What do Matt Iseman, Rain Perry, and Christine Schwab have in common? They are all in showbiz and proving that RA doesn’t have to slow you down.
If you also suffer from RA, you are well aware of the challenges of living with undiagnosed pain and patiently trying treatment plans, one after the other, until something clicks. Here is how Schwab, Perry, and Iseman have learned to control their RA:
Christine Schwab is a makeover expert and has appeared on “Entertainment Tonight,” “The Oprah Winfrey Show” and “The Today Show.” Shortly after marrying her husband, Shelly Schwab, who was the president of MCA Universal Television, she started feeling the effects of RA on her feet.
At first, she didn’t think anything of it, thinking the pain was caused by a sports-related injury. After visiting numerous doctors and receiving no answers, she saw a doctor at UCLA and was diagnosed with RA.
Since she felt pain in her hands, feet, ankles, and elbows, and her work required her to be on her feet for extended periods of time, it was important for her to be proactive. She learned that to control RA you must find the right doctor, medications, and treatment plan.
For example, when she travels via airplane she requests an aisle and frequently gets up to stretch. At home, she walks on the beach with her husband, runs on the treadmill in the gym in their house, and rides her recumbent bike around the neighborhood. If she feels fatigued or worn down, she gets out of the house and seeks an adventure or hobby that will make her feel better.
Similarly, singer-songwriter Rain Perry began suffering from inexplicable pain in her hands, hips, knees, and wrists. After several blood tests, X-rays and consultations, she was diagnosed with RA.
Part of her was relieved to receive the diagnosis because it meant the pain wasn’t in her head and that something could be done to treat it. She began reading and asking her doctors everything she could about treatment options, diet, exercise, and medications.
However, for Perry, the most important part of her treatment plan was her support system. Her family and friends don’t let her use RA as an excuse to avoid activities. They focus on the things at which she excels to remind her of all the wonderful things in her life.
Her support system and treatment plan have allowed her to record several successful albums. Her song “Beautiful Tree” was chosen as the theme song for the 2010 CW network TV series “Life Unexpected.” Instead of giving up, she went all-in and has become a successful musician as well as an advocate for people with arthritis.
Matt Iseman, the host of the Style Network’s “Clean House,” is also a physician, as are his father and uncles. Even with all those resources at his disposal, his RA went undiagnosed for a year and a half.
Like Perry, Iseman was relieved to get a diagnosis and to know he was dealing with a treatable disease. He felt optimistic because he could do something about it.
For Iseman, the key to controlling his RA was persistence. If something wasn’t feeling right, he would consult his physician and revisit his treatment plan. Now he has a plan that he strictly follows. He stays active, eats well, and sees his doctor regularly.