Chronic Voices: Hannah Wilson

Mayv Editors
Written by
Mayv Editors

What chronic conditions do you live with?

Rheumatoid Arthritis

What’s is the most common misunderstanding about you or your condition?

That my illness is not as bad as it seems. There is a lot of things that go on behind the scenes that friends and family are not aware of that a chronic illness gives you. Things like poor mental health, sporadic chronic fatigue, acceptance of adjusting to this new way of life, and being able to do something one day but not the next. Everyday you never know if you will flare up or how bad it will be, so this is an illness that can change within an instant.

What’s one thing you wish you knew before you got diagnosed?

I wish someone told me that I owe it to myself to love myself more. Self-care is so important and finding a health balance within your lifestyle is key to keep certain illnesses at bay. I would tell someone that it is never selfish to be selfish of having ‘me’ time. Our bodies need that time to recover and heal, so don’t ever feel bad if you have to change your plans based off of what your body is telling you that it needs. You have all the answers you need within if you just listen.

What’s the most ridiculous thing a doctor has ever said to you?

Doctor: “So what you’re telling me is that the things I prescribed you hasn’t worked AT ALL?!”

Me: “no”

Doctor: “I just want to be clear…you have not been feeling any better with my help..?”

Me: “That is correct”

Doctor: “hmmmm…well I will have to think more about this and get back to you because I don’t understand.”

this has happened with 2 doctors I have worked with that could not figure out what was wrong with me. I stopped seeing them because they wouldn’t get back to me with any way that they could help.

What has given you inspiration?

I want others to feel like they aren’t alone, and that there are so many people suffering in silence and that it is safe to come out and admit you need help or support because there is a HUGE community of people dealing with the same things.

To what do you attribute your ” daily will?”

My motivation has been found within myself. For a long time, I was sick and tired of being sick and tired. I reached a pretty low point where I knew I had to change little things to help myself feel better. So I started with my diet. I started cooking all of my meals and my friends and family have been eating better now too because I have inspired them. It has made me start a blog to share more of my recipes and my healing journey with others. I have loved supporting others when they go through difficult times, however, I had a laundry list of things I had to work on myself before I could help others.

What alternative treatments or therapies have most helped you?

I have been seeing a naturopathic doctor for the last 2 months and it has been very effective! They focus on finding the root causes through certain tests and blood work, creating an individualized healing plan that includes diet and supplements, and make sure you are held accountable by weekly health coach meetings to discuss anything that has come up.

Not only this, but they also have a mindfulness counselor that you can meet with to discuss certain habits, fears, or past traumas with to regain your control back over your life.

Every aspect has been very healing for my body, soul and mind. By addressing your past and making new habits in your life is where the real healing takes place, so out of all treatments or therapies I have tried this combination has been the most beneficial because you must look at the whole body to heal, not just one part of it.

What was most challenging when you were first diagnosed?

The most challenging thing when I was diagnosed was acceptance.

I really suppressed my emotions and took the prescribed medications like the doctor told me to and I thought that would make everything go away. It did make my inflammation and pain go away for the first few years, so it made it even easier to live a life not thinking about my RA. However, with changing medications since, I have realized that this is a part I must work to live with not a life resisting against it.

What does your daily routine look like? take us through it.

In the morning I have a gut repair smoothie and go right to my yoga mat. I take 10-15 minutes every morning to check in with myself and do some gentle stretches. I work from home currently, so I am sitting all day and have found that with just a 10 minute stretch of problem areas that morning, I do not experience as much pain or discomfort throughout my day. So yoga is a must!

During my lunch break I either go for a walk, do a yoga flow or a light resistance workout and then I eat. After work if I didn’t workout during lunch I will go to the gym to walk on the treadmill and do body weight exercises. I try to break up my workout throughout the day instead of doing it all at one time because it is easier on my joints and my fatigue. The grocery store is next to the gym so I go there next for produce to cook up for dinner that night! In the evenings I either write more of my blog, do embroidery, photography or hang out with friends and family!

Before bed, I put my phone to the side and I read a few chapters in a book which has helped me get a better night of sleep!

How has “being disabled” changed you as a person for the better?

I have learned to give myself grace.

I have always like to keep myself busy with a new hobby, book, being with friends etc that I wouldn’t take care of myself the way I needed because I was too exhausted running around.

Then I was diagnosed and learned that having this illness requires you to take better care of yourself, something I didn’t even know where to begin on. Since then, I have been way more comfortable being alone and I look forward to nights in with myself doing some passions of mine!

What is the one thing you are MOST proud of yourself for achieving despite your condition?

I am most proud of myself for never giving up. Many times doctors won’t take the time to really listen to you, or will give you another medication that is essentially another bandaid, but I knew something wasn’t right with symptom after symptom coming up.

So I took it upon myself to schedule doctor appointments with different RA doctors and other types of doctors and decided to leave one when I felt they couldn’t help me. I kept deciding with my gut feeling which led me in seeing this naturopathic doctor which I am so grateful for because they are doing what I’ve been hoping for along; running personalized testing, giving weekly support and providing a mindfulness coach to help with the other-side of what RA can bring down, your mental health.

What are your favorite life hacks for getting things accomplished day to day… while overcoming the fatigue, brain fog and all the symptoms?

I used to not like music without words but now I love it! Whenever I am feeling stuck I put on my upbeat non-vocal playlist that gets me feeling good and my thoughts flowing.

Do you have a slogan, one liner, or a motivational message that you want to leave readers with?

The test of your character is when we are faced in uncomfortable situations. We can either learn from it or turn away from it.

How can other warriors find you on social media?


This article is for informational purposes only. The content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek medical advice from your physician or health provider for your specific needs.

    Your Cart
    Your cart is emptyReturn to Shop