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Posts Tagged ‘Rheumatoid Arthritis’

Getting Ready for Your Night Out….Fabulous and Sick Style


When I was a little girl I would watch TV shows that would depict a very beautiful women getting ready for a date with her husband at her dressing mirror. I would always think, WOW, now that is glamour. Now my Mother was a single woman with a full time job and two kids so her getting dressed time consisted of a lot of running around and a quick stance in front of the mirror to put on her makeup. Till this day I am not sure how she could put on a whole face of makeup so quickly, but as all of us women know you do what you got to do to get things done. By the way, my Mother is the type of woman who has to at least have on concealer and lipstick to get the mail…LOL got to love her..

Needless to say, I don’t have that problem, I am sitting here now at a coffee shop, makeup free (BTW this Turkey, Pesto and Gouda grilled cheese is freaking Delish). I also don’t have the ability to go into the bathroom and come out in full makeup at the speed of Clark Kent in a telephone booth. Yes, it takes me a while. So I follow a few simple tips to get ready for my evenings out..

  1. I try to make any plans to go out in advance. I am not big on short notices, plus I like to rest up. If the evening is scheduled to start at 7 p.m., I usually take an hour nap around 3 p.m. This allows me to be well rested and clear headed.
  2. Shower time. I take a long hot shower to helps relax my muscles and get my joints nice and warm. Plus you just feel refreshed and energized.
  3. After my shower, I grab a snack and load up any needed pain medication. All while on the couch, lounging around before a night out helps to conserve your energy for later.
  4. Dressing time is always fun. I try to pick out my clothes and get them ironed the day prior. This helps to eliminate the feeling of being rushed and over exerted by the time your evening is scheduled to start.
  5. Time for the makeup chair. I Always Always grab my stool, now it is not a glamorous dressing table or anything like the ones they would show on tv, but it does help get me off my feet and sits me up high enough to see myself vividly in the mirror. My stool has truly been an Angel in this department, and it was $9.99, can’t beat that..
  6. Majority of my makeup is applied with long stem brushes. This helps alleviates stress on my hands, elbows and shoulders. They are pretty easy to find at any nice cosmetic store such as ULTA and Sephora. I usually buy them with coupons. They are not the cheapest, but if it helps to ease my pain, for me it is worth the investment.
  7. I typically use makeups that are on palettes.  It helps to eliminate the need to keep opening up multiple compacts, searching my make up drawer, everything is right there in front of me. I just sit on my stool and make myself extra pretty. 😉 I scoop up makeup palettes around Christmas time when they are on 50% to 80% markdown, you know I am not a full price type of girl..lol
  8. Now it is time to ‘Fix My Hair”. After make up, I do my hair, simple hairstyles, as I don’t have the energy or capability to get extra fancy, I get fancy via makeup and accessories.
  9. I get dressed, and then at the very last minute I put on my shoes, with my inserts of course. I also pack a pair of sandals in my car in case the inserts don’t get the job done.
  10. I check to make sure I have all the essentials in my purse  gum, comb, keys and of course pain medications.

All these tips can help with a wonder evening from a romantic dinner with a loved one to an after work affair. It is my routine every time; I try not to deviate too often because for me it just works. Now, of course you can tailor this to your specific needs, the goal it to leave out the door alert, well rested, looking fabulous and ready for a fun evening.

 

Great Answers to Important Questions..

June 21, 2011 3 comments

I came across some great information from the Mayo Clinic that I wanted to share. I am providing this information to continue to help dispel the belief that Rheumatoid Arthritis is just about swollen hands and achy joints. This information addresses the impact of RA on the Lungs and Eyes.

Can rheumatoid arthritis affect your lungs?

Answer

from April Chang-Miller, M.D.

Although rheumatoid arthritis primarily affects joints, it can also affect your lungs. In fact, lung problems from rheumatoid arthritis sometimes surface before joint problems. The most common lung problems associated with rheumatoid arthritis include:

  • Painful breathing. Rheumatoid arthritis can cause inflammation of the lining of the lungs (pleurisy). The inflammation can cause sharp pain while breathing.
  • Shortness of breath. Fluid due to inflammation of the lining of the lungs may accumulate around the lungs (pleural effusion). This accumulation can cause shortness of breath.
  • Lung nodules. Small lumps may form in the lungs (rheumatoid nodules), as well as in other parts of the body. Lung nodules usually cause no signs or symptoms, and they don’t pose a risk of lung cancer. In some cases, however, a nodule can rupture and cause a collapsed lung.
  • Scarring of the lungs. Rheumatoid arthritis can lead to scarring within the lungs. Signs and symptoms may include shortness of breath, chronic dry cough, fatigue, weakness and loss of appetite.

