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Products to keep your Joints Warm

If you live in the U.S. chances are you’ve been freezing your little tush off this week like me. 

Last night we got our first cold front of the season and it hit the low 50s! I know, I know. Some of you may be like laughing, but for Miami that’s freezing!! 🙂
Having Arthritis can mean that the cold whether really aggravates your joint pain, stiffness, and swelling and trust me, I am feeling it! 
Last winter, when I spent a week in Boston visiting my family I was in a wheelchair the entire trip because the cold made me so incredibly stiff! Boston is a beautiful city, but I don’t think I could ever live there just because the cold hurts my joints so much.
However, for those of you Arthritis Folks who live up north (or people who just don’t like the cold), keeping your joints warm could definitely help you, like its been helping me lately. It makes a real difference!  
So.. here are a few products I’m using right now to keep my joints nice and toasty! 🙂 

Sunbeam Heating Pad – This I actually use all year round cause it really helps when I’m feeling particulary stiff and you don’t have to keep heating it up in the microwave like some other heating pads. 
Warm Essentials Leggings  – This I wish I had taken to Boston, but unfortunately I didn’t think of it, so I froze. Luckily, I’ve been getting my use out of them this week. They’re great to wear under pants!  
Sunbeam Heated Fleece – This one I haven’t bought , but that’s only because my husband won’t let me! He thinks its a little too ridiculous for Miami. I disagree 😉 

Patients Say Treatment Lacks Goals And Guidelines

Rheumatoid Arthritis Patients Say Treatment Lacks Goals And Guidelines

Wow, guys, this makes me so sad. This is why I started this blog. Not only to bring awareness to this disease but also to educate people with RA and give them hope. We need to speak up! We need to fight back! We need to get our confidence back and do something about this terrible illness! 
I know its hard because sometimes we feel judged, misunderstood and that no one understands, but things have changed. We have tools now. We have the Vectra DA test (http://www.vectra-da.com/patients/how-vectra-works.php) which puts a verifiable number to RA disease activity. We have newer treatments being introduced all the time. 

We can do this, guys! All we have to do is speak up!

Remission Shoes

So I bought these shoes and dubbed them my Remission Shoes.” 
Since I got married I’ve been struggling with the thought of my future. What is going to happen to me? When will my body say, “Enough is enough. I can’t take this anymore?” How many years do I have left of being able to walk normally 3 out of 7 days a week? 10? 15? 
I talked to my husband Andres and expressed to him these feelings. You know what he said? He said to me, “I will never give up. I will never back down. I will never accept you as sick and say ‘Well, this is the way things are.’ I don’t accept it now, or ever. I will keep trying till the day you are in remission.
With that I say, forget this disease! Forget planning for the grim future and assume that we are going to be like this forever. There is no cure, but there is a possibility of a remission! There is a possibility that 2014 will be the year there’s a breakthrough. I choose to believe in that possibility. I choose to stay positive. I choose to hope. 

Moon Face

What I look like on Prednisone. HAHA!
Moon face’ is a common side effect of a medication called Prednisone- a very effective corticosteroid anti-inflammitory drug commonly used by people with breathing disorders, arthritis, lupus, psoriasis, and allergic disorders. It is characterized by a swollen, round, often puffy-looking appearance in the cheeks of those who use it, resulting in the name.


Recently my doctor started me back on Prednisone. Half of me was thinking, “Oh great, here we go again and just in time for the holidays too…” but the truth is it does make me feel significantly better. I mean, I know in my head its worth feeling better, but the fact that I’ve looked like a chipmunk in the all the holiday pictures for the last 3 years does bother me a little. 
Often, people will ask me, “What happened to your face?” or “Did you know that your face is really swollen?” and I simply shrug and respond with “Yeahhh I’m aware, it’s the medication.” 
I mean, its hard! Especially when you know its going to be for an extended period of time. You feel self-conscious! It’s like all eyes are on you and you know that they know that something is off about your face, but they don’t know why. Although Arthritis can be classified as an invisible illness there definitely are times when it is very clearly visible and its easy to get depressed about it. 
You don’t feel like yourself and you just want to hide and not go to any of the Christmas dinners or New Year’s parties. I know I’ve felt like that a few times. 
I’ve felt ugly, and I didn’t want to go out or get my picture taken, but after hiding out alone in my room, I realized that that’s no way to live! I can’t waste Christmas time with my family just because I look a little funny. And if someone asks, I just explain it to them and make a joke about how I look like I have acorns stuffed in my cheeks or I ate one too many holiday-themed cookies

It’s ok to to be upset and I’m not saying you have to be happy about it, but sometimes we gotta learn to not take ourselves too seriously or let little things get in the way of us living our lives.
We just gotta say to ourselves, “This too shall pass and I am the cutest chipmunk in existence!” 🙂
That’s one thing that this illness has taught me over and over again…

“Don’t sweat the small stuff.”

CHRONICALLY Optimistic

This pain reminds me that I do have a purpose. 
I think it has to do with bringing people hope
If thoughts were letters and I had every sick, hurting, desperate, worried, hungry, sad, defeated person’s address it would say: 


“You are going to get better. One day the pain will disappear and you’ll get rest. You won’t feel the hurt and frustration you feel now. You won’t be confused and desperate for answers to why this happened in the first place! The sun will rise and these dark clouds will go away—but that’s not without effort. You do your best, you do what you can and leave the rest up to God. If not for your health (because laughter truly is the best medicine), but for your sanity. You have to believe it will get better and it will, I promise! I’m not saying this because I’ve been there and I’m now on the other side. I’m telling you this because I haven’t yet and I’m still waiting. I will never stop hoping and believing that my miracle is going to pick me up and I’m going to fly away into all the dreams I’ve ever had. I will never, ever give up. You see? You’ll get there too. Even if it has to be in Heaven. One day the pain will disappear and you’ll get peace.  Don’t worry, it will get better.” 
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