Having Rheumatoid Arthritis is a terrible and painful thing. So many don’t understand it, so many think so little of it, so many misinterpret it and so many wouldn’t be able to handle it.  This is not at all unusual in our lives.  If you had to walk a day in our shoes, could you brave the path and make it.

Our walk each day is a hard one.  We struggle with pain, depression, anxiety, loneliness and uncertainty with each breathe that we take.  Though it is true we all may not experience these at all times but there is a guarantee that the majority of these things are hanging with us.  We know for sure there is something with us each day that we would love to leave along the way, something we can look back at and be thankful that it’s gone.

Pain is our driving force.  It drives us to the point of not being able to move beyond our surroundings.  We wish to walk in a way that gives our lives a light of hope but it drags us down and that dark cloud of unhappiness hovers over us.  We hope for nothing more than to live a pain-free life for ourselves, our love ones and those things in life we wish to do.  But pain, yes our pain, it is relenting and it leaves nothing for us to wonder about.  What it does and what it offers is no mystery to us except for occasional surprises.

So my question to those who fail to understand “If you had to walk a day in our shoes, could you handle it”.  Could you take on this task, could you walk with the pain that soars through your body day in and day out;  Will you be able to handle it when that small ache in your hand or feet becomes that searing pain that puts you down;  What about the day you may see your swollen joints and you are scared and confused because you don’t know what to do;  Did I mention for all of these symptoms the many medications you will have to try in hopes of getting the right one, all the while they’re making you sick.  Can you handle that tall order. So maybe your meds might be working okay for your pain but you’re still getting sick from them and that you just can’t understand.  But that’s exactly what we endure.  Are you taking it all in! Are you beginning to understand our fight yet!

Did I mention you will have flares.  Flares are known as acute episodes of pain and inflammation.  So we are subject to those at any time, they’re never ending too.  By the way, they can cause severe pain and swelling and they can put you down and out.  Of course you will need additional medication for those.  Now do you see how difficult our lives are with Rheumatoid Arthritis, this disease that walked into our lives and is leading our way.  So again, my question to those of you who don’t or won’t understand our plight, “If you had to walk a day in our shoes,  could you handle it”.  Will you try to learn all that you can about RA;  Will any of this change how you feel about what we go through and about how much we suffer with it;  Will you understand what it’s really like and how much our lives don’t belong to us.

Well, can you pick up your shoes, walk like us and feel what we feel.  Understand what we are going through, know what we know about this dreadful disease.  And if you could do this, you will surely get the lesson of a lifetime.  A lifetime filled with pain and the many uncertainties of Rheumatoid Arthritis, the disease that does not discriminate.  Can you stand the walk and if you can, will this make you see just how hard our struggles are and will you listen when we talk of all that we have done and still have to do.  Will you?

So as it stands, I know walking in our shoes is an impossibility but getting this disease is not.  Remember as I said, Rheumatoid Arthritis does not discriminate, so I hope those of you who don’t or won’t understand will not be the next ones having someone reading these words trying to get understanding and support for yourselves.  “True” understanding of our disease is an automatic giver of Support plus Understanding.  Another truth is, You really wouldn’t want to walk a minute in our shoes let alone a day, so please take a look, a listen and understand!

Be Blessed

photo credit:  ccodomain/