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Arthritis: These Joints Ain't Jumpin
by Marjorie Dorfman

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Getting smarter about your body is like that cartoon of a long time ago, which depicts a sign that reads:
PLAN AHEA
  D.

In addition to the pain, insult is added to injury because you have to learn to think differently when you are afflicted with arthritis. You have to think about moving around all the time. (Pretend you are a fugitive whose face has just been shown to fifty million people on America’s Most Wanted.) Why, you dare ask? Well, stiffness and pain don’t set in so easily when you avoid staying in the same position for long periods of time. Stretch and relax muscles and joints frequently if they become tired or tight, and change often from standing to sitting. If travelling on a plane, move around every hour or so, if for no other reason than to check for potential terrorists and those travelling no frills incognito.

To manage arthritis successfully, you must be able to talk freely about it (There are no brittle muscles in the mouth to prevent this.) People in your life need to understand how you feel and how to help you when you have flare-ups. Even if your arthritis is making you angry and frustrated, sharing this information with those important to you can help avoid misunderstandings.

In conclusion, maintain your spirit and appreciate your own uniqueness. No one’s bones are like yours, even if they hurt and you would gladly make an exchange! Stay warm in winter, cool in summer and in general, find new ways every day to enjoy the life you have come to live.

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