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What Helps Kimberly, 30, With Rheumatoid Arthritis

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Editor's Note

Any medical information included is based on a personal experience. For questions or concerns regarding health, please consult a doctor or medical professional.

With our ongoing “What Helps Me” series, The Mighty is leaning into what sets us apart from other health sites: We aim to provide real health advice from real people who live it.

In this spirit, we asked our community for the best insights and tips they’ve developed for managing their conditions. As always, they responded with their unique health stories and we are happy to pass along their well-tested resources to you.

Today, we meet Mighty member Kimberly. She is 30 years old and lives with rheumatoid arthritis.

Kimberly, what helps you?

A woman wearing a white jacket, black pants, a navy blue baseball cap, and sunglasses who's holding a walking stick stands in front of a lake, smiling.

THE MIGHTY: What helps you most when your condition affects your physical health?

KIMBERLY: Having a wonderful community of friends and family who help me makes a big difference when my physical health is [going downhill]. It means that I have someone who can drive me to work or to appointments when I can’t drive myself. It means that I have good meals even when I struggle to cook and a clean house when I struggle to clean. There are lots of aids I use, but having people around me to help is the biggest [help to] me.

What helps you most when your condition affects your mental health?

I see a psychologist to help me with my mental health. I have found it extremely helpful to have a professional help me identify ways to address the mental health challenges that come along with chronic pain conditions. In particular, she has helped me to accept my pain rather than fighting against it, which helps me to relax. [This] in turn actually helps reduce some of [my] pain.

How do you cope when your normal self-care isn’t working?

I like to curl up with my cat when I am struggling. She is big and warm and comforting and seems to know when I need the extra company. Plus, [cuddling with my cat] makes me stop for a while — rather than [continuing to push] through when I’m tired, struggling, and [in pain].

Thank you to Kimberly for her contributions to our community. Did you find this helpful? Add your gratitude in the comments.

If you want to tell us what helps you, you can complete our survey here.

Image via contributor.

Originally published: March 23, 2022
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