Confessions of an American RA Warrior

“Laughter remains one of the best tools I’ve had for dealing with RA, both physically and mentally.” Matt Iseman

CONFESSION #1: The featured image is “FAKE NEWS.”

CONFESSION #2: I secretly would love to be a co-host on American Ninja Warrior or definitely try the course out myself. Although, I would do anything to be on Amazing Race as well.

CONFESSION #3: Me and Matt Iseman really do have something in common; he also has Rheumatoid Arthritis.


I kicked off my blog beginning of March sharing key facts about Autoimmune Diseases. Although March and the awareness month is coming to an end, my journey and sharing of Rheumatoid Arthritis and other insights has just begun.

If you are a big fan of American Ninja Warrior, then you know who Matt Iseman is. If not, he was the host of American Ninja Warrior as well as the winner of The New Celebrity Apprentice. He began his career as a doctor and then became a full time comedian. He was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis after trying to determine what was causing him so much pain along with other symptoms for over a year. I am a big fan of how he uses his comedy routines to not only promote awareness, but also as an outlet of pain relief for living with RA. Laughter is definitely an amazing tool for dealing with any problem – physically, emotionally or mentally. Laughing takes your mind off of the issue at hand and brings light and happiness. Below is clip 2 out of a 4 part clip where Matt Iseman talks about what RA is and his beginning stages of trying to diagnose the disease.

You can watch the other clips in the following link: Matt Iseman RA Clips.

What better way to enjoy good laughs then with family and friends. This past week was my father’s birthday. (Special shout out to my dad – HAPPY BIRTHDAY and thank you for all of your love and support throughout the years). As part of tradition, my brother, sister and myself take my father out to eat to celebrate. This year was tough to decide on a place to go, due to the elimination diet. My food choices are slim due to the restrictions of ingredients,


process of cooking and making sure there is no cross contamination that will mess with my results. We decided to go to Charlie Brown’s because they have an amazing salad bar which I knew would be safe (as long as I BYOD – Bring your own dressing). Well my sister thought it was funny to try and catch me sneaking putting my own dressing on in the restaurant. And YUPP, that is me “red handed” in the act. I was


caught! We enjoyed many laughs and I guess I wasn’t as sly as a fox as I thought I was. However, this picture with my niece we took after enjoying our meal proves otherwise.

Last week, I left off with the elimination diet pondering if nightshade vegetables were the cause of increased morning stiffness and pain. I decided to slow down the reintroduction of these types of vegetables. I tried tomato sauce separately. This time I woke up with my “normal” morning pain. My morning pain and stiffness is still very much present.


My best way of describing my “normal” mornings is as if I was the Tin Man in The Wizard of Oz. I slowly get out of bed being careful with the way I put my feet on the ground. I spend the first part of my morning as I get ready as if I am adding oil slowly to my joints. The stiffness goes away with time for the most part, but the pain usually lingers throughout the day. Last time when I tried nightshade vegetables, my “normal” was escalated. This time around with trying the nightshade vegetables, the escalation was not noticeable. I am still going to keep an eye on this food group, but do not see any consistent results with the pain as of yet.

This week we also reintroduced beef and pork. Both which I have seen no issues with. Chris made the steaks and seared


them perfectly. We also enjoyed sweet potato fries and a side salad on this night. My mouth watered last week thinking of the steak, and it certainly did not disappoint. For pork, I made pulled pork, but with not your typical bbq sauce. However, I made my own compliant BBQ sauce with the foods you are allowed to have and was pleasantly surprised with the way it came out. The discovery of coconut aminos has been our new favorite to add for flavor. Coconut aminos is a good substitute to fulfill the rich, sweet, savory taste we have been missing. Plus it is gluten free, organic, vegan, non-GMO and also includes health benefits for the heart and disease prevention.

CONFESSION # 4: I absolutely miss bbq sauce and being able to get out of bed like Gumby rather than Tin Man right now. However, LITTLE wins are BIG wins. Little wins like discovering coconut aminos and still having oil in my tank every morning to become un-Tinman like. I WILL TAKE IT!

“5 little wins each day = 150 wins in a month = 1800 wins in a year” ~ Robin Sharma

CONFESSION # 5: My husband had to drag me out of the Easter candy aisle at the food store because I was drooling over three of my favorite things that are all out in the same aisle at this time. 1) Cadbury Eggs 2) Peeps 3) Starburst Jellybeans

CONFESSION # 6: Which really should be a sub confession of #5. I might just secretly hoard them until I can possibly eat them again. If you want to hoard them for me and give me them at a later time, I will not judge you. I promise. Pinky swear. (wink wink)



Since I have to be off medicine, I have officially taken a page (or a comedic line) out of Matt Iseman’s stand up routine and prescribed myself the best type of medicine – LAUGHTER! Whether with friends, family or even laughing at yourself, a good laugh can go a long a way when you are down about not feeling well, stress, or any other negative issue. I quickly think of the Mary Poppins scene where they are floating on top of the ceiling singing “I Love to Laugh.” Laughing is contagious. So take your daily dose often. Spread it to your friends, family, colleagues, and even strangers.

CONFESSION # 8: I can’t thank everyone enough for continuing to support me with my blog and helping me continue to try and #SlayRA!

7 responses to “Confessions of an American RA Warrior”

  1. Walter Cwiakala Jr. Avatar
    Walter Cwiakala Jr.

    Thank you Tracy, you know that I am one of your biggest supporters.
    You have worked so hard for everything that you have achieved,and you will overcome your RA to achieve one of your biggest hope’s and dreams. I love you xoxo

    1. I love you too! XOXO

  2. I love you so much Tracy!!! So proud to call you my lil cousin!! Truly an inspiration!!

    1. Thank you Kari. Love you too!

  3. ❤️❤️❤️
    We love reading your blog
    It keeps us smiling!

    1. Hope Maddy is doing well! Thanks for all the support. ❤️💪⚡

  4. I would love to see you co hosting Ninja Warrier! No better warrier that you, Tracy! To your future success!

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