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Doing Self Care

Encouraging self-care and care co-ordination to reduce isolation and stress

This document outlines HOW you might establish and action YOUR approach to self-care and to co-ordination.  It is probably best read after you have looked at much of the material available on the website.

Your Principles

  • Take control of your health
  • Work in partnership with your chosen clinician
  • Know most about your own body and the condition as it impacts you
  • Inform your understanding about your disease
  • Seek knowledge from others with the disease
  • Be positive!
Your Aims Carer & Friends Your clinician Allied Health[1]
Particularly in the early years monitor yourself and recognise the disease cycles and body changes Keep them up to date with your feelings and ask your carer to comment on your condition changes from time to time. Most clinicians don’t have the time.  Keep a diary[2].
Research the likely side effects of your drugs   Ask your clinician specific questions based on your research  
Dose reduction over time, for example, Prednisone.   Work with your clinician on a plan Seek the services of a community nurse
Evaluate your current diet and make changes as necessary   Check with your clinician. See a dietician after reading the Dragon Claw material.
Be aware of your special dental health needs     Speak to a dentist and give them your list of medications
Develop an exercise plan and do it! Ask a friend to join you. Ask your doctor if there are ‘team based’ care arrangements, which reduce costs for you. Speak to a physiologist and see our video
Pain control without drugs Be as social as possible to distract your mind from the pain Seek appropriate medication relief.  Suffering is not heroic! Learn to meditate.  There are special meditation techniques that can reduce pain.
Look after your feet Tell your friends how far you can walk with them   See a podiatrist
Look after your dry skin and associated rashes     Ask your pharmacist and use the our Forum to seek information
Watch out for depression Ask your friends or your carer for company when depressed.   See a counsellor or use the online tool on the website
Opiate control   Ask your doctor to assist, if you both think you are taking too much or becoming dependent. Seek out a pain management centre
Centre yourself daily Shares positive energy   Learn to meditate
Stiffness relief     See a physiotherapist and use warm water swimming pools.
Actively avoid stress Explain why stress can cause you problems   Learn to meditate
Home costs reduction Ask your heating provider for a discount given your condition   Ask a nurse if they know of any discounted home services.
Kitchen aids to relieve hand pain     Some pharmacists and online providers sell grippers and special eating utensils. See our eShop.


The Twelve Commandments for People Dealing with Moderate to Severe RA and Lupus©

  1. Become your own expert in your condition
  2. Listen to your body; assess and observe your condition regularly; plan your day accordingly.
  3. Be absolutely disciplined with your prescribed drugs and do as your specialist advises.
  4. Drugs interact with other drugs, foods and with toiletries, watch and monitor this.
  5. Exercise regularly and carefully within your physical envelope.
  6. Use food to moderate your condition and limit the impact of drug side effects.
  7. Share your findings on exercise, drugs and diet so others may learn.
  8. Include your carer in all your research, if they are interested.
  9. Develop a health journal, monitor drugs, pain and wellness.
  10. Make sure you have a care plan for yourself and action this with the help of your GP.
  11. Meditate often and live in the moment.
  12. Try not to cope with pain alone but let others who care know.

[1] Allied Health refers to a wide range of health services such as podiatrists, physiotherapists, counselors, dieticians, physiologists, nurses, mental health workers, optometrists, dentists and skin clinicians