The Month Ahead: Empower Yourself to Build a Better Health Care Team

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    Happy New Year! We hope you enjoyed the celebrations of ringing in 2017, be it quietly or in grand style.

     

    It’s a brand-new year, full of hope and possibility. Even in the middle of a cold and dark winter, there is something promising about the early days of January. Twelve months lie ahead and who knows, anything could happen!

     

    You may not be able to control some of what happens this year, but you are in charge of how you react to it and how you move on. Embracing your life and putting yourself in the driver’s seat is part and parcel of becoming empowered as someone who lives with chronic illness. And that’s going to be the overarching theme guiding us this year on RAHealthCentral. I’ll tell you more about that later this week.

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    As we look at empowerment, we will also explore monthly topics shared across all the HealthCentral condition-specific sites. This month, we are looking at how to build the best health care team to help you live better with chronic illness, a topic that has a lot to do with empowerment.

     

    When you are in the middle of a new diagnosis or a flare, it can be hard to get the perspective to know what makes a good health care team. Anna is going to help by sharing some of the characteristics you should look for as you search for a good doctor, and I’ll help you in that search, writing about why you should interview potential doctors and how to do it.

     

    One aspect of a fantastic health professional is someone who listens to you, but what do you do if you haven’t found one of those yet? Britt will explore what to do if you can’t get a diagnosis or suspect the one you got isn’t quite right.

     

    You may be committed to the health care team you have — or may not be able to switch — but feel there are issues which impair how you work together. Marianna will share information that can help you address interpersonal issues with your health care team.

     

    But this month isn’t just about developing a good health care team. As always, we will also focus on issues related to living better with RA and chronic pain.

     

    Sleep is an important part in how you treat chronic pain — when you sleep well, you feel better. Later this month, I’ll explore the importance of sleep when you have chronic pain and what you can do to sleep better.

     

    The stress of RA is very difficult to live with, perhaps even more so when you are relatively new to the disease. I’ll take a look at coping from the point of view of someone who’s lived with this for half a century (and now I feel really old).

     

    We look forward to talking to you about these and many other topics here and on the RAHealthCentral Facebook page.

     

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Published On: January 03, 2017