Friday, July 22, 2016

Facing Forward: AmandaRae

Facing Forward is a series that shares the lives of people living with arthritis and other invisible chronic illnesses. The goal of the series is to see how we are similar and how we are different - and to remind us to keep moving forward because we aren't alone!

Name: AmandaRae
Location: Idaho, US
Diagnosis: Rheumatoid Arthritis and overlay of Lupus
Age at Diagnosis: RA at 19 years old & Lupus overlay at 30 years old

How are you currently treating your condition?
I currently am only on prednisone 10mg for the RA and Plaquenil for the Lupus. I was on Remicade infusions but when I was diagnosed with Lupus I had to be taken off Remicade because it causes Lupus to flare. I also try to cook with as many anti-inflammatory spices and foods as possible (cinnamon, black pepper, turmeric) and limit sugar, salt, tomatoes, and fried foods. I stay active whether it's going to the gym, doing my at home workouts, or going on family walks and hikes. For down time I soak in Epsom salt baths and listen to my body for when I just need to lay down and relax for a bit.
What are the biggest challenges you have faced since your diagnosis?
The biggest challenges I have been faced with since my diagnosis is the horrible fatigue. I work full-time 8-5, I'm a mom of two active boys, and I'm a wife. I feel so guilty if I am too tired to play with my kids and I really try to push through it. I have been working really hard on learning self-care and the importance of it for myself and my family. I am learning to manage it a lot better by organizing my day and caring for myself. You cannot take care of your family if you are depleted.

What are your favorite tips and tricks for managing everyday tasks?
My favorite tip for managing everyday tasks is to delegate! My oldest son is now 11 which mean he can help with chores (and it's good for him to learn how to do household chores). For example, he can unload and load the dishwasher, take out garbage, vacuum, and clean his room. My 3 year old can feed and water the dogs and keep his room cleaned up. I am a very hands on mom and I tend to think that I have to do everything for my kids, but I am slowly learning that is not the best thing - not only for myself but also for my boys. It's good to teach your children responsibility and skills.

How do you manage to keep facing forward every day?
I stay positive, I stay strong willed, and I stay determined! I know the importance of self-care and I know the importance of not feeling guilty for times that I need to rest. I look at each day as a new day and I embrace my "imperfections" (RA) and I use them as a stepping stone. Life is Beautiful!

If you could go back to diagnosis day and tell your past self one thing, what would it be?
I would tell my past self that life is about creating your story and that this diagnosis is a beautiful chapter just waiting to be used to encourage and inspire others why may be having troubles accepting or embracing their flaws and diagnosis. I would tell myself to use it as a stepping stone took me 11 years to realize this.

Do you have a blog you would like to share?
I have a facebook page called I'MPERFECTion. It's about me...a mom and wife living with RA, embracing her flaws, betting herself, and having fun on her way to becoming I'MPERFECTION.

Would you like to be featured on Facing Forward? If so, please send an email to  

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