Calibrating Your Life
Former Consumer Director Arthritis Australia (rheumatoid arthritis)
So RA really has an effect on every day that I live, on every activity that I do. That’s not to sound like that, you know, my life’s impossible or unbearable. It’s really a juggling act. So if I know that it’s going to take me longer to get dressed in the morning then I need to factor in possibly a later start time at work or get my husband to take the kids to school so I might have a bit of extra time to get ready more comfortably so it’s this constant recalibrating or juggling how you plan your day.
It might mean that I don’t have the energy to get through everything so then I prioritise: does the vacuuming need to be done, probably not. Is it more important that I have a happy face and can sit down with my kids when they come home from school? Yeah that’s more important. So it’s making those decisions about what’s important, what’s critical, what makes me happy, and doing this sort of renegotiating. It might be that the next day the priorities change or maybe it’s the next day that I don’t need to prioritise because I’ve got that extra bit of energy to get through the day but it is a condition that I find people are probably going to constantly be changing; how they plan and carry out their days.
I think that’s one of the skills I then developed that helped me to become independent in managing my condition was learning my limitations and where I had to prioritise. So not always missing out but saying I can’t come this time, but I’ll come next time. And I think that that’s a really important aspect of living with a form of arthritis.