Contact your doctor promptly if you have rheumatoid arthritis and experience any unexplained breathing problems. Sometimes treatment is aimed at the underlying rheumatoid arthritis. In other cases, treatment involves medication to suppress the immune system or a procedure to remove fluid from the lungs.

Can rheumatoid arthritis affect the eyes?

Answer

from April Chang-Miller, M.D.

Rheumatoid arthritis is primarily a joint disease. However, rheumatoid arthritis occasionally affects other parts of the body — including the eyes. Eye conditions associated with rheumatoid arthritis may include:

  • Dry eyes. Generally, preservative-free artificial tears can ease the discomfort of dry eyes. It’s important to note that dry eyes also can be a symptom of Sjogren’s syndrome — an autoimmune disorder that’s often associated with rheumatoid arthritis.
  • Inflammation of the interior of the eye (uveitis). Uveitis may cause eye redness and pain, light sensitivity and blurred vision.
  • Inflammation of the membrane covering the white part of the eye (episcleritis). Episcleritis may cause sudden eye discomfort or redness.
  • Inflammation of the white part of the eye (scleritis). Scleritis is usually characterized by constant, severe eye pain and tenderness. Sometimes the white of the eye takes on the appearance of a deep violet color — deeper than the eye redness typically seen with episcleritis.
  • Glaucoma. Inflammation within the eye can affect the eye’s drainage system, ultimately leading to glaucoma — a condition that can result in blindness. Depending on the type of glaucoma, signs and symptoms may include gradual vision loss, eye pain or blurred vision.
  • Cataracts. Several factors may lead to clouding of the normally clear lens of the eye (cataracts), including inflammation within the eye and long-term use of corticosteroid medications often prescribed to treat rheumatoid arthritis. Signs and symptoms may include cloudy, blurred or dim vision.

If you have rheumatoid arthritis and experience eye pain, vision changes or other eye problems, consult an ophthalmologist for an evaluation. Also consult your rheumatologist. Early treatment can help prevent vision-threatening complications.

www.mayoclinic.com

How has RA made you realize What is Important ??

April 11, 2011 1 comment

I was reading a post in one of my favorite online chat rooms and notice the question of the day was “How has RA made you realize what is Important” and I thought to myself, WOW that is something to think about. So many times in my life I have found myself thinking about the limitations Arthritis has placed on my life, so it is refreshing to focus on the positive aspect of RA.

In my life I have had to make many adjustments to accommodate my illness, from my career choices (reduced hours, less stressful position, time off of work) to how I do my laundry (I use a butter knife to open the dryer door). But in making these adjustments, I have discovered wonderful things about life and myself. I now practice Yoga and Meditation, which has brought a new level of peace and calmness in my life, while providing some much needed stretching for my sore joints. The time I have spent in my practice has allowed me time to focus on the positive aspects of my life and listen to my heart, which has become inner teacher.

Physically, I have had to gain a confidence in a way I never thought would be required of myself.  My surgeries have left me with scars that are a tell sign of my condition. At first, I was ashamed of my scars and never wanted them to show. I even selected my clothes around which items hid my scars. But after much reflection, I have learned to accept these scars as a part of me and accept them as things that do not define me. Now I wear what I want, without any thought if someone will see my scars, because what is on the outside is not as important as what is within me. The medications I take for RA have harsh side effects that have caused extreme swings in my weight, resulting in a transformation that have brought me in and out of my comfort zone. To the point where people have ridiculed me and made me feel very self-conscious. But I noticed that my true friends, who were aware of my illness, loved me regardless of my size and never took a harsh position. Not to say they did not show concern, but they never made me uncomfortable. They always showed their support and love, which helped teach me about the importance of real friendship and love. As a result, I make a concerted effort to nourish and support my friendships, which is something I was not the best at doing in the past.

Overall RA has made me realize that Peace, Health, Happiness, Love for Myself and True Friendships are important to me in my life. These things are staples that I must have to ensure a joyful life and I don’t think I would have learned these things this early in my life if it were not for RA.

How has your illness made you realize What is Important?

Relationships Effects Rheumatoid Arthritis | Shelley Kasle | Arthritis Today Magazine | Arthritis Foundation

 

Interesting article evaluating the impact a positive relationship can have on RA. Focusing on the benefits of having a good communication network.

Relationships Effects Rheumatoid Arthritis | Shelley Kasle | Arthritis Today Magazine | Arthritis Foundation.

