Having a condition that causes chronic pain and fatigue can take a toll on your relationships. Find out how to improve communication skills, maintain intimacy with your partner despite pain, and get the help you need.
It’s not only the physical changes of arthritis that can give you trouble. One of the biggest — and most challenging — changes may be the realization that you need help from others. It’s not easy for most of us to ask for help, for all kinds of reasons.
At some point in your life, you may be called upon to help care for an elderly parent, a disabled adult child, or even one or more grandchildren. Caregiving can be satisfying, but balancing caregiving responsibilities with your need to take good care of yourself and your arthritis can be a real challenge.
Managing your arthritis depends on you and your health-care provider working as a team. That means continuing to make sure your doctor has the information he needs to understand your condition and your treatment goals, and that you have the information you need to manage your arthritis once you step out of your health-care provider's office.
For most people, managing arthritis is about exercise, relaxation, and medicines. But communicating well — making our needs known, saying “no” when appropriate, listening and asking questions, and explaining clearly what’s happening with us — can make a huge difference in our quality of life and in our relationships with family, friends, and doctors.
Because the effects of arthritis are often invisible, it is important to let friends and family members know how you feel, what you need, and what you are able (and unable) to do. As we all know, this isn’t always easy, but a few pointers can help you improve your communication skills.
Holiday gift giving is a way to show the people in your life how much you care about them. This year, consider giving gifts that will help the people on your list maintain and improve their health. There are many inexpensive options that can keep on giving for a lifetime. Gifts that offer good health and good cheer!
The pain, stiffness, fatigue, and lack of mobility that can accompany arthritis may prevent you from relaxing and enjoying the experience of sex, bringing added anxiety into the bedroom — and into your relationship. The situation can be difficult for your partner, too, and can result in a breakdown in communication.
Listening matters. Sometimes there is nothing more comforting than feeling that someone is listening to you and really hearing what you have to say. There are many things you can do so other people will listen the way you want them to, and so that you can lend your ear the way other people need.
Independence is part of our culture and our identity, and most people place a high value on it. People with arthritis are more likely to maintain their independence when they are able to clearly ask for the help they need and refuse unnecessary help. Here are some ways to distinguish between the two types of help — “helpful help” and “unhelpful help” — and get the help you need.
Author Gene Hill once said, "whoever said you can't buy happiness forgot little puppies." Everybody knows that most pet-owners love their furry (or scaly or feathery) friends, but did you know owning a pet can actually improve your arthritis?
Staying together is a challenge for most couples, but a chronic illness like arthritis makes it tougher. Arthritis often brings physical, emotional, and financial demands that can drive couples apart. Developing good communication and coping skills is essential
In the excitement (and fluster) of getting started with a new physician, it's easy to forget some of the questions you've been meaning to ask or the details that will give your doctor a clearer picture of your condition. In this article, we bring you tips on how to make sure partnering with a new doctor goes great from day one.
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