The Difference Between Curing And Healing

Dr. Rachel Naomi RemenA recent podcast of NPR’s Speaking of Faith struck a chord with me. It features an interview with physician and author, Dr. Rachel Naomi Remen, who has lived with Crohn’s disease since she was 15 years old. I found the discussion in the podcast to be immensely inspiring, plus it gave me hope. How refreshing it was to learn how Dr. Remen’s experience with battling Crohn’s has actually shaped her as a doctor.

She developed a course called “The Healer’s Art,” which is now taught at universities around the U.S. Students learn that healing and curing are two different types of relationships, while being reminded “of their power to make a difference through their human response and connection to their patients.” Continue reading

Arthritis Word Cloud

I stumbled across this fun li’l web tool (aka time-suck) the other day and tried it out by making a cloud with all the words that came to mind when I spent a few minutes thinking about how I manage my disease. Here’s my result.  I also used this tool to create a simple header for my blog until I get the snazzier one uploaded.

Create your own and post a link to it in the comments!

Wordle [via Lifehacker]

Perspectives On A Chronic Ailment

I found Siri Hustvedt’s philosophy on dealing with chronic migraines fascinating. After years of intense migraines and a period of time where she ruthlessly searched for a cure, she found that acceptance and the ability to “let go” were the keys to a more tolerable migraine.
Siri Hustvedt writes:

“I have come to think of migraines as a part of me, not as some force or plague that infects my body. Chronic headaches are my fate, and I have adopted a position of philosophical resignation. I am aware that such a view is resoundingly un-American. Our culture does not encourage anyone to accept adversity. On the contrary, we habitually declare war on the things that afflict us, whether it’s drugs, terrorism, or cancer.”

Continue reading

Welcome, Friend!

Hi. I’m Sheryl. I was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis when I was 25. I’m now 36. I suppose you could say this blog has been 11 years in the making, but it wasn’t until the last year or so that found myself thinking seriously about creating an online residence where arthritis warriors of all ages could visit for wellness tips, health hacks and gadget reviews. This year, I decided to put my keyboard where my mouth is and set this idea in motion.

You are looking straight into the eyes of the result: ArthritisFriend.com (aka your new BFF).

Now, I’m not a doctor and I don’t have a medical degree. My knowledge comes from having lived with RA for the last decade of my life. Learning about my condition and, more importantly, how to live with arthritis has been a bumpy road that at times has left me feeling scared and alone. I know I am not the only one out there that has felt like this. There are 46 million people (self-reported, doctor-diagnosed) living with arthritis-related diseases, with more being diagnosed each year, at every age.

I’ve collected a lot of information over the years and had countless experiences that I plan to share as a person living with arthritis, but I know I don’t know everything. I am also counting on you to offer your thoughts and hacks. We don’t have to go through this alone. Let’s help each other out!

I invite you to…
Participate in the discussion. Start the discussion. Email me your own tips, topic ideas and favorite tools. Make your friends laugh with a “Pre-Existing Conditions Suck” T-shirt. Be a wallflower. Be who you are.

To paraphrase that famous quote from Casablanca, I hope this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.

Thanks for stopping by my place.