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Tips for coping with rheumatoid arthritis

(8 Posts)
kittylester Thu 10-Nov-16 09:18:27

I've mentioned before that my bil suffers with very bad rheumatoid arthritis and I am wondering about any tips anyone else might have for helping him live more comfortably with it.

Would a memory foam mattress be a help or a hindrance, what about those chairs that help people stand?

Any other suggestions?

Teetime Thu 10-Nov-16 10:03:51

Hallo kitty I think I probably told you my mother had RA but also my BIL, my eldest daughter has a form of it and my SIL has it. All these people made their condition far worse by refusing to move about to the extent that my SIL is housebound. Her husband insisted on buying her mobility aids (stair lift etc) at far to early a stage and she just gave up. Both my daughter and my SIL have been offered very expensive new drugs but by self injection so first you seem to have to go through many hurdles before you get put on these drugs but also you have to be prepared to comply absolutely with the drug regime. Its working well for BIL but he still only goes for a one mile walk once a week. There is a lot to be gained from a positive attitude which is hard when your in pain so you do have to keep going back until the medics get the pain control right and I know its still hard and its a battle.

However certainly my daughter and I (Lupus) really love our memory foam mattresses for comfort on aching and swollen joints.

There is some evidence not much of dietary changes being of help - big bad gluten for example, dairy and citrus fruits.
I hope he is not to uncomfortable and has a good physician that's very important.

kittylester Thu 10-Nov-16 10:33:05

Thanks Teetime. He has had it years and has always been very active, walking the dog, hill walking etc and has had lots of joints replaced. He is currently waiting for an op on his back which has just been cancelled but is in agony. He is quite bloody minded though and difficult to help. Or maybe that should be that he doesn't do what I say! blush

He said our memory foam mattress was comfy but hasn't replaced theirs. He has been having infusions of something or another on a regular basis which did help but don't now.

He hurts too much to walk far now.

Newquay Thu 10-Nov-16 22:53:44

Oh how I sympathise! Our DD2 came down with this wretched illness in her teens. She has been young enough to to benefit from all the new (biological) drugs that have come out since. However if you met her you wouldn't know she has it; she leads a full life despite being in pain and SO tired. We have to ask how things are going and she always says 'OK'. She, too, now self injects once a week at home, assures me her bloods are closely monitored. How she managed to get through her degree (in computing) while her hands were swollen is a mystery and testament to her endurance. She's happily married and three years ago presented us with our DGD. We never thought she could go through a pregnancy (having had to come off all her drugs for six months before) but she did and never said a thing to us. (She lives a distance from us so I suppose it made it easier to say nowt). So, I think a lot of it is mind over matter. Keeping active and weight down. A comfy bed is essential.

kittylester Fri 11-Nov-16 06:11:45

Wow, your daughter is inspirational! flowers

Iam64 Fri 11-Nov-16 07:48:04

kitty, I was diagnosed in my 40's when the consultant confirmed from my medical history, I'd had it from the age of 25 at least. I was reluctant to take the drugs but did so. About five years ago it became so bad I was prescribed the biologics that you self inject weekly. I know there are risks with the medication but in my case, it gave me my life back. Prior to starting I had no energy, constant pain and so restricted socially.
A good mattress is essential, as are chairs of a reasonable height. So much modern furniture looks lovely but it's too low to the ground for comfort. Keep active, don't put too much weight on. So far as diet is concerned, the experts all tell me there isn't any evidence to support cutting out certain foods unless, of course, you find they cause a flare. I can't eat Chinese, if I eat too much meat, cheese etc I notice I'm not as fit. So, a good diet with more vegetables than meat, oily fish 3 times a week. Try and avoid stress or find ways of managing it and get enough rest.
Newquay, your daughter is doing good isn't she. I often feel this is one of those invisible illnesses. People tell you how well you look and have no idea about the level of determination it takes. The good thing for your daughter is the medications continue to improve.

DaphneBroon Fri 11-Nov-16 08:27:10

Like newquay I have a daughter who was diagnosed with a form of arthritis, in her case Psoriatic Arthritis before the age of 30, which is also very aggressive and destructive of the joints.
She was very lucky to be offered a place on a monoclonal antibody drugs trial at Barts 18 months later and the difference has been amazing.
She also cut out wheat and indeed all gluten from her diet and has remained very slim (size 8) and it has meant no babies, but she and her husband seem content to wait as it has given her her life back. There are risks too which I prefer not to dwell on, but so far, so good.
Sorry, kitty this doesn't answer your question, but it can be helpful to feel one is not alone with this horrid disease.

annsixty Fri 11-Nov-16 09:34:23

My H's nephews also started this in his teens. He has had a very restricted life but has made the best of it. He had to be home schooled at a time when it was almost unknown. His first wife walked out when she couldn't cope but he has a lovely second wife who can and does. As he has got older he is more restricted and is not at all well but he couldn't take advantage of the newer treatments now available.
The very best wishes to you all dealing with it. either yourself or your family