Initial Diagnosis..What You Should Know..

I came across some information from the Mayo Clinic on how to prepare for your initial doctors appointment and what to expect. Hopefully it will help prepare those of you who are in the early stages of being diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis. When I was initially diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis, I had no clue what it meant. I was basically told it was an auto immune disease that causes my body to attack itself, primarily my joint tissue. With that information, I thought, OK, so now I understand why I am in pain. But I really didn’t understand all the other symptoms I was having and how they related to me being diagnosed with RA.  Without understanding there was a connection between certain things I was experiencing and RA, during my first few visits I only focused on discussing a few symptoms primarily focusing on pain. Why, because that is what I understood RA to about, PAIN. Now, years later after much research and discussions with my doctor, I understand a RA diagnosis is more than experiencing pain. I should have also been discussing pain management, fatigue, anxiety, appetite, exercise and various other issues. Hopefully this information will help to provide you with a more informed office visit.

Preparing for your appointment

By Mayo Clinic staff

While you might first discuss your symptoms with your family doctor, he or she may refer you to a rheumatologist — a doctor who specializes in the treatment of arthritis and other inflammatory conditions — for further evaluation.

What you can do
Write a list that includes:

  • Detailed descriptions of your symptoms, including when they started and if anything makes them better or worse
  • Information about medical problems you’ve had in the past
  • Information about the medical problems of your parents or siblings
  • All the medications and dietary supplements you take
  • Questions you want to ask the doctor

What to expect from your doctor
During the physical exam, your doctor will check your joints for swelling, redness and warmth. He or she will also check your reflexes and muscle strength.

In addition to the physical exam, your doctor might order imaging and laboratory tests to help determine the cause of your signs and symptoms. Rheumatoid arthritis can be difficult to diagnose in its early stages because its early signs and symptoms mimic those of many other diseases. And no one test or physical finding confirms the diagnosis.

Blood tests
People with rheumatoid arthritis tend to have an elevated erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR, or sed rate), which indicates the presence of an inflammatory process in the body. Other common blood tests look for rheumatoid factor and anti-cyclic citrullinated peptide (anti-CCP) antibodies.

X-rays
Your doctor may recommend X-rays to help track the progression of rheumatoid arthritis in your joints over time.

www.mayoclinic.com

Make Your Feet Say…”I’m Pretty”

Spring is quickly coming upon us,,well depending on what part of the country you live in..Because 30 degrees and snow flurries is not my idea of spring. But anyway, it is a great excuse for summer wardrobe shopping, the focus..SHOES SHOES SHOES!!

The wedges are supposed to be big this season, and I am a fan, except when you have RA you much chose closely..So while others are admiring the stilts of Christian Louboutin, we must focus on the Born, Softt and Clarks of the world. However, if you look closely, they have truly stepped their game up in the world of stylish shoes..making the wedge a possible friend to the Arthritis community. These a few of my favorites:

Ravia by Sofft: Its not a wedge, but I love this great gladiator like sandal for lunching with the girls to flirting with the man or the potential man in your life. The Walking Company

UGG Zamora Poppy Suede: I know most people associate Ugg with winter boots, however they make a very nice comfy sandal, and this flirty color is so hot.Zappos

B.O.C. by Born Clay Women’s Jamaica: This shoe just spells summer and because it is made by Born you know it will be a favorite of your feet. This is must for my summer shopping list.Famous Footwear

If you have any leads on Fabulous and Comfy Shoes, please let me know as I am always searching 😉

Also, what are some of your favorite shoe websites?

Fatigue You Can’t Hold me down..Oatmeal You are No Help..lol

March 25, 2011 2 comments

The other day I mentioned to a friend I was exhausted and was headed home early to turn in. My friend replied that I should eat Oatmeal for breakfast, as she had started eating Oatmeal and it has been giving her energy for the day, SMH!! Now, If the Quaker Oatmeal man can cure the fatigue of RA, I would have bought stock in Quaker years ago. But Oatmeal doesn’t do squat for fatigue. So I came across this article which was shared by a participant of  an online support group and decided I must share as Fatigue is one of the underline issues of RA that many people tend not to acknowledge.  However, on those days when you either just can’t get out of the bed, or you just can’t wait to get home to get in bed, you are reminded that Fatigue is part of RA. And contrary to popular belief, feeling tired and fatigue are DIFFERENT.

Mastering the Impact of Fatigue in Rheumatoid Arthritis

http://www.hss.edu/conditions_mastering-impact-fatigue-ra.asp