Meaghan Victory Pays it Forward by Caring for Others
Meaghan Victory dreamed of becoming a nurse even before she was diagnosed with Juvenile Arthritis (JA) at the age of 9. Inspired by the nurses who cared for her, she is now living her dream as a registered nurse in the cancer care unit at Seattle Children's Hospital - the same hospital where she received […]

Meaghan Victory dreamed of becoming a nurse even before she was diagnosed with Juvenile Arthritis (JA) at the age of 9. Inspired by the nurses who cared for her, she is now living her dream as a registered nurse in the cancer care unit at Seattle Children's Hospital - the same hospital where she received care as a child. .

The embodiment of persistence and commitment, the 24-year-old was recently selected as the recipient of the 2020-2021 Champions of Arthritis Scholarship Program and received the Dr. Smriti Bardhan College.

“I was very honored to have been selected as the recipient of the 2020-2021 Champions of Arthritis Scholarship Program,” said Meaghan. “With so many deserving people suffering from arthritis and other rheumatic related diseases, I felt really lucky to have earned this scholarship.

Meaghan is currently working on her Masters of Nursing in a family nursing stream and will graduate in September 2022.

She discovered the scholarship a week before starting her masters program, “so it was a great way to start my next educational journey! she says. "With this scholarship, I can worry less about paying for my courses and focus more on my health."

Grow active
Meaghan grew up in an active family, spending summers camping and hiking and winters in the snow-capped mountains next to their home in Issaquah, Wash.

Around the age of 8, Meaghan was involved in a sleigh accident and sprained her right wrist. For six months after the accident, the pain in her wrist never went away. During her summer vacation, her mother put sunscreen on her arm and noticed that Meaghan was in great pain. Unsure of what was going on, her pediatrician referred Meaghan to Seattle Children's Hospital, where she was diagnosed with JRA.

After the initial diagnosis, Meaghan says, "Life was good, and since arthritis was mostly confined to my right wrist, I was able to continue to play sports, run and stay active."

In high school the road got a little more difficult and Meaghan was ill during his junior and senior years. In her senior year, she broke her right wrist and was in a cast for over six months. His doctors discovered that his wrist was infected and performed surgery, removing a third of his ulna. Meaghan then underwent two additional surgeries on his right wrist - a joint replacement and joint fusion - to help correct the damage. Fortunately, Meaghan is a left-hander so she was able to persevere and continue her education.

A champion of yes
During her many visits to Seattle Children's, a nurse recommended that the family get involved with The Arthritis Foundation. Meaghan and her mother decided to run in the Seattle Jingle Bell Run, and have participated every year since, forming a team and raising money for a healing. To date, Team Victory has raised over $ 143,000 and it's not over yet.

Meaghan was both a camper and counselor at KAT-Fish Camp in Washington, traveled to Washington, DC, for the Arthritis Foundation Advocacy Summit., where she received the National Emerging Leader Award in 2015. She has also been a speaker at local events including “Rheumapalooza,” a conference held at the University of Washington School of Medicine for rheumatology-focused students . She has also been a guest speaker and frequent participant at the local Healing Foundation's breakfast and a volunteer and speaker at several Bone Bash fundraisers.

A caring career
Pursuing a career in health care was a given, Meaghan says. “I always knew I wanted to get into nursing,” she says. “The incredible care I received from my nurses and doctors while receiving treatment for my arthritis or undergoing procedures only solidified my dream even more. I wanted the opportunity to give back the care and support I had received as a patient to my future patients.

The favorite part of Meaghan's job - connecting and building relationships with his patients and their families - has been the bright side of his arthritis. “My arthritis has helped me in my career and allowed me to connect with my patients on a whole different level,” she explains. “Even though I haven't been in their shoes, I understand the pain and handicap that come with illnesses. Watching my patients fight each day prompts me to do the same. "

Meaghan admits that being a nurse with arthritis isn't easy. “To be honest, my arthritis has really challenged me in my career. Nursing is a fast paced job and I spend the majority of my shift standing. I don't think I've had a single shift where my body doesn't hurt or hurt all over the place. But, she says, “I refuse to let this affect my ability to provide the best possible care to my patients. In fact, it made me work and fight harder for my patients.

