Wednesday, 5 February 2014

A Day In the Life

The members of the support group I've been in for ten years were thinking about Rheumatoid Awareness Day which occurred this week. In talking about A Day in their Lives with chronic disease some memorable comments came up.

Rosie says "One that you can't avoid considering is the extra diseases we have to deal with. Sometimes I wonder whether it matters if the fatigue is caused by my RA, Sjogren's or Fibromyalgia. This morning my eyes felt like they were sticking to my eyelids. Eye drops help but not enough."

Julie says "I know the first thing on my list is stretching/exercising my feet (so I don't get that awful plantar fasciitis) and trying to stand up, move and get my house coat on.

Then, I get in my Chair/stair lift that takes me downstairs.  I could go on from there and maybe I will do that.  I also use a knife to open up those "easy-open" tabs on milk cartons, etc." 

Lily says "I have a pill bottle opener that looks like this one.

My friend Ali bought it for me years ago and I use it every day."

I have asked my pharmacy to make sure that they put my medication into containers that are easy to open.  If it's child-proof, that's the same as RD proof for some of us.

Patti talked about bottles of all kinds "Some bottles I have found incredibly hard to squeeze, so I avoid buying them; some plastics are just too hard to squeeze. Like honey,mayonnaise,mustard, shampoo. I would also wish for RA to be more widely known about and understood, rather than people thinking you just have the odd achy joint."

She also mentions the problem of being stranded in snow and unable to shovel your way to your mailbox, another expense you don't need on a limited income.  She had to have a special car ignition key turner made because she could no longer use the regular key after her fingers got bad. She carries a rubber pad in her purse in case she needs to turn a doorknob.

I think Patti's rubber pad is a rubber circle like this to help with grip. (Canadian version)

The new cars with push button ignitions are much easier to start. It's so simple to get in the car and drive.

Also on the plus side Lily really enjoys being able to take as long as she needs to get ready in the morning. "One thing RA/RD has given me is the gift of time." (at a cost of course)

I'd agree that RA has given me a lot too. My life is not what I expected it to be; that's so common with or without chronic disease. 

After I retired I wanted to be able to volunteer in health care especially connected to RD. My wish came true in spades and even though I miss my clients and staff members, I have found my virtual life very exciting. It's quite possible to make your virtual life and your real meet up.

Still I do agree with what @angryblacklady tweeted one day. "Twitter is for introverts" And It was interesting watching the #MedX hangout a few weeks ago. Most the panelists said they were not outgoing so here's hoping when I'm at MedX this year I'll fit in. Though  fitting in at MedX is different from fitting in at most conferences.

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