As a self-proclaimed summer gal, it’s always difficult to watch the daylight dim a little faster and feel the crispness in the air more frequently. When summer leaves, dragging along a jacket is required, not suggested, while long strolls with the dogs become quick, swift steps to let them “do their thing” as fast as possible. Even though summer must turn to fall, there’s still a little magic that comes with the new season. Since it’s coming no matter what, you might as well have fun and enjoy it.
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“The act of creating can be a great form for meditation and a vehicle to process and communicate the complicated emotions of chronic illness. The support, education, and true friendship I have received from the AI community is immeasurable.”
“I use art to express myself and as my stress relief - visually representing the pain, happiness, fear of my moment. It allows me to escape if I need or to portray experiences that I might not otherwise be able to express. In short, it is my sanity.”
The experiences we enjoy when we gather together leave imprints on our hearts.
The adventures we engage in Bring us closer to one another and leave us with that “Feel good” sensation.
These meetings we attend can find us nervous, scared and shy at first. However...soon we exchange a smile with the person next to us.Before we know it we’ve made several new friends...the next day ...the next conference...the following year...
Sharing common ground with a complete stranger Can make you laugh (it can also put tears in your eyes.)
“I enjoy gardening, but with the severity of joint deformities on my hands and fingers due to damages caused by Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis, it’s hard to plant flowers or vegetables directly in the dirt in my backyard. Air plant gardening helps me take my mind off of pain so that I can focus my attention to decorating them in a terrarium or create container to store them. I love watching them grow and thrive into living art pieces!”
The creaky and swollen frame of a bridge that I have to cross- each day, each day
Began to ask, “Why do you even bother? It takes you all day to cross me. Sometimes when you get to the other side, where the garden is, it’s raining and the sky is so black you can’t see… Anything, anything at all.”
The sun is bright, I take it in
My mind is ready to go
The day is young but I feel old
My body weak but spirit bold.
Noon has come but the day seems long
How can I feel so worn?
People moving fast and free
Oh why can't that be me?
Night is near but I am done
Ready to let my body rest
“This Strength Tree mandala was inspired by the thought that we are super strong at our core (our trunk) despite our physical & emotional pain, loss of mobility and body changes (the gnarled roots and twisted branches). My arthritis friends are the strongest people I know. Creative self-expression helps me soothe the aching parts of my soul. Creating mandalas and other art gives me the power to share deep meaning with others and hopefully, resonate with their own heart and soul.”
We travel not to escape life, but for life not to escape us. ~Anonymous
Traveling enriches us, as we experience things that are different and new. It can also be tiring and challenging, especially when traveling with a rheumatic condition. But it doesn’t have to be impossible—all it takes is planning. Below are strategies to help make traveling easier with a rheumatic disease.
Step 1: Get Ready to Travel
Make an appointment with your doctor 4-6 weeks before your trip. At this visit, you should: