I Am Living With Ra Without The Killer Medications!

 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.  

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 heated rice (raw), in my hands and gently squeezing them is extremely helpful in getting my hands to loosen up and feel better.  (ask me and I will tell you how I make mine, they are easy and wonderful) Once you get things flexing the pain begins to let up to a very large degree.

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.  A couple of ounces every day.
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. 

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!

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.

Hope this helps.

I have some bad days, just like everyone else.  But I have plenty of days that are pretty darn good and I thank God for each and every one of them. If even one thing on this page helps someone else, then I am so happy!

nightowlinak nightowlinak
41-45, F
3 Responses Feb 25, 2010

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Wow, it is terrific to read all of this. I felt my courage coming back as I read everyone's comments. Thank you thank you thank you.<br />
Well I discontinued the Methotrixate and restarted it when I got worse. Like many other patients, I am now on Methotrilxate and Prednisone, Sulazapyrin etc.<br />
During the last 20 years, I tried so many alternative remedies. I will look for the list and post it here in the hope that somebody can use some or one of them successfully.<br />
Lets keep the flag flying!<br />
Much love,<br />

I love this story, I agree with everything you think and said. Stay away from the DMARDs and tell everyone you can to. Doctors don't know enough about RA and the effects of these drugs on RA versus the terminal side effects, my mother died from liver disease this year at 62 from use of DMARDs after and over 30 year battle with severe RA. <br />
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Hope you are doing well, you sound positive and like you are doing all the right things. Eating as healthy as possible and swimming to strengthen muscles does wonders too. :)<br />
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Take care<br />