April 21, 2013
When I was diagnosed with RA, I read everything I could find. I have a favorite book. This book gave me a sense of direction for my disease at a time when I was totally overwhelmed. I started a journal which I keep daily and I set goals for myself. The book is called The First Year: Rheumatoid Arthritis, An Essential Guide for the Newly Diagnosed. It is written by M.E.A. McNeil and published by Marlowe & Company. It is one in their series of very successful The First Year series. It can be purchased on Amazon as a hardcover or as an eBook.
A quote to show the hopefulness of the book:
“The prognosis for those diagnosed now with RA is generally good, but it depends a lot on our choices. “Mishaps,” wrote James Russell Lowell, “are like knives that either serve us or cut us as we grasp them by the blade or the handle.” You can respond to the diagnosis of what is usually a lifelong disease with despair, or you can undertake a well-managed program and lead an active life. Treatment includes an exercise program, joint protection, weight control, relaxation techniques, heat, and medication. A combination of therapies appear to be the most helpful. Prospects are improved dramatically if you start the program early and aggressively.”
All the medical authorities encourage aggressive and early treatment because it is accepted that the worst joint damage occurs within the first two years of diagnosis.
For me my medical plan is central to my care. Avoiding permanent joint damage is important to me. In reality, there is a fine balancing act between avoiding the complications of the disease and the complications of the treatment. I am lucky to have a good doctor and healthcare plan. This book gave me a way to organize all the aspects of the disease allowing me to benefit from both the medical community and all the healthy support resources available, including Yoga, best diet, exercise, and supplements to optimize the quality of my life.