Most of you know my Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) story by now, I’m not shy about sharing my wellness journey—actually, there’s not much I’m shy about :-p If you haven’t heard it, reply to this email and let’s set up time to chat over tea (or a decaf oat milk latte, which is my latest vice). Those of you who have heard this story probably ask yourself, “Why? Why is she always going on about her RA?” I share it as a cautionary tale.
In our wellness receipts, you will see a quote that we love at blue door, “If you don’t make time for your wellness, you will have to make time for your illness.” OMG, this is SO TRUE; trying to claw your way back out of illness is a lot of work! I have first-hand experience.
My RA started with the most innocuous symptom—achy elbows. I attributed it to hanging my arm off the bed while asleep and it was hyperextending, or hyperextending/locking my elbow while pulling the garbage cans up. There always seemed to be a cause. Nope, in fact, it was my body’s first warning sign that I was inflamed and I needed to get it under control. Of course I didn’t. I won’t bore you with all the other little signs that popped up and I ignored and chalked up to “getting old.” But, they were there. Boy, were they there. All to be ignored.
Once I could no longer ignore the symptoms, hello full-on RA flare that rendered me almost disabled, I had to make time for my illness. And, I did. Lots and lots of time. Lots and lots of research. Lots and lots of supplements. Lots and lots of diet and life changes. Lots and lots of wellness practitioners. I think you get the picture.
What finally put my RA into remission? It definitely wasn’t one single thing, it was throwing EVERYTHING at the disease at once: nutrition, meditation, yoga, acupuncture, Ayurveda, Reiki, massage. EVERYTHING. Have I stopped with all the wellness? Nope. I’ve eased off a little and don’t have to be so strict about everything, but I can’t go back to the way I was before RA. I still watch my diet, practice mindfulness (which is energy put out vs energy saved for yourself), get weekly acupuncture, take lots of supplements, get at least 7 hours of sleep (and have a regular bedtime/wake schedule), and so much more.
Do I wish I could go back to the days “before RA?” Sometimes, yes, but, mostly, no. I know that sounds crazy, but I believe RA was the only disease that would make me stop and listen. It is the only disease that would get me to slow down. Remember my last email about being a “bull in a china shop?” Yup, I need something that will stop me in my tracks and whisper in my ear, “You need to make time for yourself.” Make time for your wellness, otherwise you will have to make time for your illness.