Today’s writing prompt is about sharing tips and tricks for getting around the physical difficulties and limitations that often accompany an autoimmune disease. While I acknowledge that what works for one person may not work as well for another, I think there is a lot we can learn from others. For instance, one of the earliest treatments that I tried was acupuncture. I had a family friend recommend their acupuncturist and I thought it would be great to try. I am not a needle person but, the benefits would far outweigh any misgivings I might have had. I went to several sessions with no discernable benefit. I also could never relax thinking of all of the needles. However, I completely understand how others are helped by it.
One of the more interesting things I have tried include floating, where you get in a bathtub full of salt that allows you to float on the water’s surface without using muscles or joints. It is glorious and I highly recommend! I think it has something to do with taking the pressure off of my joints and it just helps me to relax. In addition to floating, a regular massage has been beneficial therapy. I also like to use a sauna or steam in the winter.
In terms of working with a disability, I recommend a Pilot Dr. Grip Pen. This was actually recommended by the Arthritis Foundation and I have found it to be very helpful, especially when I absolutely need to write. I often type with a wrist guard or other device to help stabilize my wrist. I also invested in a kabooti chair pillow. It is an added cushion for my spine while I sit and type.
I was also fortunate enough to have a wonderful family that has helped support me financially by allowing me to live with my parents and work part time. My parents have been a huge blessing and I couldn’t do it without them. Not needing to travel, for work, has also been great for me since I can conduct business through Google Hang Out or Skype. I also wear a mask when appropriate and I have to be out in flu and cold season, for work.
My goal is to share this; anything is possible with an autoimmune disease. It may mean modifying or expanding your perceptions of work and life balance. Not everyone will have the same success with floating that I have but, if it helps one person that it was worth discussion. I would also like to encourage those with an autoimmune disease to know your body and your limitations and don’t get discouraged when you think you should be able to do something and can’t. I hope that everyone can find some relief and more importantly a cure!
Lots of health and love.