Exploring women’s arthritis issues and needs

JointHealth™ monthly – January 2015: New Year, New You!

JHM January Title PageJointHealth™ monthly – January 2015

New Year, New You!

In our first JointHealth™ monthly of 2015, we are focusing on initiatives that help Canadian women better manage their health and improve their quality of life. We also look at activities as part of the third year of Arthritis Consumer Experts and Arthritis Research Canada’s partnership with Shoppers Drug Mart/Pharmaprix. A partnership that has focused on women: mind, body, spirit.

Some of the stories in this month’s newsletter include:

  • How pharmacists at Shoppers Drug Mart and Pharmaprix locations can help with managing your arthritis.
  • Resolutions for women living with arthritis.
  • How weather plays a role in your arthritis.
  • How to stay active in 2015.

Arthritis Consumer Experts
jointhealth.org

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Say goodbye to your high heels…

Woman feet with heelsOr maybe tuck them away in your closet once in a while. Last year, at Arthritis Research Canada’s Reaching Out with Arthritis Research (ROAR) event, there was a section commenting on “changing shoes”, arthritis and self-identity. One lady in that research said:

“I started wearing flat shoes. So flat shoes meant pants and never wearing dresses and I was dressing differently and my life became different and after a couple of years, it just, you know, it [RA] wasn’t getting any better…I came to realization that this was it, I was giving up skiing, tennis, that part of my life’s gone.”

This is a demonstration of a causal relationship between arthritis and wearing high heels – I have arthritis; therefore, I am unable to wear high heels when my joints are inflamed or in pain. For those with a wandering mind, you may ask yourself: Can I get arthritis from wearing high heels? If yes, what can I do to add glamour to an outfit and boost my confidence without wearing high heels? 

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AS it Goes – Fall Flares

frozen fall leavesLike many people with arthritis, the change of seasons is a killer. This autumn, in particular, has been most unkind. First, my ankylosing spondylitis flared, and then aches and pains mysteriously appeared in various joints as the weather waxed and waned. Seriously: first a wicked snow storm dumped 10 cm of snow one day with temperatures plunging to negative digits, and then in the span of three days, the temperature soared to 18 °C! Continue reading

Qualman-Davies Award winner: Ms. Catherine Hofstetter

Ms. Catherine Hofstetter is the inaugural recipient of the 2014 Qualman-Davies Arthritis Consumer Community Leadership Award.

Catherine Hofstetter Picture

A successful business owner living with rheumatoid arthritis, Cathy has been an arthritis advocate for seventeen years championing the patient experience, promoting more effective treatments and healthcare policies, and motivating and mentoring consumers to become involved in research decision-making and positive reform of the healthcare system.

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AS it Goes – Life’s Bumps and Bruises

Illustration of two bandages taped across cut

Photo courtesy of kjnnt at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

The other day I noticed a large blue bruise on my shin. You would think that if your shin sports a two-inch round contusion, you would be able to recall what you had done to end up with that discoloration. But for the life of me, I could not remember hitting my shin so hard that it looked like someone had whacked my leg with a baseball bat.

Small bruises are not an uncommon occurrence for me. I often find small bruises on my arms and legs (last week I found one on my stomach) in varying shades of blue, green and yellow. My favourite is the rainbow-streaked bruise created on the inside of my lower arm after I have had a blood test. Continue reading

Spotlight on Arthritis Superheroes

 

Today, the Spotlight on Arthritis Superheroes is shining on Zandrea Bailey, sixth finisher in the Miss Universe Jamaica (MUJ) 2014 pageant.

Picture of Zandrea Bailey

From: https://www.facebook.com/zandreaformissuniverseja2014

 

When the 24-year-old graced the stage of MUJ 2014, nobody would have guessed she was battling a form of lupus called Systematic Lupus Erythematosus.

Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) occurs when the body’s immune system begins to malfunction and attack healthy tissue in various parts of the body, causing inflammation and damage. Tissues affected can include the skin, joints, muscles, kidneys, lungs, heart, blood vessels, and brain.

Zandrea’s introduction to lupus was at an early age, through her mother. Her mother has been living with Discoid Lupus for 23 years.

In 2011, Zandrea’s friends and family encouraged her to join the Miss Jamaica World Beauty Pageant; however, she failed to make the final that year. Determined, she said:

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