Use a checklist to help you manage important aspects of living with arthritis. For each item on your personal checklist, periodically assess or rate how you are doing. Here's an example of a checklist -- you can use this one if it works well for you or create your own.
CHECKLIST: Do You Have It or Not?
A Doctor Whom You Trust
Can you think of anything more important than having a doctor you can talk to and trust? If that is the relationship you have carved out with your doctor - one that's based on communication and trust - you are on your way to living well with arthritis.
- The Right Doctor For You
- How Would You Rate Your Doctor?
- Should You Change Your Doctor?
- 10 Reasons to Fire Your Doctor
A Treatment Plan With Which You Are Fully Compliant
You can have the most communicative, trustworthy doctor in the world, but if you fail to be compliant with your treatment plan, expect no benefit from it. The doctor must be able to trust you, just as you trust him. You must be honest about taking medications as prescribed and being committed to all aspects of your treatment (e.g. exercise and physical therapy). Your doctor's job is to guide you down the right path, and your job is to follow that path.
- Arthritis Drugs - What Are My Options?
- Treatment of Arthritis
- Drug Safety Is Partly the Patient's Responsibility
A Healthy Lifestyle -- Including Exercise, Eating Well, and Sleeping Well
It's purely logical that a healthy lifestyle will promote better overall health and better disease management. Good nutrition, building your strength and stamina, and being well-rested are all essential to living well with arthritis.
- Exercise - Essential Treatment for Arthritis
- Arthritis Patients Need More ZZZ's
- Are Antioxidants Beneficial for Arthritis?
- Beta-Cryptoxanthin In Fruits And Vegetables May Cut Arthritis Risk
It's the "never going to give up" spirit -- you will always find a way; you will overcome. Throughout your lifetime of living with arthritis, that spirit will carry you through many difficult moments. Perseverance will block negative thinking and intrusive emotions that can interfere with getting through each day in a positive way.
- A Positive Approach to Arthritis
- Striking a Balance With Arthritis
- Ups and Downs of Living With Arthritis
- 10 Ways to Improve Your Life With Arthritis
A Manageable and Accessible Environment at Home
Is your home set up so that you can manage usual daily activities? Is there anything you need in your home that would make daily activities easier? Consider both your needs and what's available to you, and create a match. Work towards improving your environment to make things easier and to compensate for your physical limitations.
- Arthritis Affects Daily Living Activities
- 10 Cooking Tips for People With Arthritis
- How to Organize Your Kitchen if You Have Arthritis
- Arthritis Aids and Assistive Devices
A Manageable and Accessible Environment at Work
The qualifications here are essentially the same as above, just within the workplace setting instead of at home. Are your needs met so you can function well at work and be productive? Is there room for improvement in your work environment?
Time for Yourself to Decompress
Arthritis can be stressful, to say the least. Chronic, daily pain, more than you may have ever imagined -- it takes a toll. To reverse that burden, you need to take time to decompress. How that's accomplished is up to you. It can mean reading a book to one person or a motorcycle ride to another. Whatever clears your mind and allows you to relax, do it on a regular basis. As needed is the key!
- Reading Aids Can Help People With Arthritis
- Continue Your Hobbies Despite Arthritis
- Nintendo Wii Can be Therapeutic
Someone to Turn to for Emotional Support
Sometimes decompressing by yourself isn't enough, and you may need someone who genuinely understands what you are going through. Do you have someone like that in your life? I call them your "go-to person" -- the person you go to when you just need to be heard, and someone whom you find comforting.
- Family and Friends - Do They Understand Your Arthritis?
- Poll: How Understanding Is the Person Closest to You?
The Mindset That "Feeling Sorry for Yourself" Isn't an Option
Maybe for a split second, on occasion, feeling sorry for yourself wouldn't be too damaging. But never let it become a way of life. Replace those thoughts with a forward-thinking, optimistic, solution-based mindset.
- Do You Hate Having Arthritis?
- Why Do Arthritis Patients Hate to Ask for Help?
- Has Arthritis Made You Ask "Why Me"?
- Conquering Depression
A Hopeful Attitude for the Future
There must always be hope that things will get better. Of course, there is a range of what we mean by "get better" -- from a day without pain to a cure for arthritis. But remaining hopeful is a big part of living well with arthritis.