Tag Archives: podcast

workplace ergonomics

Creating a Joint-Friendly Workspace

By Rebecca Gillett, MS OTR/L – Live Yes! With Arthritis Podcast Co-Host

As things begin to open back up and some of us return to the office for work, you may need to re-evaluate your workspace. Listen to the latest episode of the Live Yes! With Arthritis podcast to learn strategies to keep your joints healthy at work.

Happy Summer! It feels good to kick off the summer — knowing that maybe we can enjoy some of the things we missed pre-pandemic for those who are now fully vaccinated and feel ready to do so. I know it might still be uncertain or uncomfortable for some of us to just go back to the way things were before our anxieties reached an all-time high about being high-risk for COVID-19. So, the last thing anyone wants to think about is going back to the office! Wait, WHAT!? I can’t work from home anymore? Or maybe the rules have changed, and work will remain remote or offer flexibility with where you put in your work hours. Continue reading Creating a Joint-Friendly Workspace

Live Yes Podcast episode 35 banner

The First Wealth is Health

By Julie Eller, co-host of the Live Yes! With Arthritis Podcast

In the latest episode of the Live Yes! With Arthritis podcast, Rebecca and I had the pleasure of chatting with Natalie Dattilo, PhD, a clinical health psychologist and the Director of Psychology Services at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. We got to ask Dr. Dattilo about the relationship between body image, self-esteem and arthritis — and ways that we can shift our perspectives of our arthritic bodies.

In my teenage years, I remember walking along the boardwalk at the Jersey Shore, where I spent many summer days soaking up the sun and ocean air. A smoothie place with chalkboard art out front to welcome folks into their store showcased a quote by Ralph Waldo Emerson that has always stuck out in my mind: “The first wealth is health.”

As a young person living with a chronic illness, I think a lot about this quote. How can I gain true “health wealth” if I don’t occupy a perfectly healthy body? How can I build a relationship between my mind and body that is rich with health, despite the chronic pain of my condition?

After two decades of life with arthritis, I still battle the perception that my arthritis makes me less healthy, even when it is well managed. I’ve always wanted to reclaim the idea of what it means to be healthy. So many of us who live with arthritis engage in healthy behaviors, eat well and exercise to our best ability, and yet, because of our diagnosis, we fall into a category of chronic illness that does not always feel like it fully represents our health.

In this recurring internal monologue, I find myself arguing that people living with chronic illnesses can still be healthy, can still have ideal bodies, can still accomplish that wealth that Emerson talked about so long, as we reframe our perception of the ideal healthy body. It all comes back to our understanding of our own bodies and how we perceive them; in other words, it comes down to our body image and our self-esteem.

I particularly enjoyed recording this latest podcast episode,  as we explored with Dr. Dattilo how managing chronic arthritis affects our perceptions of our bodies and the impact that can have in our lives. We also talked about ways we can reclaim a more positive body-image perception and a more confident sense of self-esteem.

I know that our conversation helped me break free of my internal monologue a bit, and really remember that even with arthritis, we can achieve the kind of wealth that Ralph Waldo Emerson celebrated: health. Tune in to the episode today!



Medical Cannabis & Arthritis

Is it right for you? Where do you start?

By Rebecca Gillett, MS OTR/L, Live Yes! With Arthritis co-host and arthritis patient

Finding treatments to help alleviate the chronic pain of arthritis can be challenging, at best. It can be overwhelming to find treatments and medications to alleviate pain that don’t cause other issues. When you have lived with chronic pain for years, you know there is not a one-size-fits-all fix for the various aches and pains you experience.

So perhaps you have considered turning to medical cannabis products containing CBD (cannabidiol) and/or THC (tetrahydrocannabinol, the chemical that produces a “high”) to treat your arthritis symptoms. If you decide to go down that path, you will arrive at a buffet of products and treatments, depending on your state’s laws, that can be beyond confusing. Where and how do you start? What’s the best type of product to use for your particular needs?

