Managing Rheumatoid Arthritis: Weathering RA

Managing RA like weather

I love brisk frosty mornings. They seem to make you step brighter. I feel like I can do anything on a day that begins that way.
I love cool crispy evenings when you can wear soft fuzzy socks. They say comfort is possible; the world is a cozy place.
I love wind. And clouds. They speak of movement, freedom, transformation.
I love all kinds of storms because they are unpredictable and strong. They remind me that the world is powerful and thrilling.
Snow is one of my favorite things on the earth. Snowflakes are evidence that God delights in making us each unique. And that He renews all things; a little coat of snow makes the world entirely new!

RA can be like a rainout

It’s funny how anything – even the weather – can influence our attitude. We have expectations, whatever they are, and we are disappointed when they are not met: Rainouts are disturbing.

And a diagnosis of Rheumatoid Arthritis can be seen as an immense rainout.

What we need is a plan to weather the storm. What will we do if things get worse? How will we be managing Rheumatoid Arthritis for a few more decades?

Resignation versus buoyancy

It is one thing to tolerate bad circumstances. We have all had a time when we had to “stick it out.” That is resignation.

But, it is another thing to actually persevere. That is to continue on with an attitude of persistence and resilience. That is the spirit of survival that is so prevalent in the breast cancer awareness movement.

It is toughness, but it is more than that. What I am describing is buoyancy. Weather buoys are built to weather the weather. Yes, they are bounced around, but they still send out signals defiantly. Our goal is to be like that.

My best friend is always reminding me, “You are the beach ball.” Yes, I get pushed under, but I am buoyant. So I push back up. You do get wet in the storm, but you are not shipwrecked. You don’t stay down.

As RA’ers, most of our days are filled with difficulties. Sometimes, we find shelter in God’s love. Other times, we huddle together and weather the weather with one another.

Nevertheless, I am praying for lots more of those days that I call “no weather” days. You know the kind of day? You can do whatever you feel like doing and you don’t sweat it.

Appreciating change

There is no season such delight can bring
As summer, autumn, winter and the spring. ~William Browne

Recommended reading:

Kelly Young

Kelly Young is an advocate providing ways for patients to be better informed and have a greater voice in their healthcare. She is the president of the Rheumatoid Patient Foundation. Kelly received national acknowledgement with the 2011 WebMD Health Hero award. Through her writing, speaking, and use of social media, she is building a more accurate awareness of Rheumatoid disease aka Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) geared toward the public and medical community; creating ways to empower patients to advocate for improved diagnosis and treatment; and bringing recognition and visibility to the Rheumatoid patient journey. In 2009, Kelly created Rheumatoid Arthritis Warrior, a comprehensive website about RA of about 950 pages and writes periodically for other newsletters and websites. Kelly served on the Mayo Clinic Center for Social Media Advisory Board. There are over 42,000 connections of her highly interactive Facebook Fan page. She created the hashtag: #rheum. Kelly is the mother of five, a home-schooler, Bible teacher, NASA enthusiast, and NFL fan. You can also connect with Kelly by on Twitter or YouTube, or LinkedIn. She has lived over nine years with unrelenting Rheumatoid disease. See also http://www.rawarrior.com/kelly-young-press/

24 thoughts on “Managing Rheumatoid Arthritis: Weathering RA

  • July 29, 2009 at 10:23 am
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    I love warm weather, never have liked the cold. Nice post, very cheerful.

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  • July 29, 2009 at 10:36 am
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    Thank you for your encouragement. 😀

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  • July 29, 2009 at 5:54 pm
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    Yes! I can visualize this! I must remember to remain buoyant and to persevere. Thank you, Kelly.

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  • July 29, 2009 at 10:10 pm
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    What a beautiful way to say it! and so you, too.
    And the border looks kinda like lace,cool. 8)

    Reply
  • July 30, 2009 at 2:19 pm
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    Very nice, upbeat post. Continued good luck to you, and for some additional perspective and inspiration, I invite you to check out this short video — ahamoment.com/pg/moments/view/5495 — about the “aha moment” of a woman with RA that changed her outlook on life. I think you’ll enjoy it and hope you’ll also check out the rest of the site, which was created by Mutual of Omaha to highlight inspirational stories, good works, and “aha moments” of all kinds.

