My Arthritis Journey + Free Printable Journal & Weekly Goals

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When I hit my mid-20s, I started experiencing almost daily pain.  The pain was so severe that there were days that I couldn't get off the couch.  There were times that the pain was so severe that I would lie down and shake uncontrollably from the excruciating pain.  Since I was young, the doctor really wasn't sure what was happening, so he ordered tests.  He could tell from the results that I had a lot of inflammation, so he sent me to a specialist where I was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis.  He suggested that I take Advil to help me with the pain.  I made some lifestyle changes to help me reduce my overall pain, and I'm very thankful for anti-inflammatory medications for take care of the rest of my pain.  Thanks to Advil, I can do things that I couldn't do a few years ago.  I'm not alone in my arthritis pain; 53 million Americans have are affected my arthritis!  May is National Arthritis Month, so I'm sharing my story and how I find relief.    

My Arthritis Journey + Free Printable Journal & Weekly Goals

My daily pain has greatly reduced since I started on this journey, but I do have problems with my hands, feet, and knees almost every day.  Sometimes my hands can't grip things, so I need some help opening bottles, and I drop things a lot.  I love the Advil EZ open cap because I can open it myself, especially since my hands are at their worst in the morning before my medication.

My doctor recommends that I take Advil to help with my arthritis pain, and the medicine in Advil is the one doctors recommend most for joint pain. More than the medicine in Tylenol or Aleve.**  I love that I can get my medicine at Walmart during my weekly shopping trips with no prescription.  

**Based on a survey of monthly doctor recommendations.

Just a few short years ago, I couldn't play with my kids, climb steps, or do any type of exercise.  Those months were awful, but it did teach me not to take anything for granted.  Now that my arthritis pain is under control, I like to stay active.  Since I was inactive due to the pain, I gained a lot of weight.  I'm still trying to get that weight off, and I need to get serious.  I'm a list maker and planner, so I made a printable journaling sheet and fitness tracker so I can keep track of my results.  See the bottom of the post to print your own journal and weekly goal sheets.  

Tips for living with arthritis pain

If you've been diagnosed with arthritis, talk to your doctor about making lifestyle changes to get relief.  Here is what helped me the most:

  1. Exercise.  A body in motion stays in motion!  The first few days were very rough, but after that, I felt a lot better on the days that I exercised.
  2. Drink water.  If I don't drink enough water, my pain level definitely increases.
  3. Eat healthy.  This is probably the hardest for me, but I'm giving up processed foods.  I've found that I feel better if I eat real foods.  

If you suffer from arthritis, get your better living toolkit to help you live better.  What can you do now that you don't have arthritis pain?

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