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The New Normal

I am new to the Rheumatoid Arthritis world and this is my first article on Rheumatoidarthritis.net. I was recently diagnosed with RA and I am still trying to understand the diagnosis. At first, I was upset and angry. Why was this happening to me? I’ve taken care of myself, exercised, and eaten relatively healthy.

Changing my lifestyle due to an RA diagnosis

Fitness has been a huge aspect of my life. For the last 5 years, I have taught both spin and boot camp classes. I’ve run everything from a 5k to a marathon. I’ve competed in Spartan races and hiked all types of terrain. I’ve even crossed bikini fitness competitions off my bucket list. Pushing my body to the limit and always striving to be a better and stronger version of myself is what I live for.

RA has forced me to take a step back and reevaluate my life. Running has always been my “therapy”. How is it possible that the stress that is driving me to run is the same reason I’m unable to do so? I can’t run from Rheumatoid Arthritis. It’s my new normal. The stiff, achy joints, painful feet, and fatigue are all a part of me.

A positive spin: Appreciating the things I CAN do

Instead of being angry about what I can’t do, I’ve decided to appreciate the things I can do. Sure, I can’t run a marathon right now, but I’m grateful I can walk and sometimes jog. I can’t grip heavy weights but I can lift lighter ones! Finding the positive has helped me to accept the things I can not change.

As I said at the beginning of this article, this diagnosis is still fresh. Other than a round of prednisone, I have yet to try any sort of medicine to manage my RA. I am hoping along with my acceptance and medication, my “new normal” will begin to resemble my “ old normal”. Stay tuned!!

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The RheumatoidArthritis.net team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

Comments

  • Richard Faust moderator
    9 months ago

    Hi shelbiejanus. Sorry to hear about the diagnosis, but glad you have developed a positive attitude on learning and developing what you can do.

    You are not alone in coming from a background of high level athletics and then having to learn to deal with RA. Our contributor Michael was a high level amateur cyclist, extreme sport athlete, and professional acrobat. In this article he writes about learning to develop a new mindset to deal with RA: https://rheumatoidarthritis.net/living/the-ideal-image-and-the-tyranny-of-the-shoulds-old-school-psychology/.

    As you look to develop a treatment plan, know that this community is here for you and, hopefully, can help with information and support. Best, Richard (RheumatoidArthritis.net Team)

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