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Advantage, Wozniacki: Tennis star on taking charge of life with RA

Tennis fantastic Caroline Wozniacki gained thirty specialist titles and held the No. 1 rating in the entire world for around 70 months from 2010 to 2011. In 2018, soon after returning to the No. 1 location, 28-calendar year-outdated Wozniacki was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis (RA), an autoimmune affliction that triggers discomfort, swelling, and stiffness in our joints. She is now helping many others with RA by sharing her story and encouraging them to do the similar.

Wozniacki shakes hands after a match with Naomi Osaka at the China Open in 2019.

Wozniacki, suitable, shakes arms soon after a match with Naomi Osaka at the China Open in 2019.

When did you very first recognize indications of RA?

In 2018, I started off not sensation my ideal. I experienced joint discomfort that moved all over from my arms and ft to my elbows and knees. I felt fatigued and run down. My voice obtained raspy even even though I did not have a cold. I chalked it up to currently being fatigued, pushed through it, and kept participating in tennis. Soon after the match in Montreal [at the Rogers Cup] in August of that calendar year, I woke up and explained to my now partner that I actually couldn’t shift. I felt like I experienced been hit by a truck. I couldn’t brush my teeth or carry my arms. It was a frightening and horrible sensation.

Have been you diagnosed suitable away or did it acquire a even though?

Having a prognosis was irritating. I observed a range of medical doctors, but they couldn’t uncover a challenge. They said possibly it was in my head or that possibly I was out of form. But I understood there was anything really mistaken. I wouldn’t quit pushing until eventually I obtained answers. Thankfully, I ultimately found a physician who took me significantly and really listened to me. He did even more blood exams, which instructed that I experienced an autoimmune illness. So, he referred me to an exceptional rheumatologist, who diagnosed me with rheumatoid arthritis in Oct of 2018. She set jointly a cure system with me and we started off the journey to get better then and there.

How did you react when you obtained the prognosis?

I don’t forget sitting at the doctor’s office and imagining: Wait, is just not arthritis for outdated folks? This cannot be happening to me. I was the No. 1 or two ranked tennis participant in the entire world. I was at the top rated of my match. I did not recognize. But at the similar time, I was relieved it was not anything even worse. Soon after the preliminary anxiety experienced passed, I instantly shifted to focusing on what I wanted to do to get better.

How are you sensation now?

Most days I sense fantastic, which is awesome. There are also some days that I wake up with indications. For me it is all about accepting that this is the “new me.” I give myself the opportunity to just acquire it easy and not overdo it. I am also lucky to have a really supportive household. The hard part about RA is the truth that you cannot see it. If you are not sensation nicely, it really is not like you have a damaged arm or a solid. It was an adjustment for my household to really pay attention and know in which I was coming from with my RA. I am thankful to my household for currently being understanding and helping me get better.

Wozniacki celebrates after her win at the 2020 Australian Open

Wozniacki celebrates soon after her gain at the 2020 Australian Open.

What do you do to regulate worry and keep wholesome with RA?

What has been really beneficial is to produce down what makes me sense excellent and what makes me sense terrible. So, for case in point, I will produce down what I ate the working day just before and how it manufactured me sense the upcoming working day. This aids me to know what could possibly result in a flare-up of my arthritis. Not currently being on the road as a great deal [traveling for tennis tournaments] has manufactured it much easier for me to take in even more healthy foodstuff. I take in additional of an anti-inflammatory diet now. I take in a lot of greens, have cut out really fatty and greasy foodstuff, and reduced the amount of purple meat I take in. Touring significantly less has also helped me decrease worry. I am really a great deal a go-go-go particular person with everything heading a hundred miles an hour. I have learned it is Alright to acquire a deep breath, love the instant, and acquire it easy in some cases.

What guidance do you have for many others who are confronting the affliction?

Get as a great deal details as doable. Locate a physician you sense comfy with and set a match system that operates for you separately. I say that because with RA what may well function for you or me may well not function for a further particular person. With the suitable care, you can really get your daily life back again and sense better. I also uncover that listening to others’ stories and sharing mine really aids. Which is why I obtained started off with the AdvantageHers marketing campaign for women of all ages with autoimmune problems to share their stories.* We can all get through this jointly as a single crew and a single local community.

You climbed Mount Kilimanjaro previous calendar year with your household. How did it sense to carry out that with RA?

That was an remarkable working experience and has been on my bucket record for a extensive time. Having to do it with my household was really particular. It was so tricky. We climbed for 7 days and were all fatigued, but as soon as we obtained to the top rated, it felt so worthwhile. It was an remarkable point to be equipped to do. I will don’t forget it for the relaxation of my daily life.

What’s upcoming for Caroline Wozniacki?

Tennis has been these a big part of my daily life. I want to continue to keep it in my daily life in some way, which could indicate accomplishing anything like Tv set commentary in the long run. I also hope to continue to keep traveling the entire world with my household!

* The Countrywide Institutes of Overall health was not associated in the generation of the challenge, and reference to it does not represent or suggest endorsement by any federal agency.