Pain or no Pain...

I hate pain, so here is what I did and do.

I was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis five years ago while I lived in Mexico and, of course, I then had pains and fierce ones too. My shoulders, wrists and some finger articulations were swollen. But I simply could not take the medication that was prescribed. My stomach revolted. I looked for alternatives.

Alternative options to traditional RA medications

My Mexican neighbors, who lived for long generations without modern medication or health insurance, said, "Oh, oh! No red meat, no pork, no dairies, no eggs, no coffee, no black tea, no alcohol!" Well! Except for the coffee, I thought then, it would not be too hard to follow, since there are many substitutes for all the "No's" in order to get enough protein and iron: fish, chicken, grains, potatoes and all the wonderful vegetables, fresh and dried fruits, legumes, seeds and nuts. And the coffee, I simply made myself to limit it, bit by bit, to two cups only in the morning. No more pain then, just the occasional swellings.

Looking into natural diets

When I came back to Canada I had to be diagnosed again, and again the same medication was prescribed, which again I could not take. I did some more research. I googled "Natural Diet for Rheumatoid Arthritis" and other related links, which helped me even more. Along with it came the advice, not to consume fried or grilled foods, rather gently simmered, baked or cooked ones. Also, foods should be small and more often, rather than three big ones a day. Of all the foods and drinks the most immediate and effective remedy for my wrist swellings became a drink made of crated raw ginger roots sweetened with honey.

Implementing exercise into my new lifestyle

Along with those recommendations found in Google, also came the advice of regular exercises and walks. The retirement home in which I live has quite a few facilities for exercises, and since the strict regulations, because of Covid-19, had eased up a little in August, some of us were allowed to leave the house for walks. So now I go for 40 to 50 minutes every afternoon to a park, not too far away, and enjoy the high trees and the children at play. It does not seem to be a lot of exercise, but I am in my eighties!

More tips that have helped me with pain

When the swollen wrists feel uncomfortable because of the stretched skin, I apply a cold water compress and wear it for two to three hours. I also made myself some white, light, cotton mittens with no fingers (just a hole for the thumb), which I sometimes put on when I can´t wear the compress. They cool a little and feel comfortable. For cooler weather I made the same out of warmer material. I have no problem writing, knitting or using tools.

Only lately, when I turn my hand suddenly, or lift and turn it at the same time, it gives me a very short but sharp pain. Rather than force it I let the hand rest while I exercise the movement on the other hand. Then I gently try it on the troubled hand again. If it does not want to work, I let my other hand help the troubled one, just a little and not allowing it to hurt. Soon the hand in question can do the exercise by itself and is fine again. Similarly when my hands are stiff at waking up in the morning, I do the fist movements, first a tiny little bit with no pain, then by and by more, which brings the hands to normal within minutes before I get up.

Since I do all this without the medication, the question remains whether it would also work with medication. But I surely would give it a try.

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