Take a look at me. Are you judging me by what you see? Do I look normal to you? Well I’m not but I’m being forced to prove that I am. I have Rheumatoid Arthritis an auto immune disease, one that can sometimes be invisible.
This is the typical life of many RA sufferers. Dealing with the seeing is believing mentally which causes such turmoil for me. No one can see the pain that runs through my joints or how much it hurt my hands to write, or to pickup anything or maybe to walk or to sit down or even to lay down for comfort when I feel this way. You can’t see the fog in my head that confuses me or make me forget so many things or how it scares me because I think I’m losing my mind or thinking maybe it’s only happening to me. You don’t even see what could be happening to my lungs, heart or my other organs from this disease as you look at me with doubt. Yes, it may all be invisible but it is all so very real.
I may walk around and you may see a smile on my face but you don’t know that beneath my smile is hidden the truth about my pain. Why do you see me smiling sometimes as if everything is alright? Well, it is to keep away the doubters and the ones who don’t understand or those that may argue about my truths and even some of those that may mean well with their mistaken fixes. We would rather smile and keep going than to keep pleading our neverending cases. If you can’t hear the pain in my Voice, then you will never believe a word I’ve said about my disease. I won’t ever be able to get you to understand what I go through each and everyday. My explaining has run cold.
My disease maybe invisible but I am not. Why can’t I be heard when I speak! When will I be able to speak the truth without any doubts. Rheumatoid Arthritis is debilitating and it is chronic which means for me I will bear its pain forever. So now it may be invisible but there is a strong chance it will become visible. If it does, I ask will you believe me then when I say I am in pain, my joints hurt, I cannot write or it’s hard to walk or it hurts to lay down even for comfort. Are my words now more convincing since I have visible signs and does this make what I say more believable. Now are my truths more acceptable and my explanations aren’t spoken in vain.
You see, this is exactly what I face with my chronic disease, my words being meaningless. Am I any less sick because you can’t see my illness? Let me assure you, my pain does not need a symbol, it has a title, Rheumatoid Arthritis, an auto immune disease. A destroyer of a life if you let it and this is why I fight. So I say to you; Do not judge me by what you don’t see. If what I have was always visible, maybe I would not be so misunderstood but I am here to say, as I live and breathe RA is so much more than the eyes can see. I am living proof that it is.
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