Jenna is 9 ½ years younger than me, she is my baby sister, yet I have always admired her. She is the funny sister, the pretty sister, the witty sister, carefree, easy-going and totally the cooler sister. I am a planner, on a schedule, organized and somewhat responsible. When my sister was first diagnosed with Psoriatic Arthritis at the age of 15 I don’t think I realized the impact it would have on her world.
Recently I asked Jenna to do a post on my blog about Psoriatic Arthritis and when I read it I was hit in the face with the harsh reality of what having Arthritis really means to my sister. I knew she had bad days. I knew there were even someone bad weeks where she literally couldn’t get out of bed. What I didn’t know where her fears.
“Can I ever have kids?”
“Will I be in a wheelchair by the time I’m forty?”
As a mother who thinks it was my mission in life to have children, reading my baby sisters fears of the possible inability to have children broke my heart. My kids LOVE Aunt Jenna or “Ant Ant Ant” as my son loves to call her. To think that my beautiful, loving sister worries she might not be able to have her own children brought in the reality of her world crashing into mine.
We may not be able to cure Jenna but my family and I will do whatever we can to support her. On December 8th we will be participating in the Jingle Bell Run/Walk to try to raise money for the Arthritis Foundation
Friday, October 12th is World Arthritis Day check out this great video
Arthritis is the nation’s leasing cause of disability. One in five adults have arthritis which is about 50 million people in the United States alone. There is no cure for Arthritis but there are ways to reduce the pain, increase mobility and slow the progression of Arthritis.
Below are some strategies and tactics that the Arthritis Foundation recommends to help you deal with Arthritis and help prolong the effects
- Make exercise a priority. Plan and prepare in advance so your time for exercise is not compromised. Adopt the mindset that other things can wait! Exercise is your priority. Remember, you can get activity in many ways, so look for opportunities whenever and wherever you can find them.
- Set goals. Set yourself up for success by making goals that suit you, your current fitness level and your interests and lifestyle. It’s a good idea to have a big goal, but wise, too, to set small, one or more smaller, realistic goals that will work like stepping stones, helping you reach the bigger goal.
- Anticipate obstacles. Pain, fatigue, illness, work or other obligations, and even the weather can mess up your plans. Have a plan B in place, and know when rest is the better plan.
- Do what you enjoy. The chances of sticking with an activity will be far greater if it is something you like, that feels good or excites you, or that makes you feel happy while you’re doing it. Also, if you keep it simple, you’re more likely to keep at it.
- Get support; don’t go it alone. Studies consistently show that people who exercise with others are more likely to stick with it. You could find an exercise buddy, join an exercise class, work out with a fitness trainer, or make exercise a family affair. A good option is the Arthritis Foundation’s Walk With Ease program.
- Consult your health care team. Most people with mild to moderate OA can figure out on their own which type of physical activity and how much makes sense. People with severe symptoms, poor joint function or other health problems get guidance from their doctor. You might get a referral to a physical therapist or personal trainer who has experience working with people with arthritis.
I love my sister deeply and hope one day for a cure for her. One that will alleviate her of her pain as well as her fears. Till then we can only hope, raise awareness and fight to slow down the progression