Friday, March 31, 2017

Facing Forward: Mandy

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:  Mandy
Location:  Savannah, GA
Diagnoses:Rheumatoid Arthritis, Central Sensitivity Syndrome (C.S.S.) with indications of Fibromyalgia & Chronic Pain Syndrome, and Dis-Embarquement Syndrome
Age at Diagnosis: 50

How are you currently treating your condition?
I am taking 200mg/day of Savella for fibromyalgia, 15mg Methotrexate for the RA, and 5-10mg prednisone to ease additional foot and hand pain caused by the RA. Other than this I try to manage my pain through a regular schedule and taking care to not overdue extracurricular activities. Daily gentle movement and stretches to keep the joints and muscles moving helps keep the pain at bay.
Avoiding inflammatory foods such as wheat and sugar is VERY helpful.
What are the biggest challenges you have faced since your diagnosis?
I am quite a social person and had been very active up to that point. Giving up these activities and learning to say "not this time" was extremely difficult for me. Thankfully, my husband is excellent at reminding me of the consequences of over activity. I do go out occasionally but try to keep that to once a week.

What are your favorite tips and tricks for managing everyday tasks?
1. Remember that the world will not stop if you don't get something done.
2. Allow others to be a blessing to you. Let them help. When they ask what they can do, give them a few options. Maybe make a list ahead of time of things they can do to help. Let them do things even if not really necessary. Maybe just ask them to come sit with you, watch a movie, play a game, have tea/coffee.

How do you manage to keep facing forward every day?
I have found things I can do that don't exert a lot of energy. I picked up crocheting again after many years. I can't count the afghans I have made for other shut-ins, babies, wedding gifts. And now am actually making some money making afghans for people. Blogging has been such good therapy for me. Writing about my pain has helped me deal with it and at the same time helps others understand what I am going through and what I am learning through it. These things keep my mind off the pain and gives me something to look forward to.

If you could go back to diagnosis day and tell your past self one thing, what would it be?
Enjoy every minute of your life, right where you are. Don't look to the past or what you hope happens in the future. Every day is a precious gift from God. Don't waste it.

Do you have a blog you would like to share?
I blog at Leaving a Legacy (GG stand for godly grandmother/girlfriend/guide). I also post about my crocheting at

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

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