Rheumatoid Arthritis is a chronic disease which is a long lasting disease that can be controlled but not cured. Controlled in our case is not as often as we hope for. Arthritis is painful inflammation and stiffness of the joints; sounds familiar but not what we have. Rheumatoid Disease, that is an auto immune disease, that is what we have but it’s better known to most as Rheumatoid Arthritis!!!!! Confusing to many, yes it is. Hopefully I can put a face on it.
If you ask people about Rheumatoid Arthritis their first thought is arthritis, simple as that. They do not realize that we do not have arthritis but an auto immune disease. Funny I have explained this a lot since my diagnosis but most have come to understand what I’m going through from hearing about the plight of others that has this disease. By others who happen to mention it in conversations of how bad it is and how bad the effects are and what it’s doing to them daily. The same exact thing I have said to others. I then get words like “wow I didn’t know what you had was so bad, I didn’t know what you are going through was that bad”. Why not understand it from me who has taken all of my time trying to explain it. Do you feel the same way sometimes asking yourself, “why not accept what I say”. Do you find that you feel awkward when you’re explaining what you have or even when you may be asked by someone that’s aware of your illness how you are. Do you tend to hesitate to answer with the truth because you really don’t want to hear the words from them telling you to just rest or just take it easy it’ll be alright and not to worry about things so much. It’s so casual that you feel the words are just that “words”. Something said just to acknowledge they’ve asked a question or the casual tone of don’t start with that illness again or the plain and simple fact that they just said something to be nice but really may not be interested in that part of you at all. How much more of that can we stand or hear when we know those are just words spoken without understanding. Understanding that this disease will not go away with taking it easy, resting or for that matter, neither will it go away with the million of advil and aleve we’ve been told to take and to put it bluntly, it will not go away with the ignorance of others who refuse to acknowledge this disease is far more than they want to believe or accept that it truly is.
You see, we are the faces of Rheumatoid Arthritis, the ones who suffer day in and day out with excruciating pain along other changes in our lives. We are the ones who suffer destruction of joints that are so bad we require surgery. It is our faces that wear the destruction, the pain and the emotions of this disease. This disease does not discriminate and it may not hit us all the same way but hit us it will. It will leave its mark on us continually whether visible or not. It will always be front and forward leading its way when we lay down at night and wake up in the morning. People should know, this disease is closer to us than our families can be. This is not a put down of our families, it is a statement meaning this disease is with us for all that we suffer and through all that we go through. It is the reason for it all. We face it whether we can get out of bed or if we are forced to lay in pain all day. It is the face of what takes control of our every minute.
So this is the face of Rheumatoid Arthritis. The DISEASE that gives and gives, never stops to give a moment of peace or if it does, that moment is soon forgotten because there once again is the pain our body never got a chance to let go of. We are at the mercy of a disease that bears a name that is so often wrongly referenced but our pain, emotions and all that we go through shows exactly what it is and what it does, so there is no doubt that we as sufferers put the right FACE on this horrible disease and We Do Not give it a false definition or false representation. We know it and live it EVERY day of our lives so we can clearly speak about it and explain it to anyone that is confused about it.
photo credit: diamond mack