Learning to Cope...

I am new to this site.  I was diagsnosed with UCTD in May 2006.  Since then I have been diagnosed with several secondary autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis.  I work full time and I am the mother of 4 teenagers.  Between a very stressful job, raising my children, everyday stress and gaining weight from the medications I have been having a lot of pain lately.  I can't seem to get on top of the flare up I have been in for 3 and a hlaf weeks now.  Does anyone have any suggestions to try that may seem off the wall but they seem to help with the at times overwhelming pain?  I am currently taking multiple different medications given to me by my rheumatologist.  I am also considering starting some type of chemo to possibly put this condition in remission.  Does anyone have any thoughts about this?  I would like to know the side effects that people have had and I would like to hear from people that have tried this and what their experience was.  Thank you and have a wonderful day.

BrandiMG BrandiMG
36-40, F
2 Responses Mar 4, 2009

I have commented before that I refuse the meds based on their terminal side affects. I have been dealing with this for 8 years. My last two children just turned 18 this past August. I am currently working two jobs. I am exhausted all of the time, that's just how it is. I only take my motrin and tylenol when I have a screaming headache from the swelling in my upper neck and vertebrae. <br />
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Go to bed early and get a full nights sleep as often as you can. I use rice filled socks of varying sizes and shapes that I heat up in the microwave for my hands, wrists and whatever area is hurting the most. The moist heat is amazing, inexpensive and I don't have to worry about burning the house down if I forget to turn it off of unplug it! Holding the smaller socks filled with rice and heated, in my hands and gently squeezing them is extremely helpful in getting my hands to loosen up and feel better. Once you get things flexing the pain begins to let up to a very large degree.<br />
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The chronic pain and fatigue are a fact with RA and I haven't noticed that anyone I know who takes all those meds is doing any better than I am. I drink water, lots of water. I hate drinking the apple cider vinegar, but it does help more than I could have ever imagined. <br />
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Soak in hot baths before bedtime. It makes my joints and muscles stop aching so fiercely and it helps me go right to sleep and be more comfortable. <br />
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I think it is attitude. Like with anything else, you just have to keep telling yourself, I can do this! Never give up. Adjust your lifestyle to the slower pace that is now required, don't over do it, and STOP lifting and moving heavy things, especially furniture!<br />
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Do the small things that make a difference. Put a small pair of needle nosed pliers in your kitchen drawer, they are wonderful to help open things when your fingers just do not have the grasp you need! Make the small adjustments that will make your life manageable. Buy quarts of milk instead of half gallons or gallons... at least for yourself. Get the can opener that you just set on top of the can and press the button-it does the rest! Freaking thing looks like a cockroach as it opens the can, but it does it's job! LOL Only unbutton one or two buttons on your shirt and hike it up over your head, put it back on the same way, why torture yourself with buttons you can not grasp? Make choices and smart changes in the small things that will make your life more pleasant! These things all add up very quickly, and once you master them, you will indeed find more enjoyment, less frustration, and less pain.<br />
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Hope this helps.

i new here too, if you everwant some info or my storie on side effects i would be more than happy to share them as it seems ive tried them all. i thought i was having flare ups as well but now its just bad days and real bad days its full time chronic pain with me and its affecting my buissness and home life . i too have 2 teenagers. this is tough. thanks ,bill