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November 13, 2009


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Great post! My rheumatologist once told me she’ll be supportive of all my goals until the day I tell her I’ve decided to become an Olympic sprinter. Hasn’t happened so far.

I think it’s important for people with RA to find something that challenges them and that they’re passionate about, and become truly good at it. As a kid, when my RA was quite severe and I was acquiring a lot of permanent damage, my doctors made me stop doing most of the things I loved, like piano, horseback riding, skating, even drawing, because I was told I shouldn’t even attempt to hold a pencil. While it was probably the best course of action to take at the time (it was years before there was Enbrel or any of the other modern drugs that are so great at preventing damage), it left me feeling like the only kid who didn’t have any hobbies or talents.
I started taking singing lessons a few months ago, and one of the reasons I love it so much is that I’ve finally found something I can use my body for. It’s definitely a challenge, but it feels great to really work at something physical and actually have a hope of improving and achieving my goals.

Whatever you decide about whether to try dancing again, it sounds like you’ve already learned a lot about that give-and-take we all have to practice with our illness.


Love the comic! Totally true. Why do they always make it look easy!

Tiffany Westrich

When I told my rheumy I wanted to go back to kickboxing he almost jumped outta his chair with a resounding NO! I do go, but I don't actually kickbox, meaning I don't put gloves on, or actually touch the bag at all, I do the motions. Sure people are wondering what the hell I'm doing! :) I didn't give up my kickboxing because I love it, I just work around it... go dance, girl, take pictures and, if nothing else, hold a hot guy with a rose in your mouth then call it the Tango.


Helen- thanks for sharing this. Its been great as a reader to hear about your experiences with singing, and I think its so true- being able to experience our bodies as useful, vital tools is so important. Yoga provides that to me to a degree as well. . . still mulling over the dance lessons :)

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