I recently had the honor of being featured in Health Monitor Magazine‘s Arthritis issue for sharing some tips and tricks for living with Rheumatoid Arthritis so wanted to share that information with you all here, too.
Get a Good Night’s Sleep
“When I get limited sleep, my body feels it,” says Katie. So she talked with her doctor about her “Sleep hygiene” – a new concept to her. “I removed all screens [TV, computer, phone] from my bedroom. Now I plug my cellphone into the kitchen where I can still hear the alarm. It’s made a dramatic change in my sleep habits – which has helped to minimize my flares”.
“Yoga has helped tremendously at keeping me mobile and flexible,” says Katie, who actually teaches yoga when she’s not at her advertising job. “It’s also helped ease the frustrations that come with having fatigue and chronic pain. I first started practicing after I was diagnosed with RA 15 years ago. I’ve learned how to modify my poses. If my hips are feeling bad, I can sit in a chair and do a number of stretches that will help me.” And if yoga is out of the question on a difficult day? “Listen to your body! Do meditation to get the mental benefit without the physical strain”. On her site, katiestew.wordpress.com, Katie writes: If you allow your practice to take over your mind and your body, you can truly escape to a place where pain and other negative feelings are non-existent… even if just for an hour.
Newly married, Katie ordered a medication travel kit to take with her on her European honeymoon. “That way, airport security is less likely to give me a hard time about my syringes,” she says (she’ll travel with a doctor’s note, as well). The kit, which is free from the maker of her medication, includes an ice pack, small sharps container and a bag of alcohol wipes inside a lunch box-sized insulated bag.