How Rheumatoid Arthritis Affects Your Life
Tips on working and living with RA.
In Life With RA, Struggle = Success
Thanks to effective treatments, living well with rheumatoid arthritis is
within reach for more people than ever.
Teresa Shaffer, her husband, and children worked together to build a strong
family life despite RA.
She wrestled almost daily with RA as a young mom. "When my kids were
growing up, I would have to say 'no' to a lot of activities they wanted to do,
because I knew I couldn't manage it. And as a mom, that hurt as much as the
physical pain," she says.
She and her husband tried to communicate openly, and acknowledge
frustrations. "He's 100% supportive, but he gets frustrated when he can't
do anything about [the pain]," she says. "Still, I would rather he say
something rather than keep it inside, even if I don't really want to hear
Now entering her third decade of life with RA, Shaffer says, "I'm the
same person I was 20 years ago. My body has changed, but I have the same
feelings, I want the same things out of life."
She's hurting, but hasn't canceled her flight to Minnesota for a conference
on pain advocacy. The way Shaffer sees it, "As long as I'm struggling
against it, I may have RA, but RA doesn't have me."