Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Another month, in remission, feeling great

One of the things that people who are healthy do not understand about arthritis is how DEPRESSING this disease can be. For a while, I thought it was just me, being a baby about having pains and limitations to what I can do. When I am battling to get this disease back under control, I definitely go into a clinically depressed state. I sit there, recognize the issue, KNOW that this too, will pass, but it is a battle, nonetheless.

But the last thing I would want is to take any sort of drug to combat depression. Lordy lordy, after that issue I had with Bactrim a year ago, I have a great fear of ever having to take any other drugs (other than my trusty Vibramycin and Minocin) ever again! So I just muddle thru, trying to stay in touch with friends who are glass-half-full sorts. I pretty much pulled away from the few glass-getting-empty sorts years ago. When a friend just pulls you down, you gotta walk away.

Anyhow, the combination of finally, finally finally getting back to 100% remission, and adding new activities to my life has made me a much happier person. For those of you who are, like me, single, and of an age where it becomes more difficult to meet new people, I have to recommend a wonderful online source - MEETUP.COM. In MOST areas of the country (sorry, but if you live in Akron Ohio this has not caught on so much...) you can find meetup groups of people to match ANY sort of hobbies or activities you may be interested in. Like reading? Meetup book taking photos, and want to improve your skills...Meetup photo groups. Like to travel? Meetup travel groups. Play bingo? Meetup bingo clubs. Play Parcheesi? Meetup board game groups (they have those in Akron). Like trying new restaurants? Meetup dining out groups. No cost to join, most activities are free. You will find wonderful people joining these clubs. I cannot recommend this highly enough.

Anyhow, I love travel and photography. Don't have a lot of time to travel, so am hampered by that. But do have time to go on group photo-shoots. So I have joined several photo clubs, the members are fantastic - ranging from people with small point-and-shoot cameras to professional photographers, willing to share their expertise and help you take better photos. Whether it is going to a local zoo or local flower garden to take photos, it is always a nice little outing and great comraderie.

So, if you are feeling depressed, please get out and get more active or involved. You will be surprised at how much of an improvement this can make in your outlook!

A few handy tools everyone can use, especially those with RA

Over the years, I have been gradually modifying my home and supplies to better accomodate any future issues with RA in my hands and wrists. Those just starting on this long battle with RA need to start making simple changes around the house. All faucets should be the lever kind, rather than the round twisty sort. Much easier to use. Start changing the doorknobs to the lever types as well. It really is not difficult to do, does not require a locksmith, just someone that can operate a screwdriver. And new doorknobs are inexpensive, relatively speaking. If you need a quick fix, there are plastic levers that screw onto your doorknobs as well, though they are not real attractive. For those with extremely limited hand strength, you can add a cloth loop to assist in "turning" the knob.
My very favorite kitchen tool is currently unavailable on Amazon or other sites. I found it made by KitchenAid as well as another brand, but neither is available right now. Keep looking for this, I had purchased a half dozen and gave them as gifts to people with no hand problems, everyone loves them.
It adjusts to fit ANY size lid that needs to be screwed off, from a water bottle top to a mayonnaise jar. Also has a section on the front that goes under and helps lift vacuum sealed lids, and what looks like a bottle opener (tho I have not used that part)
Next is the vacuum -popper. This is awesome! No more trying to wedge a screwdriver or bottle opener up under a lid to break the vacuum seal...this does the job fast, easily, and with no damage to the lid!
I have cats, and they love their canned cat food. Which comes in a can with a ring pull lid. I love soup on a cold winter day, which comes in cans with ring pull lids. Whoever invented those had complete disregard for fingernails, much less those with any sort of hand issues, such as RA. Then I found this. What a wonderful wonderful tool!
And, finally, speaking of those pull ring tabs, we all get frustrated with opening soda cans. So I bought some of these (they come two to a pack). They are helpful.
Look for these on Amazon and in some of the handy catalogs that sell all sorts of stuff to help around the house.
Hope this was helpful!