Last updated: Apr 27, 2008
Many patients begin their day with the thought, "I can't get out of bed."
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There is no right way to handle pain
Sharon Kolasinski, MD, interim director of the division of rheumatology at the University of Pennsylvania, talks to arthritis patients every day, and sees that each patient perceives pain differently. Factors that shape pain perception include the following.
- Severity of the arthritis
- Attitude toward having a chronic disease
- General coping skills
- Pain coping skills
- Family history of arthritis
"The illness has affected me psychologically in the winter," says Charles, 66, of Grantham N.H. "If I had my druthers, I'd be in New Hampshire in the winter. I love it up there. But the problem is, I don't have the balance or the confidence on slippery surfaces that I used to have."
Attitude can make all the difference
Joanne has found new ways to engage in the world. "I don't knit anymore, and I don't play tennis anymore. But then you have to find other things that you're going to replace them with. So I was just out decorating the town with the Garden Club for Thanksgiving and the holidays. It probably wasn't great for my wrist to be cutting all these greens, but it was fun."