A Day in the Life of an RA Patient
6:20 AM – The radio goes off and starts trying to tell me the breaking news of the day. My ever-patient husband (Richard) who has already been up for about a half hour comes into the bedroom to turn it off and let me sleep a few more minutes.
6:30 AM – Richard returns to the bedroom and coaxes me into starting my warm-up exercises to get my joints moving. First step, flexing and rolling my ankles.
6:35 AM – Richard wakes me up again and convinces me to start on more active exercises, include leg bends and lifts.
6:50 AM – With exercises complete, I turn over to sleep a few more minutes.
7:05 AM – I get up and get ready for the day. After my shower, I sit in my motorized wheelchair for getting around the entire day.
7:30 AM – Time for breakfast and reading the newspaper. I usually don’t have much of an appetite so I start with tea, a little fruit, yogurt, and cereal.
7:55 AM – Say goodbye to Richard and head out to take the bus to work.
8:20 AM – Arrive at the office and begin booting up my computer for the day. For the next several hours I tap away at my computer—responding to emails, writing and reviewing work. My morning may include meetings and calls.
Noon – My tummy has been grumbling for a while, so I get my lunch from the refrigerator. Richard usually packs me a delicious homemade salad that I devour in a few minutes while listening to an online radio program. Some days I grab lunch with a friend or coworker and take a break from the office for an hour, but my usual habit is to eat quickly and get back to work.
12:30 PM – I dive back into work for the afternoon. Sometimes I grab a snack that I brought, like a piece of fruit or hummus and carrots around 3:00 PM.
6:00 PM – Richard texts me to see if I’m wrapping up work so that we can meet up and go swimming. I tell him I need a few minutes, which likely turns into 20-30 minutes of trying to close out.
6:30 PM – I pack up, leave the office, and call Richard as I hit the street to let him know I’m on my way. This time I take the DC Metro train to the station where we use a community pool. Richard meets me and we spend about an hour at the pool where I do my aqua-therapy exercises and then relax a few minutes in the whirlpool.
8:20 PM – We arrive back at home and have some dinner before watching some TV together. I often will check work email, possibly do a little more work or get online to check out the RheumatoidArthritis.net website or Facebook page.
10:00 PM – We move into the bedroom and I’ll read or watch some TV a few more minutes before falling asleep around 11:00 PM.
Somehow it always feels like the day goes by lightning fast—like I’m always trying to catch up or grab more sleep. When I wake up I feel tired. Even on the weekend I rarely ever wake up feeling rested. I chalk this up to my RA, to always feeling like I’m fighting off aches and exhaustion.
However, when I am not feeling busy and engaged I often have a harder time getting through the day. I like to feel like I’m contributing in some way, that I’m being productive and helping the world to move forward.
Right now, what RA tips would most be helpful for you?