Rheumatoid arthritis challenges at work and at home

Contributed by: John
Reviewed by: Evelyn Corsini, MSW, December 2011

John is in his late 30’s and lives in New York.

I was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis in 2003 at the age of 30. I continue to live with waves of pain, but I am teaming up with my doctor, family, and even online for support and medication. Some days I barely notice my symptoms, but most days are filled with debilitating pain in my joints.

It has hampered my ability to be as physically active as I used to be.  I used to be a competitive swimmer and worked out regularly.  I work out once in a while now and have to be very careful in terms of my rigor and weight.

RA has made me more fatigued and has challenged my ability to work and concentrate fully at times. To address fatigue and ensure my ability to concentrate, I not only try to do light exercise at work, but have tried this at work – making sure I get up and stretch, having an ergonomic keyboard and chair for my back, as well as the option to work from home on really bad days.  I make sure that family and friends know when I am having a rough day in particular and when I am feeling fatigued, will ask for help or flexibility.

I am hoping that new advances in treatment, (whether swallowed or injected), will address the pain. I am even open to more non-Western medicine and healing as well.