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!


Tags: health, rheumatoid