Category Archives: Favorite Things

Favorite Things Hope Type 1 Diabetes

Only Human and Type 1 Diabetes

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I am a regular podcast listener. In fact, I love my podcasts and one of my favorites is Only Human. Today’s episode, The Robot Vacuum Ate My Pancreas, is worth every second of 33 minutes. Today’s topic is Type 1 Diabetes and features Dana Lewis (you can visit her on twitter here) and her artificial pancreas system.

There were two specific moments during this podcast that I felt the need to share this podcast with everyone I know. Hearing other Type 1 Diabetics, especially children and their parents, talk about how much their life has changed by using an artificial pancreas, brought me to tears. I cannot fathom being a parent of a child with Type 1 Diabetes- managing my own disease is difficult enough. Hearing a child’s little voice and then the voice of their parent, I could almost feel their relief coming through my car speakers.

My absolute favorite part of this show was when Kenny Malone compared keeping a car at exactly 70mph while driving, to keeping your blood sugar at the perfect number, was amazing. I have struggled for years with getting others to truly grasp the time and attention this disease demands from me. I think this explanation is going to help me tremendously in getting my disease a bit more understood.

Please take a listen (or read the transcript) and let me know your thoughts!


Favorite Things Rheumatoid Arthritis

MedNexus Review

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**This is a sponsored post- opinions expressed are based on my own personal experience**

If you’re like me, you may have found your first visit to a physician, especially a rheumatologist, a little overwhelming. I left my first visit with pamphlets/brochures about RA and medication options. My doctor told me that he knew I would go home and immediately go to google.com..he asked me not to but said to please share with him anything I had looked up so he could weigh in.

I won’t tell you what comes up when you google a disease. You’ve probably done it. And if you haven’t, I’d be willing to bet that you have looked up your health symptoms before. Sore throat, fatigue? Must be cancer, right? No! It’s hard to find quality information and to not have to spend time wading through articles and sites that have nothing to do with what you initially searched for.

This is where MedNexus comes in. MedNexus is a medical search engine that promises to provide greater accuracy and clarity. Their engine selects the most clinically-relevant and useful content for you.

One of my favorite things is the MedNexus homepage. Simple and easy to navigate. I don’t have to waste time looking for where to begin my search. I wanted to search “Rheumatoid Arthritis”.

When you initially start typing in your search criteria, the site starts listing questions that are relevant to your disease. Similar to Google’s autocomplete function, this can help you answer questions you hadn’t even thought of yet.

Upon searching for RA, the following questions started to come up:

  • What is Rheumatoid Arthritis?
  • How do you diagnose Rheumatoid Arthritis?
  • How do you treat Rheumatoid Arthritis?
  • What are lifestyle tips for Rheumatoid Arthritis?
  • and many more..

If you ignore the suggested questions and just search, your results come up. Search results are broken down into the following categories:

  • Health Topics- general information from trusted sites
    • Joint Deformities in Rheumatoid Arthritis (Arthritis Foundation)
    • Rheumatoid Arthritis Remission, Rheumatoid Arthritis Pain, Rheumatoid Arthritis Complications (Rheumatoid Patient Foundation
  • Published Research- links for publications written by physicians
    • HIV/AIDS and Rheumatoid Arthritis (Autoimmunity Reviews)
    • STAT4 and the risk of Rheumatoid Arthritis and Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (New England Journal of Medicine)
    • Biological Drugs and Risk of Infection (The Lancet)
  • Forum Discussions- health websites with forums- user opinions
    • Insurance Quotes for RA Sufferers, Painful Feet Advice, Diagnosis Delays (Arthritis Care)

Prior to viewing your search results, one of my favorite features appears:

Overall, I find MedNexus to be a wonderful site. I like that search results come from reliable sources and can be filtered into categories that make sense. I hope that you’ll visit MedNexus and please keep in mind that the site hasn’t been up for very long, so they are constantly adding additional medical conditions.

If you’d like to give MedNexus your feedback, please click here to take a short survey.

Favorite Things Rheumatoid Arthritis Type 1 Diabetes

Giveaway time!

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If you read my Favorite Things Part One post, you already know that I love my NatraCure Arthritis Booties. NatraCure is a wonderful company and they’ve generously donated a pair of booties for me to give away! The contest starts tomorrow, February 18th at 12am. Good luck!



Guaranteed to deliver relief in minutes, NatraCure Arthritis Booties combine traditional heat therapy with cutting-edge SmartGel® Technology for the proven solution you’ve been looking for.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Favorite Things Rheumatoid Arthritis

Ahhh Relief!

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I think I have a fairy godmother that goes by the name NatraCure. After expressing my frustration with my nagging shoulder and being unable to find something that could help, they sent me a Twitter message saying they were sending a product that might be able to help me. Although they sent me the following product to review, the opinions shared here are 100% mine. NatraCure is the first to admit that the following product has gotten mixed reviews, so they weren’t even sure if it would help me.

Enter my magical magnet shoulder brace!


So to be honest, I was a little intimidated looking at it. I didn’t know how it would fit and once I took it out of the package, my first concern was how I would put it on by myself.


