This is the one time of the year I give rheumatoid arthritis (RA) the spotlight as it is Rheumatoid Arthritis Awareness Day. I’ll reblog my post from last year for more information on the disease and how retirement and living the full-time RV lifestyle has affected the symptoms and severity of the disease.
Each patient has different symptoms and responses to treatment. RA is an autoimmune disorder that is unpredictable and, oftentimes, difficult to manage. The change in lifestyle for me has affected my disease symptoms in a positive manner. While I’m still on extensive medications to control the flares and disease activity, the lowered amount of stress and daily physical damage on my joints and hands definitely works in my favor. Performing daily living activities in a smaller living environment and a general sense of well-being among nature makes living with the disease more tolerable, at least for me.
I am happy to network with other RVers (and non-RV patients) who suffer with similar autoimmune disorders and answer any questions from my perspective. Together, we can live around the disease and refuse to give it power over our lives.
Here is the reblog from last year:
February 2 is Rheumatoid Arthritis Awareness Day. Rheumatoid disease affects nearly 1.3 million adults and 294,000 children in America. There is no cure. Most people think it is the “creaky joint” type of arthritis, but that’s not true. Please read more information from a previous blog regarding my experience with this disease by clicking here.
How does having this unpredictable disease mesh with full-time RVing? We are only in our first month, so it’s better to answer that question next year on the same date. There is no debate that since early retirement and living and traveling in the RV full time, symptoms have improved and flares have decreased in frequency and severity. Eliminating the stress on my hands, wrists, and psyche has done wonders, as it would for any rheumatoid patient. Adequate sleep, increased exercise, and fresh air make a world of difference in pain levels and attitude. This modified remission is something I do not take for granted. My body can attack at any given time, and sometimes it shows no mercy. My goal is to make the most of the good days, self-care in the bad days, and live life to the absolute fullest at every opportunity.
For information on this disease from the Mayo Clinic, please click here.
If you feel led to donate, volunteer, or get more information from the American College of Rheumatology, please click here.
Are there any other RVers or rheumatoid patients with similar experiences? Please comment so we can all support one another.
Happy Rheumatoid Arthritis Awareness Day.
With much love, Dawn.