An RA wishlist

For those of us with RA our wishlist although likely containing many of the same things that others hope for, would probably have some additions unique to those who suffer from chronic disease.

I would suggest that many of us would have a list to hand to our family and friends that would include some of the following suggestions for them:

  1. Offer help and assistance without being asked or even better just jump in and do the task without even discussing it.
  2. Gifts of pampering are wonderful.  Massage, manicure, pedicure, a day at a spa, etc. are amazing and the type of gift we often do not give to ourselves (although I must admit that after 20 year I do!).
  3. Hire a house keeper - whether for a one time spring cleaning or regularly it will be one of the best gifts ever!  I have a gal that comes every two weeks and having her come allows me to continue to work full time not to mention how it saves my joints.
  4. Cook dinner or take us out or order out.  I no longer cook to any extent and it was not easy to do this without feeling really guilty. That said, my hands are very appreciative.  I have many friends who simply will not give up cooking as it gives them great joy but having help in the kitchen makes a huge difference.
  5. Special utensils/tools for dealing with RA.  Along that same theme, there are some wonderful tools out there that are extremely helpful in all areas of our lives.  Cooking utensils, cleaning tools, personal hygiene items, etc. There are many adaptable tools out there than can make life a lot easier.
  6. Plan a trip that will take into account whatever accommodations are needed.  Simply ensuring that everything has been considered is very helpful.  For instance, if walking is a challenge, you may want to find a trip that includes more riding than walking.  I like the beach so anytime that is part of a trip I am happy.  It is nice when I am surprised by a thoughtful trip and it does not have to be an extended one.  A day trip can be just as much fun and in fact may be the best way to go.  Also being sensitive to what I like means so much.  If I am going away, know that I am not a fan of big crowds (except at sporting events).  It is important that our loved ones know our preferences when it comes to traveling.
  7. Show your sensitivity to what we are going through as we deal with RA.  Kind words, expressing interest, sharing in the burden is perhaps the best gift of all.  When my family takes the time to read my blog, ask about my doctor's appointment, send along a link they think may be of interest, it means so much to me.  It tells me that they care about my life and my RA journey.
  8. Show affection regularly both physically and with words of comfort and love.  Even though our bodies hurt, a warm and gentle hug and kiss convey love and attraction.  As our bodies change thanks to the effects of RA getting reassurance that we are still loved and still are attractive brings great joy and support.
  9. Don't be afraid to buy us gifts of comfort like warm and cozy socks and gloves.  These can ease the pain of RA flares and once again make us feel that we are not on this journey alone.
  10. Pledge your time and attention and sensitivity as the new year begins.  That level of reassurance is priceless!

This is by no means an exhaustive list and I invite you to add to it, edit it and then pass it along this holiday season!  It will make this a joyful and lovely season.  Happy Holidays!


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