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Sunday, January 19, 2014

Back to Work with Rheumatoid Arthritis

When I was first diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis in 2005, I was a workaholic and still am in many ways, however, I realize now that my body never lies. It cries out when I am over worked, stressed, tired, or simply not taking care of myself.  Since then, I have been very careful to maintain a balanced lifestyle, prioritizing and safeguarding my time to be fruitful in the areas that matter most to me.

It's been 2 weeks since I've been back full-time to my desk-job working with spreadsheets and numbers. This is an area, I actually ENJOY :) Believe it or not, but I LOVE numbers and thus, my days pass quite quickly. An excel spreadsheet to me is like a canvas to an artist. There are days though that I can feel my RA acting up, from either not watching my gluten free diet or not getting enough sleep.  I am the type to work past the discomfort.  Thank God, my job is in the health and wellness industry and I am reminded daily, to take the time to do a yoga class for myself. Do I?

I try and for now, that's good enough for me as I transition to full-time work and my children to day care. The key I think is not to demand too much of myself, but accept.

Total acceptance from head to toe, inside and out is my goal right now. It use to be a successful woman in heels and a power suit, but now my goal is to accept myself wearing the least clothing as possible in a sweaty hot room doing Bikram Yoga.

LOL It's funny where life takes you, the neccessity life reveals, the challenges it poses. In the end, it all makes sense. I need to accept every part of myself and to do that it starts with the part I hate about myself and that is............... my feet!  My feet swell when my RA acts up. I sometimes walk with a limp. They are deformed from the RA and I was very serious about surgery to fix them. However each time I attempted to book an appointment, Life sent something my way. First time, I was preganant, so I had to cancel. Second time, my father passed away.  I don't believe there will be a third time, as I am obviously not suppose to get surgery. I am to accept them and what better way to do that than baring them naked in a yoga class.

So I am trying to incorporate yoga in my work schedule without being too hard on myself, knowing it is for my own good and the benefits will not only be physical. Perhaps more regular yoga will also help with this nagging upper back pain, build confidence, and bring peace to my mind and body.


  1. I'd like to interview for an article on raising a family while dealing with RA but can't find your contact info anywhere on this blog?!? I tweeted you too -- please let me know a way I can reach you or DM me on twitter! thanks!

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  2. Hi Jo:

    My name is Kathleen Engel and I am an editor at Health Monitor Network in Montvale, NJ. My company publishes guides on various health conditions that are distributed free to patients through doctors' offices. (You can see our site at

    I am working on our next Guide to RA and would love to include a tip from you, along with your photo. If you'll send me your email address, I'd be happy to send you a PDF of a recent issue so you can see what the guide looks like. Then you can let me know if you'd like to participate.

    Thanks so much. I have enjoyed your blog!

    Kathleen Engel