For years now I’ve had an inflammatory situation that affects both knees mainly… However, only recently I received a suspected Rheumatoid Arthritis diagnosis.
It’s tough, because I’d hoped that it was a sports injury which kept coming back (at least, that’s what I told myself!)
After countless MRIs – it’s safe to say it isn’t… With a sports injury, it’s not something that continues for years. They usually resolve themselves over time…
Time heals all wounds
But, seeing as mine kept coming back, there was reason to suggest an underlying factor was at play.
Honestly, I was reluctant to agree with any arthritis diagnosis for long time because: apart from the fluid in my knees (which fluctuates and moves around), I didn’t have any pains in other joints. (And, was too busy swimming in Denial, the best river Egypt has to offer 😭)
After my most recent flare-up, I thought I’d put this post together about a rheumatoid arthritis diagnosis (or Osteoarthritis) in case it helps anyone at all.
I’ll start with tips on how to control it…
Listen to your rheumatologist when they give you a diagnosis
Consultants and rheumatologist alike, really listen to the experts. I know I’ve learned my lesson, albeit the hard way – accept that rheumatoid arthritis diagnosis, and find a way to work with it. We think we know ourselves, but their qualifications paired with experience means they know better.
Find a good physiotherapist
Finding a good physiotherapist after your rheumatoid arthritis diagnosis is everything. I prefer the gentler ones who use an ultrasound machine (which gets deep into the muscle tissue). I’ve quite literally limped into the clinic, only to walk almost normally back out.
Taking the right vitamins & supplements
It’s vital that you boost up your vitamins and supplements intake after a rheumatoid arthritis diagnosis. The most commonly known vitamins to take for this sort of condition are: A, C, and E, and vitamins D and K.
In terms of supplements, try: Q-10, Ginko biloba, MSM, Glucosamine and Chondroitin, Curcumin, Turmeric, and Fish oil. And of the teas: nettle is best.
FYI: I’m going to be testing out another one which I won’t mention just yet… My aim is to try it out and then give an honest review (backed up by studies I came across).
Changing my food habits after a rheumatoid arthritis diagnosis
Admittedly, I consumed a lot of sugar and carbs, but very little dairy previously. This is not good for most conditions, least of all an auto-immune one.
After finding the correlation between food habits and flare-ups, I decided to cut down entirely on sugar, boost my dairy intake (although I still to this day can’t live without carbs).
Jesus is the bread of lifeJohn 6:35-59 ✝️
There’s a meal-plan specifically formulated to combat RA which I’m going to try for a week and will circle back once completed.
Start your day with some stretches, find some videos on YouTube
Since my rheumatoid arthritis diagnosis, I was recommended to do some stretches. I’m not going to lie – they kinda help me, but also don’t… What I mean is, the level of help is dependent on the stage of flare-up!
For example, if I’m in the peak stage of a flare-up, trying to copy the moves [when my leg feels like a Rottweiler is strapped to it] just isn’t going to work! I’m just not going to be able to lift it off the bed, or feel when/if the muscle is tensing.
The key is to remember to do the stretches in the early stages, which, let’s be real, I’m too busy stressing out & crying over it to bother, at that point.
Taking medication is important after a rheumatoid arthritis diagnosis
Whether you’re taking Naproxen, Ibuprofen, Paracetamol along with your Methotrexate, they’re being prescribed for a reason. Take them, but if you feel unusual side-effects coming on, let your doctors know immediately. In which case, there are loads of other treatments you can try such as acupuncture or reflexology.
Hot and cold compression
During the peak of a flare-up, only apply cold compression – as applying heat makes the blood rush to the inflammation, making the swelling worse.
Normal hot water bottles and ice packs burned my skin, so I’ve had to resort to a heatpad and teething ice moulds! 😂 Honestly, they’re golden.
Wrapping up warm
Our joints are more sensitive in autumn winter months… So, keep your joints warm at all times.
Now for the coping part…
Keep a diary – note each flare-up from start to finish, even before to after if you can. From this, you should be able to see a pattern forming. Once you know, it could be easier to prevent in future.🤞
Accept it – there’s a lot of strength that comes from/with accepting something. No, you can’t change it, you just have to live with it and find a way to work around it.
Stay positive – a negative mindset won’t solve anything. It won’t take the pain away, nor cure it. Stay strong.
Don’t take anything for granted – honestly, the times before a flare-up are dynamite and I feel so, so blessed.
To be honest, I feel blessed either way – because this is a minor ailment in the grand scheme of things, but: it just feels so good when there’s no pain!