With her masters degree, Meaghan hopes to develop her career from a staff nurse to a nurse practitioner. “I figured if my body couldn't handle bedside nursing, I could still use my brain and interact and build relationships with patients as a nurse practitioner,” she says. "I wanted to prepare myself for success in the future, which is why I finally decided to go back to school."

Her continuing care and outlook
Meaghan manages her arthritis with an aggressive treatment plan that includes a biological medicine and other drugs, as well as a gluten-free diet, physical therapy and home exercises include cycling, walking, running and weight training with light weights.

“It mainly works,” Meaghan says. Although she hasn't had any major breakouts recently, minor breakouts persist and imaging continues to show new areas of joint destruction.

Her arthritis also continues to pose new challenges every year. She was recently diagnosed with hip dysplasia, which required surgery last summer, and will have another hip surgery this year, which will require four months to recover. “A blessing of the free time is that I will have more time to focus on my classes and work towards becoming the best nurse practitioner I know I can be,” says Meaghan.


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Almost anybody can safely take up walking, and light to moderate exercise is usually fine for saine adults with no troublesome symptoms. But do you need to talk to your doctor before taking on a more strenuous regimen ? It’s wise to talk to a doctor if you have any questions about your health or plan to start more vigorous workouts, especially if you haven’t been active recently.

Definitely talk to a doctor if you have any injuries or a chronic or unstable health condition, such as heart disease or several risk factors for heart disease, a respiratory ailment like asthma, high blood pressure, joint or bone disease ( including osteoporosis ), a neurological illness, or diabetes. Also consult your doctor if you suspect you may have an illness that would interfere with an exercise program or if you have been experiencing any troublesome symptoms, such as chest pain, shortness of breath, or dizziness.

Almost anybody can safely take up walking, and light to moderate exercise is usually fine for saine adults with no troublesome symptoms. But do you need to talk to your doctor before taking on a more strenuous regimen ? It’s wise to talk to a doctor if you have any questions about your health or plan to start more vigorous workouts, especially if you haven’t been active recently.

10 tips for avoiding injuries

Once your doctor gives you the go-ahead to exercise, the tips below can help you avoid injuries :

Take five to 10 minutes to warm up and cool down properly. Plan to start slowly and boost your activity level gradually unless you are already exercising frequently and vigorously.

Be aware that training too hard or too often can cause overuse injuries like stress fractures, stiff or sore joints and zones musculaires, and inflamed tendons and ligaments. Sports prompting repetitive wear and tear on certain parts of your body — such as swimming ( shoulders ), jogging ( knees, ankles, and feet ), tennis ( elbows ) — are often overuse culprits, too. A mix of different kinds of activities and sufficient rest is safer.

Listen to your body. Hold off on exercise when you’re sick or feeling very fatigued. Cut back if you cannot finish an exercise séance, feel faint after exercise or fatigued during the day, or suffer persistent aches and pains in joints after exercising.

If you stop exercising for a while, drop back to a lower level of exercise initially. If you’re doing strength training, for example, lift lighter weights or do fewer reps or sets.

For most people, simply drinking plenty of water is sufficient. But if you’re sérieux out especially or doing a marathon or tri, choose drinks that replace fluids plus essential electrolytes.

Choose clothes and shoes designed for your type of exercise. Replace shoes every six months as cushioning wears out.

For strength training, good form is essential. Initially use no weight, or very light weights, when learning the exercises. Never sacrifice good form by hurrying to finish reps or sets, or struggling to lift heavier weights.

Exercising vigorously in hot, humid conditions can lead to serious overheating and dehydration. Slow your pace when the temperature rises above 70°F. On days when the thermometer is expected to reach 80°F, exercise during cooler morning or evening hours or at an air-conditioned gym. Watch for signs of overheating, such as headache, dizziness, nausea, faintness, cramps, or palpitations.

Dress properly for cold-weather workouts to avoid hypothermia. Depending on the temperature, wear layers you can peel off as you warm up. Don’t forget gloves.

Delayed muscle soreness that starts 12 to 24 hours after a workout and gradually abates is a normal response to taxing your groupes de muscles. By contrast, durent or soutenu muscle pain that starts during a workout or right afterward, or bourrinage soreness that persists more than one to two weeks, merits a call to your doctor for advice.

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