It actually was easy for me to put on, even with my bum elbow. Now I have to admit, if you are small chested (ladies…) or very thin/tiny, I can imagine this might not fit well enough to help you. I’m 5’8 and it fit me on almost the tightest velcro placement.

So I put it on, threw a sweatshirt over top and hoped for the best as I went downstairs to make dinner. Usually the reaching, chopping, stirring, etc. involved in cooking dinner doesn’t please my shoulder. But I noticed, it didn’t hurt! It didn’t ache to the point that I had to take a break or constantly switch arms to get things done. My shoulder instantly warmed up and felt wonderful. The brace was so comfortable, I didn’t notice I had it on and my daughter commented that she couldn’t tell through my sweatshirt that I was wearing it.

So a couple of notes- my shoulder flares from Rheumatoid Arthritis, I have not actually injured it and although I have pain, I don’t have limited mobility with it. Just keep this in mind if you’re looking for a shoulder brace for other reasons.

Give me and NatraCure a shout if you’ve tried this brace and let us know what you think!


Favorite Things Rheumatoid Arthritis

Favorite Things, Part Two

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Yesterday I shared my favorite booties and mittens that help warm up my hand and foot joints. Today I want to share two additional products that I have found to be extremely helpful when dealing with Rheumatoid Arthritis pain.

First are my Thermoskin Thermal Gloves

A few people on Twitter had recommended these, so I gave them a shot. They are absolutely wonderful. If you’ve worn compression gloves before, you may find that these feel very thick in comparison. They are. I honestly haven’t mastered doing many activities with them on, I primarily use them when I’m resting or sleeping. Although they are easy to get on, they can be a little tough to remove, mainly because your hand might be a little sweaty! I find that pulling them off (so they’re inside out) is the easiest way. These gloves work in minutes to reduce my pain and when I remove them, most of my swelling is nonexistent.

I did notice some of the threads were loose when I received them from Amazon. I was initially concerned but can tell you that after months of wear, they are still in great condition..I haven’t had any problems.

Secondly, I’d like to share my Omron Pain Relief Pro Unit

I’ve been to Physical Therapy numerous times for my elbow and my favorite part of the visit was having the TENS unit put on me. I discovered a year ago that you could buy TENS units over the counter, without a prescription, and they’re flex spend account eligible, sweet! I read some reviews on Amazon and to be honest, I was so determined to buy a TENS unit, that I purchased this one because it was the only one in stock locally. I don’t regret it.

The unit is extremely easy to use. It has eight different modes: tap, knead, rub, arm, lower back, leg, foot, and joint. It also offers 10 levels of intensity and I’ve honestly never needed to go higher than an 8 so it should accommodate most levels of pain. The pads are pretty sticky and replacement pads are available at a reasonable price. You can also purchase additional pads so you and another family member can share the device.

Do you use a TENS machine or compression gloves? What are your favorite ways to reduce pain without medication? Please share in the comments below!

Favorite Things Rheumatoid Arthritis

Favorite Things, Part One

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If you’re lucky enough to suffer from moderate to severe Rheumatoid Arthritis, like me, you probably have a collection of ointments, special gloves, socks, heating pads, etc. When I’m in pain and desperate, I often impulse buy things in the aisles of Walgreens. Some work, some don’t. I’ve often turned to google and my Twitter friends to find out what others use and thought it would be nice to share what works for me, in hopes that it might work for you as well.

The people at NatraCure saw my constant tweets about trying to relieve my pain without always popping a pill and offered to send me some of their products to try. Note: Although NatraCure asked that I share my opinions on their products, thoughts are 100% my own. Other than having the products sent to me, I am in no way being compensated for what I write. 

They sent me two products:

The first are these Arthritis Mittens

I own a paraffin wax warmer and honestly have only used it once. It worked really well, made my hands feel great but it took hours to warm the wax. When you have pain, you want to make it stop. Fast. It’s that simple. If I had to wait for the wax to melt, I would rather just pop a pill and get relief quickly. These mittens help solve that problem. They have an inner gel lining that contains seven oils. You heat up the mittens in the microwave and slip them on to your aching hands. I keep mine on for about 30 minutes…my aching joints always feel better within about 10 minutes of having them on. As a bonus, when you remove them, there’s no messy wax to clean up. The last thing you want to do when you’ve just reduced pain is to start cleaning!

The second product I tried are these Arthritis Booties

These are very similar to the mittens above..you warm them up in the microwave and they provide the same warm, moist heat. Some reviews said people weren’t happy that you can’t walk in these because you’ll damage the inner liner. I actually found this to be a positive. Once you put these on, you are “forced” to relax. You can’t get up and if you use the mittens at the same time, like me, you have to sit still. I found myself so relaxed when using both the mittens and booties at the same time..I would almost fall asleep each time.

I have only had both products for a little over a week so it will be interesting to see how they hold up. It would be good to know if you can purchase additional liners..I’ve sent a message to the company and will share their response.

There will be more posts to follow but let me know in the comments below what products work for you! Gloves, braces, compression socks, you name it, I’m interested!