Warm Thanksgiving wishes for a wonderful day are coming your way from Arthritis Wisdom! Whether you are spending it alone, which I have done in the past due to work schedules, or with a crowd, I send you heartwarming thoughts of gratitude and thankfulness for our many blessings! I am especially thankful for you, my fellow RA (rheumatoid arthritis) friends sharing our unique journey. Thank you to Renata for the tip she shared in the comments of my previous post! The tip was to decorate and prepare the table a few days in advance so it can be enjoyed longer! I followed through with the excellent suggestion. It was a delight to savor the decorated table as I had my coffee this morning. It gave me some wiggle room today when an unexpected situation occurred. Here’s to a Happy Thanksgiving! xoo**Cathy**
Follow Our Tips for Autoimmune Living
Now is the perfect opportunity to put three terrific turkey time tips to use! I absolutely love this festive time of year. Time spent with my family gets me excited and this is when it happens! Since my RA (rheumatoid arthritis) diagnosis, I have worked hard to fashion my days to be able to enjoy what I value and just let go of what may impede that from happening. I’ve been deliberate trying this or that to find what works and what doesn’t. When I find something that works, I note it for future reference!
Living successfully with an autoimmune disease is a process, and preparing Thanksgiving dinner is an example of this process! It didn’t take long for me to recognize stress, even “good stress” could cause me to have an arthritic flare. What I mean by “good stress” is the fun anticipation, positive energy, and robust activity that ends up too much for my body to handle. I’ve learned to step back to carefully plan and simplify the preparation to thoroughly enjoy the Thanksgiving holiday.
These are my Three Terrific Turkey Time Tips:
- Here is tip number one. Managing the turkey itself. I order a large fresh bird from the local grocer and pick it up Thanksgiving morning. This arrangement eliminates the need to clear a spot in the refrigerator for the turkey to thaw. A frozen turkey has always been awkward and painful to hold with my RA and Raynaud’s. Picking the fresh bird up Thanksgiving morning is the most efficient way to handle the turkey. If my hands aren’t working so well, a family member can pick it up. I can then go straight to prepping it for the oven.
- Tip number two is sticking with my traditional menu. I’ve always loved experimenting with new recipes and presentations of the meal in the past, but what started out as a fun experiment would ultimately cause my stress level to rise! I’ve decided I can do without that! And really, the traditional menu is simply amazing. Those were our son’s very words last year! Here are some traditional recipes from MY RECIPES. All of my personal recipes are the little-bit-of-this-and -a-little-bit-of-that kind forever etched in my memory, which makes cooking the meal so enjoyable and seamless.
- The third tip is to prepare enough of each dish to enjoy 2 days. My family loves the leftovers and that gives me some time to rest with the holiday atmosphere still fully charged! The good vibes that come with sharing time together as a family has got to be good, not only for the soul but the immune system as well!
Do not forget the reason for the special day. Remembering all we have to be thankful and grateful for is good for the soul and immune system too. Take time to reflect on all the blessings!
I’d love to hear your terrific turkey time tips for a wonderful Thanksgiving celebration! Please, enter them in the comments below. I get such great suggestions and ideas from my RA friends.
I wish you an enjoyable, yet dialed back time preparing for your holiday! XXOO Cathy
Brrrrr. Hello Cold. Hello Raynaud’s!
Hello Raynaud’s! Another indicator winter is on the way. When the air gets a bit nippy and the temperature drops to around 50 degrees, my fingers and toes beg for wooly socks and warm mittens. A Raynaud’s Phenomenon episode is my personal start to our long Wisconsin winter.
My fingers and toes would turn white, then start hurting when exposed to the cold long before I was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis (RA). In those days I didn’t pay much attention to what was going on. I was a healthy creature and just covered my cold digits up without giving it a second thought. I wish my memory was more precise. When did my Raynaud’s first appear in relation to my RA diagnosis? Just a curiosity.
Raynaud Syndrome is a condition in which spasm of arteries cause reduced blood flow to areas of the body in response to cold temperatures, emotional or environmental stress. The fingers are typically affected. Toes, the nose, ears, lips and even nipples can be affected. The affected area usually turns white, then blue and is often accompanied with pain or numbness. When the area is warmed up and the blood flow returns, the area turns red and burns or throbs.
Raynaud’s disease is named after the French physician Maurice Raynaud who described the condition in 1862.
There are two main types:
- Primary Raynaud’s disease is when symptoms occur by themselves, not related to another condition. This type is more frequent in females with the onset usually between 15 and 30 years old.
- Secondary Raynaud’s, or Raynaud’s Phenomenon occurs secondary to a wide variety of conditions such as connective tissue disorders including RA. This form is less common, but more serious than the primary form and shows up around age 40, which is later than the primary type.
Both forms seem to occur more often in cold climates.
So, Raynaud’s season has started for me. That means I am in prevention mode.
Here are a few tips I use to prevent an episode:
- I bundle up before going anywhere. I wear a scarf, mittens, ear muffs, wooly socks and warm boots. I layer my clothing. I will even wear ski pants to walk our dog! It helps to be toasty warm all over.
- On super cold days I will start my car and let it warm up before driving.
- I wear socks and slippers around the house.
- I will use an oven mitt to take items out of the refrigerator or freezer if I’m feeling chilled.
- I will use hand warmers and toe warmers if I will be outside for long. These can be purchased at sport shops or ski shops.
- I wear socks to bed and may even wear a fleece jacket to bed.
- I prefer mittens over gloves so I can wiggle my fingers around to keep them warm and keep the blood flowing.
- There is nothing like a hot cup of coffee or hot chocolate to hold while sipping to keep my hands warm! It also warms me inside!
- Use insulated mugs for cold beverages.
Brrrrrr. Baby it is cold outside! Hello Raynaud’s. Time to prevent the episodes. Please share any tips you have. Arthritis Wisdom would love to hear from you!
Take good care and STAY WARM!