What I wish people knew about RA:

I found this article today on rheumatoidarthritis.net and overwhelmingly, these things ring so true.  I decided to make my own list.  Hopefully, if you love someone who has RA, you will take the time to read this list.

Community Thoughts: What Do You Wish More People Knew About RA?

My list:

1.  My sister was dx with RA 10 years or so before me.  I thought I understood.  I had NO IDEA.

2.  I don’t know what it is like any longer not to hurt somewhere.

3.  I get really tired of compensating and asking for help at times like when my hands just won’t work.

4.  I’m pretty much tired all the time.

5.  There’s a world of pain and fatigue behind this smile.

6.  I have always taken pride in being strong and independent; this disease tries every day to take that from me.

7.  I feel like I am battling a monster every single day.

8.  I get it- you don’t understand, and even when you try, you still don’t really understand.

9.  It never goes away.  I don’t get to look forward to a cure.  All I can hope for is chemical remission where the drugs that put me there could also take me out in any number of other ways.

10.  I feel like I have aged 5-10 years in the 15 months since my diagnosis.  This frightens me.  Sometimes I just cry.

So, wow.  This list makes me sound really self-centered- it’s all “I, I, I, and I.”  That’s another thing this disease does.  It makes you feel self-absorbed and whiny.  That is so far from who I think I am.

The most important thing for you to know, though, is this:

I have RA, but it does not have me.  I will not stop fighting.  

Gifts RA has given me:

1.  I live in the moment a little more.

2.  I have more compassion for people who live with chronic pain… for people in general.

3.  I think I am kinder and gentler on the daily.

4.  I have let go of all the anger I used to hold on to, which could have contributed to the firing up this disease/state of inflammation.

5.  I practice mindfulness and forgiveness more often.

So, as always, with loss, there are gains.  I imagine I will find more gifts as I go along.  ~Peace.

2 thoughts on “What I wish people knew about RA:

  1. I wish I could pray it away from you. I trust in the Lord to hold you in his arms & care. So sorry you have it. I feel the same way but the dr.
    said I don’t have it. Who knows.

    Love you,
    Mom

  2. I do understand. I feel your pain & whine every day about my aches & pains even though I hurt everyday ! I feel guilty whining all of the time. My energy is gone & not able to do what I once did. I am much older than you & it is expected, but not at your age. I would give anything to help you feel better & I pray for you daily ! I love you sweet daughter & pray for you to stay strong, determined, and adamant that you won’t give in. Grasp each day & give it your best, and I know you will! You listed things that put the nail on the head! I’m sure others with RA will agree! God Bless you always! Love, Mom

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