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

Tennis terrific Caroline Wozniacki received 30 experienced titles and held the No. one rating in the entire world for in excess of 70 weeks from 2010 to 2011. In 2018, right after returning to the No. one place, 28-calendar year-outdated Wozniacki was identified with rheumatoid arthritis (RA), an autoimmune issue that leads to discomfort, swelling, and stiffness in our joints. She is now helping some others with RA by sharing her story and encouraging them to do the same.

Wozniacki, right, shakes fingers right after a match with Naomi Osaka at the China Open up in 2019.

When did you to start with discover symptoms of RA?

In 2018, I commenced not emotion my best. I experienced joint discomfort that moved around from my fingers and toes to my elbows and knees. I felt exhausted and operate down. My voice obtained raspy even although I failed to have a chilly. I chalked it up to currently being exhausted, pushed as a result of it, and stored actively playing 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 spouse that I literally could not move. I felt like I experienced been hit by a truck. I could not brush my enamel or lift my arms. It was a terrifying and awful emotion.

Ended up you identified right absent or did it just take a although?

Getting a diagnosis was aggravating. I noticed a amount of health professionals, but they could not find a challenge. They said maybe it was in my head or that maybe I was out of form. But I realized there was a little something truly completely wrong. I would not cease pushing till I obtained answers. Luckily for us, I at last uncovered a physician who took me severely and truly listened to me. He did more blood checks, which prompt that I experienced an autoimmune condition. So, he referred me to an exceptional rheumatologist, who identified me with rheumatoid arthritis in October of 2018. She put alongside one another a cure plan with me and we commenced the journey to get better then and there.

How did you respond when you obtained the diagnosis?

I keep in mind sitting down at the doctor’s place of work and thinking: Wait, is just not arthritis for outdated persons? This can not be taking place to me. I was the No. one or 2 ranked tennis participant in the entire world. I was at the prime of my recreation. I failed to understand. But at the same time, I was relieved it was not a little something even worse. Soon after the initial anxiety experienced handed, I mechanically shifted to focusing on what I required to do to get better.

How are you emotion now?

Most days I experience terrific, which is wonderful. There are also some days that I wake up with symptoms. For me it is all about accepting that this is the “new me.” I give myself the likelihood to just just take it quick and not overdo it. I am also lucky to have a very supportive relatives. The difficult section about RA is the reality that you can not see it. If you are not emotion well, it truly is not like you have a broken arm or a cast. It was an adjustment for my relatives to truly pay attention and know wherever I was coming from with my RA. I’m grateful to my relatives for currently being comprehension and helping me get better.

Wozniacki celebrates after her win at the 2020 Australian Open

Wozniacki celebrates right after her win at the 2020 Australian Open up.

What do you do to handle anxiety and continue to be balanced with RA?

What has been truly practical is to produce down what can make me experience great and what can make me experience negative. So, for example, I will produce down what I ate the day in advance of and how it created me experience the following day. This can help me to know what could result in a flare-up of my arthritis. Not currently being on the road as much [touring for tennis tournaments] has created it a lot easier for me to eat even more healthy food items. I eat additional of an anti-inflammatory eating plan now. I eat a whole lot of greens, have slice out truly fatty and greasy food items, and diminished the quantity of crimson meat I eat. Traveling much less has also served me reduce anxiety. I’m very much a go-go-go particular person with every thing going a hundred miles an hour. I have figured out it is Ok to just take a deep breath, delight in the second, and just take it quick occasionally.

What information do you have for some others who are confronting the issue?

Get as much information as possible. Find a physician you experience comfy with and set a recreation plan that works for you individually. I say that due to the fact with RA what may perhaps work for you or me may perhaps not work for a different particular person. With the right care, you can truly get your everyday living back again and experience better. I also find that listening to others’ stories and sharing mine truly can help. That is why I obtained commenced with the AdvantageHers campaign for gals with autoimmune conditions to share their stories.* We can all get as a result of this alongside one another as just one workforce and just one neighborhood.

You climbed Mount Kilimanjaro previous calendar year with your relatives. How did it experience to attain that with RA?

That was an incredible expertise and has been on my bucket record for a lengthy time. Getting to do it with my relatives was very particular. It was so challenging. We climbed for seven days and have been all exhausted, but the moment we obtained to the prime, it felt so gratifying. It was an incredible matter to be ready to do. I will keep in mind it for the relaxation of my everyday living.

What’s following for Caroline Wozniacki?

Tennis has been this sort of a massive section of my everyday living. I want to hold it in my everyday living in some way, which could signify carrying out a little something like Tv set commentary in the foreseeable future. I also hope to hold touring the entire world with my relatives!

* The Nationwide Institutes of Overall health was not involved in the development of the task, and reference to it does not represent or imply endorsement by any federal agency.