    Best,
    jack@ahamoment.com

    Reply
  • July 30, 2009 at 5:34 pm
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    Thanks Jack,
    I like how she said her faith helped her to "weather" it all!
    She has a lovely grateful attitude.

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  • June 5, 2010 at 8:18 am
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    Not to be negative nelly, but I hate the weather. Bad weather anyway. When there is a low pressure storm coming our way, my right foot and knee blow up and it feels like they will literally implode. The pressure is like someone pumping air into the joint until I am sure it will explode!! It hurts sooooo bad and does not pass until the storm does. I know it sounds weird, but its true. So the weather is a very important part of how I plan my life.

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    • June 5, 2010 at 8:50 am
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      Ahhh Kimberley, that is not negative – a lot of people with RA do feel physical changes when the air pressure is changing. Does it help you when you go somewhere where there is more “no weather” days like the southwest? Maybe you could move someday?

      Reply
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  • June 5, 2010 at 8:41 am
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    Thank you for such an encouraging post!

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  • June 5, 2010 at 9:56 am
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    I am so glad you put this up again. I went walking today and it was so painful-When I read the end of this post I was encouraged. Those days of just doing what I want without pain this is truly what I pray for for everyone with RA-even a couple.

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  • June 5, 2010 at 11:36 am
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    I love the way that was put. I will use it everyday to keep up positive spirits. Somedays I feel like a beach ball anyways so may as well be buoyant!! 😀

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  • August 11, 2011 at 10:08 am
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    I just stumbled on this website and have to say how helpful all of its postings were today. I am struggling with severe RA and have been on Rituxan infusions without tremendous success. I am now out of work on disability and it is hard not to have a daily pity party. Thank you for letting me know that I’m far from being alone and perking up my day. I will continue to check this site and thank you again for defining my feelings so well. Let’s hope the sun shines for all of us.

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    • August 11, 2011 at 3:08 pm
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      Good luck Debby. I hope you find something that works better for your RA.

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  • April 7, 2012 at 11:31 pm
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    I think this is precious, thanks I am a believer in God too, and I know that the pain and suffering are nothing compared to what He went through for us on calvary, but I know if anyone understands other than others w RA it is Him ..happy Easter thank you for being the avvocate for RA you are! Know I am behind you in prayers , thoughts .. when I can i plan on buying gifts for my family from the site to help out the cause too..We NEED A CURE!!!!!

    Reply
  • July 3, 2012 at 4:32 am
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    Hi, I was diagnosed with ra one year ago. After being off work for 5 months and starting and stopping several medications I have found some relief with humira. I am an ob tech,which is basically a jack of all trades in a labor and delivery unit. A very physcial and fast paced job. I work three 12 hour shifts a week and spend a 48 hour shift each week taking care of my 91 year old mother who has dementia I don’t know how much longer I’m going to be able to keep up this pace. My boss told me that maybe I needed to go on permanent disability. I asked to go part time August of 2011. I’m still full time. It’s very sad to work for a hospital and not feel that they care about there employees. After all they are just another business.

    Reply
  • March 26, 2013 at 6:55 pm
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    I’ve been reading around your site, and I haven’t seen anything about my question. may I ask?

    this seems SO weird, but I started having RA about three years ago. for the first two years, I had awful flares on and around the solstices… so strange. then this year, I had one also on the vernal equinox!

    has anyone ever experienced this timing? my Rh doc has not heard of it, and thankfully does not appear to see me as a total weirdo because of it. (he’s the best – if you are in N CA I heartily recommend him!)

    Reply
  • November 3, 2016 at 8:48 am
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    You have a beautiful soul Kelly!
    Thank you so much. I am sitting on my sofa wearing wrist supports on both hands – trying to drink coffee.
    Needed to read those wonderful words.

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  • April 19, 2017 at 12:51 pm
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    I used to be bouyant. Now I am resigned. No treatment works well now and I become more disabled and in more pain every day. Nearly 30 years of rheumatoid side will do that to you.

    Reply

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