New year, new me, new decade…I’m getting it done. Last decade was rough. It was my first ten years of my diagnosis and I fought myself every step of the way. I have nothing to show for it except a somewhat managed disease and well, that’s basically it.
Reflecting on how I managed my rheumatoid arthritis
However, the decade ended way better than it started. We zig-zagged through meds and fought for a routine that allowed me to work and care for my pets (my two priorities) and you know what…I think we’re getting there.
So now it’s time to look towards the next ten years, I want to push myself farther. Can I get my disease managed enough that I can work full-time? Enjoy life? Maybe even re-visit old dreams? I certainly hope so!
Personal goals to better help manage rheumatoid arthritis
What can I do better? How do I set myself up for success? Below are my resolutions; not just for this year but life in general, so let’s get into it!
Be patient with myself
I spent a lot of time fighting my body. I truly believed in mind over matter and thought that I could force my body to behave. Obviously, that didn’t work out well. I have no control over my autoimmune condition.
The only thing I can do is listen to my body, especially when it comes to rest. I have limitations now. I live a good life but I need to take them into consideration. It’s okay for me to slow down. It’s okay for me to rest. It’s okay for me to say no.
Except in the summer, I suck at drinking enough water. Don’t come at me but I have been known to only drink one glass of water all day! If I want my body to run at an optimal level, I need to keep it hydrated.
Maybe I need to drink more alcohol, too. My friends like to go out for dinner and drinks or just drinks. If I’m drinking more, I’m socializing, feeling less isolated and in better spirits.
I completely stopped exercising at the end of last year. I just couldn’t manage rock-climbing for a while and I
HATE (sorry, strongly DISLIKE) working out. So, I did nothing. I'm not sure I consider dog-walking exercise, or rather, enough of it. I am not ready to hop back on the climbing wall yet but I'm starting small with some at-home abs workouts and hopefully can build up my stamina from there.
I tracked it like a hound on a scent, I kept logs, I looked for patterns but I could not figure out this brain fog thing. It doesn’t need a reason and it comes and goes at will. Reading is a great way to combat it (for me). I've always loved reading. It keeps me occupied and engaged when I’m flared. And, it keeps my mind sharp...er than if I didn't do it.
Be more positive
And finally, this year is going to be tough. If you’ve read my recent articles, I just have a lot of weird anniversaries coming up. I know it’s okay to feel sad and angry but I don’t want to be there all the time.
I want to think of one positive thing each day. Today, for example, it was so warm outside I didn’t need a hat!
Do you have any rheumatoid disease-related resolutions this year? Let me know in the comments!
On a scale of 1(low) to 5(high), how difficult is it for you to talk about having RA?