Posts tagged ‘guest post’

September 12, 2012

#359 – Erasing Pain While Drawing

Last week, when Gillian in Hamilton, Ontario left a comment, I chose not to publish it because I felt it deserved its own time in the spotlight. Gillian agreed to my request to appear as a guest to share her great find.

Available at

I do a lot of drawing. I have just found a product that helps reduce the stress and pain in my wrists is caused by the back and forth movements required by a standard eraser.

 Made by Kohn-i-noor, this battery-operated eraser comes with 2 AA batteries and 8 replacement erasers. While holding it like a pencil, you apply constant pressure on a button to activate the eraser. To stop the eraser, just release the button.

I bought it at Currys Art Supply store.

 While it may not last forever, this tool requires a lot less  pressure and twisting than an ordinary eraser. I hope others will find this battery operated eraser as useful and pain relieving as I do.

June 6, 2012

Children, Self-Care and Vacuuming

I’m delighted to introduce you to Harmony Wilderson, who has blog entitled Laughing Through the Pain of RA. She graciously and good-naturedly accepted my request to do a guest post. This practical post is all about setting priorities.

RA symptoms can sap your strength and leech the fun right out of you. But if you’re the parent of young children, you need to maintain the highest level of wellness possible. Nap time for the kids is a great chance to catch up on a little TLC.

Years ago, my children’s nap time meant two hours of frantic cleaning. My house looked great, but by evening, I didn’t care. The pain and stiffness in my joints overwhelmed my feelings of accomplishment.

Now I keep my Dr. Scholl’s Paraffin Spa out-of-reach but handy. While the grandchild sleeps, I coat my hands with several thick layers of hot wax, wrap them in a soft towel, and let the heat restore me. Better than vacuuming, any day.

Image courtesy of Armin Hanisch.

May 21, 2012

Rheumatoid Arthritis: Putting Your Best Foot Forward

I was delighted when Christian Johannsen of Foot Solutions in Vancouver, B.C., asked me to write a guest post. Of course, as a lover of idioms, I just had to reference feet, which do take a beating, even if you don’t live with rheumatoid arthritis. Like your feet, I hope the ten tips provide you with a foundation to help you walk through life

Please stroll, stride or sidle on over to Rheumatoid Arthritis: Putting Your Best Foot Forward.

Image courtesy of T. Young.

April 19, 2012

Accepting Help: Advocacy at the University Level

It is with great pleasure that I introduce you to Kathryn. She is an undergraduate student who has a blog entitled Rheumatoid is a Funny Word.

As it has been many years since I’ve been in university, I felt that a fresh (and young) perspective was needed. Kathryn graciously accepted my request to do a guest post.

Here it is:

Rheumatoid arthritis is one of those diseases that can take on a life of its own. The symptoms can change rapidly from morning to night, or even hour to hour; they can progressively worsen, as was my case during a fall semester at university. I made it through (somehow) with decent grades, but my body and mind were devastated.

It was only after I had completed my terrible semester that I finally took the advice of my favorite professor, who had encouraged me to seek out Disability Services. At the time, I didn’t feel as if I deserved help; I had yet to accept my debilitating illness as a disability. After watching the quick work stress made of my already deteriorating body, though, I realized that I needed some support.

From the minute I sat down with my new advocate, I knew I had done myself a grave disservice by shying away from this valuable resource. My advocate listened intently, took extensive notes, and provided me with the professional support I needed to focus on school. I came to realize that Disability Services was not there to make the conditions of my degree easier, but instead to provide knowledge and advocacy, taking away the stress of managing and explaining my RA.

Together, we worked out a number of little solutions that might make my semesters less stressful:

  • use a laptop to take notes
  • remove or lessen attendance requirements
  • write an impact letter describing the ways in which RA affects my education
  • distribute the letters to my professors to encourage dialogue.

I will never have to advocate for myself again. If ever a professor refuses to make changes, my counselor with Disability Services will stand by my side. When my arthritis began to take over my life, I wondered if I would ever graduate.

Having a chronic illness is life changing, whether you are still a student or are far beyond school. Take advantage of the helpful resources provided for you, and reduce everyday stress on your already struggling body.

Information about the American with Disabilities Act can be found here

In Canada, please see the Council of Canadians with Disabilities.

I am thankful for the progress  that has been made in terms of support, services and legislation. When I was diagnosed at the age of nineteen, the university didn’t have an advocacy department.

To read the full article, please visit Reducing Stress by Accepting Help: Advocacy at the University Level.

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