Since being diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis, have you looked at your life and saw where you once were and where you are now and wondered to yourself “What Has Rheumatoid Arthritis Taken From Me. The long struggle that we all have faced and is facing has taken its toll on us and has taken many things in many ways from us along the way and has given us challenges that only the strong can survive.

Has it taken away your independence, the way you use to run up and down the stairs or run outside with your children or your pets, or the ability to even pickup your children.  Has it taken away your walk around the yard or the time you use to work in the yard.  Maybe even the jog around the neighborhood or the track for the exercise that you loved so much.

Well this is part is not about being vain, but has it taken away your lovely hair, the way you use to pull it back from your face or the way you once wore it curled, straight or maybe in a natural afro style.  That once gorgeous hair is now stringy and falling out to your amazement.  How about those 3-4″ heels you once wore with those wiggle skirts or 2 piece suits or that pretty dress that you knew you looked good in.  You can’t wear those heels anymore because your feet are swollen or your toe joints are not as they should be and those skirts, dresses and suits may not fit anymore because the medication has caused you to gain weight that you never expected.   What about that 5 million dollar beautiful smile that you had that everyone talked about when you came into the room or saw in your pictures.  It maybe gone because the inflammation has taken a toll on your mouth joints or the dry mouth has cause many of your teeth to be pulled so now your smile has faded if you hardly smile at all.  Now maybe your gorgeous rings don’t fit anymore because your fingers are swollen or deformed (I hate that term) but you all know what I mean.  You may try day after day to see if they may fit if it’s only swelling you’re dealing with.  Oh yes, don’t forget that pleasing personality that we once had that may now be replaced with depression and sadness that has us looking for that ultimate goal of support and understanding.  With these we might be able to give somewhat of a smile to those around us in hopes of their continued support.  If we are lucky enough to keep it, we are so Blessed. I won’t say we took these things for granted before rheumatoid arthritis came along but I’m sure we never really thought it would be this way.  No, not once do I think any of us thought that we would lose so much of ourselves to this disease.  Never did we think we would have to sacrifice our time, our jobs, our families and our sense of self just to maintain with this disease.  Yet we did and must do what we have to in order to try to stay at least even with it.

You see it is something that we can’t we be rid of no matter how hard we try and we must live with it for the rest of our lives so we must continue to fight and do what is necessary in order to live the best life that we can. As hard as this fight may get, we should never give up on a chance at a quality life for ourselves and our family.

So as much as RA has taken, let us not let it take our entire life from us.  This is why we should fight and fight hard.  Fight for the smallest hope of a better day for yourself because tomorrow may bring a little bit bigger hope. Though it’s taken a lot from us, we can’t let it take all from us.  Our smile may not be as bright, our hands may not be as pretty, our knees may not bend as far and our personality may not be as pleasing but I’m sure our family will be happy to have us here with just a little of what we once had. So we will take what we have left and make the best life that we can because to give out is to give up.

Be Blessed.

photo credit: nina theresa/freeimages.com