Archive for ‘Pain/Joint Relief’

November 28, 2018

#556 – Soak Your Feet in Epsom Salt

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I first experienced the miracle of Epsom salt when I took advantage of a Groupon offer for a one-hour soak in a flotation tank.  I did notice that my back pain diminished after the hour-long soak.

Flotation tanks contain a lot of Epsom salt, or magnesium sulfate, which is beneficial for relieving aches, pains and bruises. It is also helpful in removing slivers.

If a flare or joint destruction is keeping you out of the tub, remember that you can treat your feet and still enjoy the benefits of an Epsom salt soak. Fill a basin with water that is as hot as you can tolerate. Add in at least two cups of Epsom salts. Then settle in for a soak in front of your favourite program, or with your book. It’s also a good time to slow down and do a stress technique. Repeat. 

The evidence is inconclusive as to whether enough magnesium can be absorbed through the feet to make a difference. However

Generally, an Epsom salt bath is considered safe. However, it is wise to  check with your doctor to see if this is right for you.

November 6, 2018

#555 – Medical Intake Forms


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Whenever I see a new health practitioner, I ask that the medical intake form be emailed to me so that I can print it off and complete it at home.

I do this for three reasons:

  1. I have a fairly detailed medical history and it’s easier to refer to my notes at home.
  2. Dependent on the length of time it takes to complete the form, ulnar deviation makes it difficult to write for any length of time.
  3. I do my utmost to arrive 10 to 15 minutes early for my appointments. However, sometimes traffic, or some other unforeseen event, intervenes. If I’m running late (*quelle horreur!), I’ll at least have completed the intake form so that I’m ready to be whisked into the appointment. (Yes, it’s wishful thinking that all appointments start at the designated time.)

People who have a chronic illness such as RA, tend to have a very extensive health history. As a matter of course, the patient should be given the option of completing the form prior to the appointment. We have the technology, so let’s make use of it.

Related posts:


October 22, 2018

#554 – Making the Best of a Freezer Purchase


Why, oh why did I choose to buy a chest freezer? It would have been a better idea to spend a little more money and get an upright version. Anyone with a chest freezer is familiar with the nose dive that is required to get things out of its icy depths.

I’ve found a trick that makes it easier to get what you need from your freezer.

I separate food into plastic shopping bags. Chicken goes in one. Frozen beans/chickpeas go into another bag. Frozen fish, veggies, berries, left-overs, etc., each get their own bag. When I need something, I haul out the bags, versus each individual item. It’s certainly a lot quicker and I don’t have to leave freezer open as long. The other benefit is that if your RA fingers aren’t as nimble as you’d like, you’re able to push your hands through the handles and support the bag on your forearm, saving wear and tear on your fingers.

At least now my freezer doesn’t leave me in the cold!

September 25, 2018

#553 – Swimming Through Life with RA



What an honour it is to be featured on the’s Flourish – Helping You Move Through Life with Arthritis section.

See: A Mentor Among Us.


Challenges are a part of life, whether they be emotional, mental or physical. Sometimes all you can do is tread water and hope that some rogue wave doesn’t pull you under. Other times, you swim to distant shores, if not always easily, but with practised determination.

Swimming has been a constant for me. Little did I know that all those years I spent in the pool, prior to being diagnosed with RA at 20, would become the thing that keeps me mobile and fit. It brings me joy and allows me to move easily when my land-lubber self doesn’t always do so.

Granted, because of surgeries and the way my body has changed because of RA, I have had to modify how I do things. For example, I no longer do bilateral breathing when I swim front crawl because of my fused C-1 and C-2 joints. So, instead I use a snorkel. While I can still use my arms in the breast stroke, whip kick is ill-advised with my hip replacements and wonky ankle. Speaking of hands, I often use hand paddles which not only provide resistance, but also protect my fingers. Admittedly, it took some work to reconcile myself with the fact that I can no longer execute my swimming strokes as well as I once did. I’ve had to learn to adapt as the years flow by, which incidentally, is a strategy I use to help me age well. I do the best I can for each given day.

Just as certain as there is an ebb and flow to the tides, I will continue to swim my way through life with RA.

I have RA, it doesn’t have me!

Will I see you in the pool?

Si vous voulez lire la truduction en français, le voilà: Une mentore pour nous guider.

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