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What Tips and Tricks Have (and Haven't) Worked for Rheumatoid Arthritis

“I have got this great new supplement for you.”

“Oh, did you hear about this new research or treatment?”

“Have you tried these bracelets? I also have these large hand grips for forks, they might help.”

“I got these huge pens you might want to try.”

Maybe you have heard or received advice such as this. Some days it is welcome, other days it is frustrating, and some days, it is totally unhelpful. There seems to be no end to the advice on how to better live your life with rheumatoid arthritis or really any chronic illness.

“I just read this article and thought of you.”

“Have you tried __________?”

“This new treatment is being blocked by big pharma, but it claims it can cure.”

I have heard these and so many more, and every single one comes from a place of care, concern, and a desire to no longer see me suffering. Honestly, I am thankful for these tips, life hacks, and tricks and the heart with which they are given, and honestly, I could add to that list:

“Buy better shoes. Get arch supports to ease pain and leave your shoes tied (or better yet buy slip-on shoes). Wear only pullover shirts so you don’t have to fool with buttons. Don’t waste money on fat pens – they didn’t work for me.”

The list could go on and on, and while this article could be another in that long list of tips, instead, the best tips I can give are simply this:

1. Finding help for yourself is not giving up and is not something to be feared.

2. Trust your gut – if it seems too good to be true, it probably is.

3. Don’t pin all your hopes on something’s success, moderate your expectations.

4. Let someone else get it for you – “That sounds great, could you get me one?”

5. Don’t be afraid to say it does not work (at least for you).

6. Be thankful someone cares enough for you to suggest it.

There are hundreds of ways, tips, and tricks to manage your condition, but frankly, you know your body, you know your particular fight, and you know better than anyone else what you struggle with. Don’t be afraid to try something new, and don’t get discouraged if it does not work – just like your treatment, sometimes it is trial and error, so manage your expectations.

Treating rheumatoid arthritis can be frustrating and overwhelming some days. Find things that help you manage it and never lose hope that you’ll find that tip or trick that will make all the difference for you.

Getty image by Sanja Grujic.

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