Three years ago, I finally went public with a dream. In so doing, I trusted the meds enough, trusted fate, the universe and/or various divinities enough that I could start making a long-term plan. The dream was to have a book with my name on it.
And today, I do.
After a gestation period longer than an elephant’s, my baby is finally ready to see the day. To meet you. To meet the world and see what the world says. That part is a bit nerve-racking.
Well, to be honest, all of it is more than a bit nerve-racking. There’s a really big difference between sitting quietly at my desk dictating words into a document and then putting it all together and offering it up for sale on Amazon.
Nonetheless, that’s what I’ve done. It also has a beautiful new website.
Three years ago, the idea started out as a book about how to live well with rheumatoid arthritis. Because having RA is about so much more than a physical disease. As is the case with so many other chronic illnesses, when you have RA, your whole life has RA. It affects your social life, your work life, how you open ziploc bags and jars, touches your relationships, how you comb your hair and then there’s that pain you often have to deal with, too. Living well with RA is something you learn over time. It’s hard work, there are mistakes and wrong turns and really difficult situations along the way, but after 10 years or so, you get better at it.
And it seems entirely unreasonable that every person with RA has to go through that process on their own.
And then I thought, wouldn’t it be great if you had a friend who could show you some shortcuts? What if there was a book that talked about all the things involved in your life with RA and helped make them easier? What if there was a sort of guide book to living well with this disease? And what if it wasn’t just for those who are new to RA, but also a resource for people who have lived with it for years?
Three years later, the book has become a series of three books called Your Life with Rheumatoid Arthritis. This series is created to help you become empowered, to get to a point where your life is first and the RA mutters in the background. To manage this juggling act that is living with a chronic illness so you can reclaim your life and go out there and live it.
The first, Tools for Managing Treatment, Side Effects and Pain, is about the basics that so many of us deal with off and (mostly) on throughout our “career” with RA. If your life with RA were a house, these are the foundation. The physical crap — and yes, that really ought to be a medical term — usually plays a large role in what sidelines us and makes life hard. Figuring out a way to manage your physical symptoms, be they related to RA, medication side effects or the pain that so often is part of the disease, will make the journey easier. The first book will guide you through your journey of managing the physical crap in a way that works for you.
Your Life with Rheumatoid Arthritis: Tools for Managing Treatment, Side Effects and Pain is available for Kindle on Amazon. Other formats will be forthcoming down the road. If you don’t have a Kindle, you can download the Kindle app for SmartPhones, tablets, and computers here.
And now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to go write Book 2.
Crossposted on the Your Life with RA blog.