Monday, July 7, 2014

Living with Arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis is a not just another medical phase for me, it is a way of life and one I have dealt with for too long already. There is no known cure for rheumatoid arthritis currently, so unless one is found or it just vanishes from my body, I must deal with it as the flare-ups occur.

I am very fortunate to have only had a few bad flare- ups with the rheumatoid arthritis within the past eight years that have required more then a few days worth of heavy Motrin, and I credit that with diet, mediation, aromatherapy and keeping a positive mind and body connection.

Diet, not a weight loss diet, but a healthy diet can help diminish the pain we feel during a flare-up with the rheumatoid arthritis. Red meats are typically though of as having a bad side effect of triggering an episode so I typically do not eat red meat. Do not get me wrong I enjoy a nice well-done cheeseburger just as much as the next person, but I very rarely have the cheeseburger.

The Mayo Clinic says there is no proof that eliminating some foods from the diet actually works, but I notice the difference when I eat certain food. Some people and even doctors will tell a rheumatoid arthritis patient that extra doses of fish oil, vitamins c, and e will help reduce the pain along with citrus fruits.

This site Alternatives 4 Arthritis gives a listing of foods that some people have given up in order to lead a less painful life when they have rheumatoid arthritis. I also have limited my intake of cheese, chocolate, caffeine, and processed meats because they are known migraine triggers I am not sure if they are also keeping my rheumatoid arthritis flare ups to a minimal amount I can handle.

Mediation is also something I do for the rheumatoid arthritis as well as the migraines and I do feel it helps. When I do have a painful flare-up and feel the need for extra pain relief I will slip into deep meditation and direct the white light towards whatever part is being affected during the time.

The white light for those who may not know about it, it a pure form of positive mental energy that you send from your mind to the affected areas and it is for pain relief. I choose to listen to deeply relaxing music as I mediate and it is usually soft music with the beach sounds as well. It works wonderfully to reduce the pain of my rheumatoid arthritis when used with Motrin.

Aromatherapy is an excellent way of helping your other treatments work better when you have a rheumatoid arthritis flare-up. I choose to use vanilla or peppermint, to make me feel better, such as my rice bags have cinnamon and a vanilla stick closed within, and I burn peppermint or vanilla candles during mediation.

During a painful rheumatoid arthritis flare-up that I cannot shake, I will take a very warm bath with vanilla bath crystals, and burn a vanilla candle as I soak and meditate. The deep relaxation, aromatherapy, and warm water will usually bring some much-desired relief from the rheumatoid arthritis.

Lastly keeping a positive mind and body connection is important to me to keep the painful flare ups of rheumatoid arthritis to a minimum. I listen to my body, when it says take a rest I do so, listening to your body can help immeasurably in the fight against rheumatoid arthritis. 

Currently I am a freelance writer working from home, I often find myself sitting in a chair. I force myself to get up at least once an hour and do some activity such as dishes, vacuuming or general housework. I have learned that if I sit or stand too long it will cause pain and I simply I do not have the time for pain.

I try to control my rheumatoid arthritis so that it does not control me, perhaps some will bulk at my methods, but they work for me. My rheumatologist knows I only see him as I need to and that I would rather try natural alternatives to medications, and he says that is fine as long as I am comfortable.

I am very fortunate not to experience the awful flare-ups that some patients report with rheumatoid arthritis, and for that, I am thankful.

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