A Rheumful of Tips - 365 days of tips for moving through life with rheumatoid arthritis.

From August 2011 to September 2012, I wrote a daily blog post to gradually share a lifetime's worth of coping skills and initiatives that I had been collecting since I was diagnosed - as a teenager - with rheumatoid arthritis.

Why 365+ tips? Efficiency. Ease. Comfort.

Life with a debilitating and chronic disease presents challenges that make those three words sound like they are spoken in a foreign language. Everyday tasks that many take for granted can prove to be painful and frustrating, not only draining your energy, but making your world smaller. Every day, a new challenge can present itself.

By the time the idea for this blog came to me, I had been living with rheumatoid arthritis for thirty-three years. During that time, activities I once loved have slowly paraded off into the distance. I stopped doing the work I trained for because it required energy and physicality. Getting through a full work day was impeded by my decreasing mobility and the progression of this chronic disease. My experience of surgeries, hospitals, labs and doctors’ offices adds up to quite the encyclopedia of patience. Necessity makes a good, if not reluctant, teacher.

I’ve been a collector of the alternative since my teenage years, when my first experience with pain meant I had to find a different way of coping. Now, in A Rheumful of Tips, I am sharing with you, one day at a time, a lifetime’s worth of coping skills, tips and initiatives to make life more manageable and as a result, more enjoyable!

Life with a debilitating and chronic disease presents daily challenges. Everyday tasks, that many take for granted, can prove to be painful and frustrating, not only draining your energy, but making your world smaller. These tips are my way of sharing how I learned to live with the disease and make my life more manageable.

I stopped writing after one full year, at 365 tips. It took an earthquake to ignite a further series of tips as I realized there was still so much more to share. I accepted the challenge to pursue 100 more and during this time my blog was nominated for the Healthline Best Health Blog of 2012 Contest. When the 90 days' of voting had finished, I found my blog had made it all the way up into 11th place! Thank you to everyone who voted - and for whichever blog you voted for - as it's the readers who make blogging what it is.

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