RA Blog Week: Tips and Tricks

Tips and Tricks: What are the ways you have learned to work around the physical difficulties and limitations of your autoimmune condition. #RABlog
I think it is my stubborn streak (or possibly stupidity) that prevents me from buying any gadgets that are intended to make life with RA easier. It is silly I know, but by refusing to accept them into my life, I somehow feel like I have taken a stand against RA. But, if I am honest, I have learned many tricks to work around my limitations.   
Scissors: Sometimes I feel like a scissor junkie because I keep them in my car, in every school bag, in the kitchen, on my desk…everywhere. My right hand hasn’t fully functioned in years and I often can’t open packages. There is nothing worse than trying to open a chocolate bar and your hands won’t let you do it!  
Family: With my kids growing up and not being around the house as often, I realize they have been one of my tricks for years. More often than not they help open jars, cans, bags, etc. If my husband is about to leave before I start cooking, I tend to have him open jars before heading out. I have had more than a few panic attacks when I realized I am home alone and there is nobody to open jars for me.    

Gloves: While perimenopausal symptoms keeping my body overheated, Rayaund’s makes my hands and ears susceptible to cold. Like scissors, I keep a pair of gloves everywhere. Occasionally my daughter borrows my jacket and takes out my gloves. If I discover this after I have left the house,  I am horrified that my hands might get cold because once they do, it can get bad really fast. I also have hats and headbands to protect my ears and I keep a stash of Hot Hands in the car just in case. 

Shoes: I am on my feet a lot as a teacher. I have had nights that I stood behind my desk the entire night because I couldn’t wear my shoes any longer. Over the years, I have invested in shoes that work for my feet. They aren’t the most attractive, but my feet are happy with me. Brands I have had the most success with are Dansko and Keen. For shorter periods, I like Vans. Also, I try to keep my feet cool. When they overheat, they swell. I wear light socks that don’t snug my feet too tightly. 

I am sure there are other tips and tricks I use, but I am interested, what tips and tricks do you use?

11 thoughts on “RA Blog Week: Tips and Tricks

  1. Cathy, I also dislike gadgets. Except I use a grip pad to remove jar lids. I think I keep it around because I had it pre RA. Oh and I guess bicycle pedal extenders are useful as well. With the semi clubfoot I need those to be able to ride my bicycle. Hmm it looks like I have more of these than I every thought.

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  2. Great tips, Cathy. Your section about scissors made me think about how, when I was a girl of about 9 or 10, we all carried around a pocket knife. Nobody killed anyone with it and I never knew of anyone who got injured. But boy, would that be handy now…

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  3. I wasn't into gadgets for a while either. However, my electric can opener and t-shaped peeler help me tremendously in the kitchen. I also keep lightweight gloves in my car year round. My compression gloves and wrist wraps allow me to continue my yoga practice, so they're always in my yoga bag.

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  4. I used to teach too. Shoes are definitely the most important part of surviving life. I used to keep pairs of different types in my closet so I could switch whenever my feet needed a break. I also got permission to teach in my socks.

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  5. All the men in my family had pocket knives growing up. When you went to open a box, they all came out. The only one that got hurt was me. I was five years old and tried to open it in the back seat of the car.

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