The Arthritis Newsletter

Summer 2011

Introduction: Summer 2011

Written by: Gordon Whitehead



Welcome to our second and summer issue of the Consumer Advisory Board (CAB) newsletter. We were very gratified by the warm reception given to our first issue of the newsletter and wish to thank those who wrote in to tell us what they liked and what they would like to see in future editions. Please keep those letters rolling in, and again, we urge you to bring hope to others by telling us your story!!


“SUMMER TIME”—The words make us think of delicious languor, the ease and pleasure contained in the famous song of the same name from Gershwin’s “Porgy and Bess” don’t they? “Fish are jumpin’ and the cotton is high”. ”Summer time” summons up visions of balmy days, beaches and sand castles, family holidays and soft fresh air. And for people with arthritis, summer time usually means warmth—heavenly warmth for cranky bones and joints. Well, it normally does anyway!! But so far this year, we’ve had to tax our imaginations a bit to get into the summertime mood, haven’t we? A slow, cool Spring and a long procession of clouded, rainy days stretched on right up to the very arrival of this year’s Summer Solstice. But, let’s not grumble too much!! We’ve had no tornados, no floods, no devastating fires besetting our gentle coast, as have some of our fellow citizens in other parts of Canada. And with July hastening on, we can surely hope for sunshine to come!!


Summer time is the season of growth for all living things and so we’ve decided to place a special focus in this issue on growing and nurturing the family and the family environment. Specifically, we’re looking at ways to help us develop and nourish supportive personal and family relationships, while coping with the demanding stresses of chronic disease, by highlighting the special research initiatives of Dr. Allen Lehman and Dr. Linda Li, and by reflecting upon the inspiring personal story of Ms. Marguerite Caunt.


Another dimension of growth is represented in our gardens and in the special pleasure that growing green things can provide, so we’ve included a feature in this issue designed to pass on our members’ tips for doing seasonal home and garden chores in an “arthritis-friendly” manner. While arthritis certainly presents particular challenges for gardeners, as you’ll see, there are many inventive ways to surmount physical difficulties and to enable you to plunge your fingers joyfully into the warm summertime soil of your backyards or patio planters.


And finally, should the sun continue to be a little hesitant about upping his attendance in the weeks to come, we have included some indoor diversions for you with items on the upcoming National Arthritis Program (NAAP) “Apps” and the inauguration of the Arthritis Research Centre of Canada (ARC) new “You Tube” channel. Happy reading—with any luck you may be able to do it from a warm and cosy hammock!!

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