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RA/Life Balance

Hi, I am new to the forum but I'm really grateful to have found it. I was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis close to a year ago, but the pain and symptoms were present long before my formal diagnosis. I am a 26 year old female and it is difficult to accept some of the lifestyle changes and decisions that accompany a diagnosis like RA. I am glad to have caught it early, however, the unpredictability and variability of an autoimmune disease sometimes feels like an enormous mountain in front of me. I often find myself going through various stages of acceptance and denial, hopefulness and hopelessness, & pain and relief. I am very interested to hear other peoples' stories and I hope that I will be able to share and contribute something meaningful to others. Over the past year I have thrown myself into my career and my graduate degree with such intensity - and I feel proud of my accomplishments, however, I know that the amount of responsibility I have taken on adds to my stress levels, adds to my flares, and impacts my quality of life. I haven't yet found the balance or the type of lifestyle that will be most beneficial to me but I am on the constant search. Wishing all the best to all of you.
Thank you,

  1. Hi Rachel, your experience really resonates with me. Having RA and learning to live and balance is a long journey. Hopefully you will find stories hear that speak to you and provide support in your experience. Sending warm thoughts! Best, Kelly (Site Moderator)

    1. Hi Rachel,

      So sorry about about the RA but happy for you in your accomplishments academically and professionally. It takes so much effort to live with RA. I am proud of all of us for persevering and doing the best we can.

      As far as balance goes, I am still working on it too. It's been just over a year since my diagnosis but experienced symptoms off and on starting at age 19. Now there is some kind of flare on a regular basis, but at least the meds got me back to work after a couple of months of almost complete disability.

      I am a self-employed consultant and have projects with deadlines on a weekly basis. Luckily the projects take between one and three days per week. So the plan is to work during the middle of the week. My clients understand that I have RA and are flexible - and I am flexible with them as well. Being present for my family can be a challenge when I am stuck in bed or on the couch. We have help with cleaning and yard work, but cooking and laundry are a daily challenge.

      RA also takes a huge toll on the social life... so hard to make plans with friends considering work and family responsibilities.

      I guess we just do the best we can as we can.


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