Full disclosure: I’ve never inhaled, so I’m not an authority on the matter. I do live in Colorado, so products are readily available and seem to be showing up everywhere I go. Over the past few years, I have tried CBD products in various forms to help alleviate neck and back pain, some with minimal amounts of THC and others only CBD. I’ve also tried CBD edibles in hopes of it helping with sleep. My personal experience has been that some topical CBD products have helped with reducing my joint pain, but minimally. Edibles did not agree with my digestive system, so not for me.

All of this, of course, after discussions with my rheumatologist. We talked about whether using CBD would be a good idea as a bridge between my infusion treatments or to address sleep issues. I am fortunate to have an amazing rheumatologist who is all about shared decision-making and open communication. The fact that I can have a conversation with her about alternative treatments is important, and I know not all patients have this experience with their doctors. You are the expert of your own body, so finding a doctor who is willing to listen to your thoughts and concerns is so important.

On this episode of the Live Yes! With Arthritis Podcast, “Medical Cannabis & Arthritis,” Kevin Boehnke, PhD, University of Michigan School of Medicine, again joins my co-host Julie and me to talk about medical cannabis – also known as medical marijuana – and why the science community has shifted from this nomenclature. He will discuss research on the use of medical cannabis for arthritis and provide some guiding principles for you if you’re considering trying it for your arthritis symptoms. Tune in today.

Be sure to check out the Arthritis Foundation’s CBD Guidance for Adults With Arthritis for information, and use this as a starting point for a conversation with your doctor.



Mind Over Stress: Finding the Right Balance

By Rebecca Gillett, MS OTR/L, Live Yes! With Arthritis Co-host and arthritis patient

Stress. Just the word itself can invoke the feeling. If you live with arthritis, you know there is a spectrum of stress-inducing triggers that might propel you into a flare of varying intensity. I am not just talking about the mental stress of living with a chronic disease, which is a huge factor, but also the physical stress you put your body through from the moment you slowly make your way out of bed. Everything we do, think and feel can take on a toll on our physical and emotional well-being, which then can affect our arthritis pain. Continue reading Mind Over Stress: Finding the Right Balance

‘Gratifood’ — Giving Thanks for Health and Comfort Foods That Fight Inflammation

By Julie Eller, arthritis patient and Live Yes! With Arthritis podcast co-host

November is one of my favorite months of the year because it is a month that is all about food. This year’s holiday will look very different for many families as we continue to grapple with the COVID-19 pandemic. One thing that continues to remain the same is my month dedication to experimenting in the kitchen. I love to spend time in my kitchen curating the perfect menu to serve for the Thanksgiving holiday. For me, the staples are honeycrisp apple pie, roasted carrots, Yorkshire puddings, and of course, cranberry sauce (from the can, with the ridges!) Continue reading ‘Gratifood’ — Giving Thanks for Health and Comfort Foods That Fight Inflammation

Food as Medicine? Can What We Eat Help Ease Symptoms?

By Rebecca Gillett, MS OTR/L – Live Yes! With Arthritis Co-host

To diet or not to diet? That is ALWAYS the question. What type of diet should I eat for my arthritis? “Have you tried the Mediterranean diet or an elimination diet?” “What about paleo or keto?” If you are living with arthritis, like my co-host, Julie, and I do, you’ve been bombarded with questions like those. Continue reading Food as Medicine? Can What We Eat Help Ease Symptoms?

Fight or Flight? TeleMental Health to the Rescue!

By: Julie Eller, Live Yes! With Arthritis Podcast Co-Host 

If you are anything like me, these past few months have put you into a prolonged state of “fight or flight” — where your body and your mind are responding to the world and trying to determine if it is best to stay put and fend off the evils of the moment or flee to safety.   Continue reading Fight or Flight? TeleMental Health to the Rescue!

Managing Mental Health & Emotional Wellness: “We Must Go Through Them”

By Courtney Kellerman Wells, PhD, MSW, MPH, LGSW; social work educator and researcher, Arthritis Foundation patient advocate and volunteer

My story of how the Arthritis Foundation has helped me live my yes! is featured on the latest episode of the Live Yes! With Arthritis podcast. I was diagnosed with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis when I was 18 months old. Continue reading Managing Mental Health & Emotional Wellness: “We Must Go Through Them”