for living with RA

I am pretty open about what conventional and alternative therapies I use and how they impact my life- sorry in repairing my blog this year I have also lost a number of tags so will go back and tag all my health posts in the near future.

But I do also make daily care decisions so thought I’d sahre some.

Shower: Regardless of the time of day this is my first real therapy. The heat from the shower is so important to me moving I cannot even begin to express how lucky I feel to have this nearly every day. We are on a low rate so we get a lot of days where our cyclinder is disconnected during peak peariods and that has a pretty profound impact on how I can manage for the day.

For my disease and how it works in me applied heat offers immediate benefit. I am not sure why, you’d think it was too similar to inflammation to work, but I suspect it opens up the tiniest blood vessels to help with circulating the build up of immune debris. Many find ice helps, and I suspect it’s because it slows down migration of immune cells into the area, so that is a really interesting contrast in physiological reactions!

My shower is the time where I can brush my teeth and wash my face very easily, and I do both towards the end of my shower- it takes a while for my hands to warm up enough to do this and yes, laws of physics apply and there is a fairly rapid cooling off of extremities once the shower is over!

But it’s also a chance for my spine and ribs to also get mobile and that helps make breathing easier.

Food: Ah. Most people offer a lot of advice on diet, for me there is no difference in my disease activity based on diet. I have no real allergies or intolerances except some annoying reactions to acidic food or sticky starches.

I have friends with both allergies and intolerances and I do not share any overlap of symptoms. I am very lucky to have lactase persistance as milk is amazing for helping with the possible/maybe Sjogrens that often accompanies RA. I can start the day with a milky drink and not you know, choke on my medication or food 😉

I do try to stick to food that has not been heavily processed. I am though very lucky to live where I do that I can have this option.

I do also try to get protein- B12 is a big issue for me it gets depleted very quickly, totally disease related as well as medication. I used to be vegetarian (zero iron or B12 issues at the time) and last year started reintroducing meat. I cannot tolerate red meat- I notice health issues fairly rapidly, so I have found a balance. I have a lot of salmon, and I occasionally have sardines. I am not sure if it is benefiting my joints but I haven’t really had an issues with iron or B12 so there is a very definite health benefit there. I try and find the options with least environmental impact and I am very lucky again that this option is there.

Ergonomic factors: I have a super lightweight mouse for my computer. It’s a cheapie and I have cleaned it out a few times but it only has an impact in terms of clicking. I have my desk as a height where I can rest my arms on it and I generally type sideways and with frequent breaks even while in the middle of a sentence. I rely on error detecting in different apps and am really happy that Chrome offers spelling options. I prefer that to auto correct so I can learn what errors I regularly do so I can try and avoid them.

I like to sit with my knees pressure free so this means I will put cushions on seats and I rarely sit on the sofa. This means I’m usually sitting upright or in bed or standing so it can be a bit of a challenge energy wise. I find myself having to switch righ on or right off. So that is an area I’d like to explore.

There are more, so I may try and think of a few.

Oh mugs! Ugh, I have a lot of trouble holding mugs so I really love my tiny little plastic tumbler that works for hot and cold drinks. On the flipside the heat from hot drinks in ceramic mugs on my fingers is wonderful!