I am Kelly. I reside in Toronto. It is my first post here. It is common to have RA during pregnancy but in my case its getting day by day. My love is planning to hire a caregiver from Diamond personnel ( http://www.diamondpersonnel.com/ )for me in my absence. It is because I am having severe joint pains. At times I feel like killing myself. Because pain would be that worse at times. And I am putting on weight these days. I am having swellings too. Is RA a reason for swellings? My honey is very much worried about my health. I am very much disturbed too. Anyways my caregiver will be coming by next week. What diet plan should I suggest my caregiver? Will the caregiver be knowing about all this? Does anyone have any experiences of this sort? Should I consult an another Doc for RA? Will a caregiver help me in this situation? Do share your suggestions and help me, please share your suggestions.
Thanks so much for reaching out with your questions! I’ll answer them to the best of my ability.
I’m so sorry to hear that you are having so much pain. Am I understanding correctly that you have been diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis and that you are also pregnant? I have been diagnosed with RA for 16 years, and was able to have two successful pregnancies. I did take some prednisone during both pregnancies, as my midwife and rheumatologist both said it was safe. This helped during times of extreme swelling and pain, especially since I went off of my other RA drugs during pregnancy. Here are some articles about pregnancy and RA: https://rheumatoidarthritis.net/?s=pregnancy&submit=Go.
As far as what foods are best for RA, there is not complete consensus on that, other than eating a nutritious diet. Some people with RA will say that a certain diet or avoiding certain foods “cured” their RA, but others with RA try the same thing with no significant improvement. Therefore, it’s a case-by-case process where the only way to find out whether or not something will work for you is to try it. Here is an article about some of the common nutrition recommendations for people with RA: https://rheumatoidarthritis.net/diet-and-nutrition/.
Our community is based in the U.S., and caregivers for people with RA are not as common as I imagine they are in other countries with more subsidies and programs for assistance such as this. Therefore, I’m not familiar with what they commonly know about or help with. Hopefully another Canadian community reader might see this post and have more information to add.
You ask whether you should consult another doctor for RA. Are you currently under the care of a rheumatologist? If not, this is the specialist who will be best qualified to help you find the best treatment plan for your RA.
Last but certainly not least, you mention that sometimes you feel like killing yourself. Please know that you are not alone, and that many of us have felt hopeless in the face of extreme pain. However, this disease fluctuates and new treatments are being created all the time, so the pain that you are experiencing today will likely not be your experience for the rest of your life. While you are contending with this pain, you may want to consider finding a counselor or support group for some additional support. In the states we recommend The Arthritis Foundation as a resource for assistance in locating a support group. I see that The Arthritis Society is an organization in Canada, so perhaps they have some helpful resources: http://arthritis.ca/home.
You are valuable and important, and you are contending with some very challenging circumstances. We all need assistance from time to time when those challenges feel too heavy. I certainly have had to call on mental health service support myself, and have found that talking to a compassionate person can be very helpful. Thank you for being in our online community, and for sharing what you’re going through.