I must say right up front how much I enjoyed reading this book, even though it is about a horrible disease. Andersen, who has suffered with RA since childhood, has woven together her own experiences through the years with research and current medical practices, and has written a testament to a life well-lived, despite limitations imposed by RA, with candor, insight, aplomb and humor. The information, advice and tips are well-researched and extensive citations are provided in her end notes.
Andersen provides the newly-diagnosed patient a solid understanding of how Rheumatoid Arthritis impacts the body. She describes the current medications available, their pros and cons, covering the cost of the meds, and the two-fold treatment regime involving the suppression of the disease's progression and management of pain. Her chapter on Opiods is particularly useful for someone who is trying to make a decision about including them in their medications.
Chapters covering the side effects of RA treatments and pain medications are broken down into the specific areas of the body where the side effects may manifest. Andersen has been through it all and manages to stay strong in her belief in the medicines' benefits as opposed to their downsides. She offers practical, workable, and successful tips in managing side effects while offering assurance about the entire experience, like a wise big sister who has seen it all before.
Andersen offers a disease Management Tool Box, a collection of ideas in managing pain through medication and surgery, as well as other non-medical means, such as complementary therapies (acupuncture, massage, and meditation, to name a few), and physical and occupational therapy.
Above all, Andersen is a proponent of living your life with RA to the fullest. Her book inspires, informs and gives the RA patient hope that their life isn't over with the diagnosis. It's only begun, in a different form than as it was before, loaded with challenges and inconveniences and discomfort. But much of your life before RA can continue, with adjustments, and the possibilities for your life are still endless if you are willing to embrace the requirements of living with disease. RA makes a lot of demands on your life, but as Andersen has been living her life with grace and humor, with the disease as a wheelchair-bound companion, so you, too, can make your life with Rheumatoid Arthritis work for you.
Your Life with Rheumatoid Arthritis: Tools for Managing Treatment, Side Effects and Pain is available in e-book format almost everywhere e-books are sold, such as Amazon, iBooks, Kobo, Nook, and is also available in paperback from Amazon. The book's website can be found at www.YourLifewithRA.com