Rheumatoid Arthritis, you are a Robber that has changed our lives. You sneaked in on us when we had no clue what was happening to our bodies. You came in and changed what we thought we knew about ourselves and has left us still working trying to figure you out. But this is what we know; What You’ve Taken:
You’ve taken us totally by surprise and you are so unforgiving
You’ve taken control of our lives and left us more confused than we ever thought possible
You’ve taken our lives and made it so difficult to maintain each day as we wake
You’ve taken the person I once saw in the mirror and left someone different staring back
You’ve taken our smile that once was so bright but now is a vague remembrance
You’ve taken away the shine in our eyes and left a sad and teary stare;
And you should know, You’ve taken away our joy and replaced it with sadness and wonder
You’ve taken away our laughter and now all we hear are our loud cries from pain
You’ve taken away our clear minds that we’re focusing so hard on getting back
You’ve taken away the hands that we cherished but now can hardly recognized
You’ve taken away our quick steps that have now slowed to such a sad pace
You’ve taken away our ability to do what many expect us to do;
It doesn’t stop there, You’ve taken our families and filled their heads with confusion
You’ve taken that confusion and used it to chase them away
You’ve taken our emotions to levels that are so high we can barely function
You’ve taken from us the love of knowing what a pain-free minute is truly like
You’ve taken our strength and saddled us with days of utter fatigue and we’re so tired
You’ve taken from us so much more than we can actually put into words
and for this, you are the enemy that we hate but will never be able to leave behind as you continue your task of taking from us.
While we battle this disease, the battle is bigger than anyone knows. We have lost more than words can say and for that, there truly are no words. As we try to get people to understand what this disease does, it is an ongoing struggle with a process that we can’t seem to make work. We are forever trying to make many see what our lives with RA is all about but as we go on, we still find that when it comes to breaking down that barrier of understanding, we are facing a brick wall that won’t be moved. We must come to terms with the fact that we will be fighting for understanding as long as we will be fighting this disease. It is now up to us to “walk away” without explanations and just let our understanding be for us and those who get it. What we have to sacrifice by having this disease leaves no room for unnecessary work since our strength is needed to fight our everyday struggles with it and not on senseless communication. By that I mean, our repeated attempts at trying to explain this disease. It is a shame when WE have to “lie, smile or walk away, pretend we didn’t hear or brush it off” just to keep our sanity while refusing to once again make an attempt at explaining we “DO NOT” have what you think we have and no it “DOES NOT” work the way you think it works.
We are the ones that suffer everyday whether we have visible signs or not. This disease is working just as hard whether it can or cannot be seen by you, I or anyone else. We are not to be judged but if you must, judge us not by what you cannot see because all that is wrong with us is not visible. We may look okay, smile okay and act okay but maybe crying inside from the pain that we’re enduring everyday of our lives. Chronic doesn’t always mean you’re unable to do anything. What people need to understand, because I may look on top of the world, doesn’t mean I can carry the world. MY LOOKS CAN BE VERY DECEIVING!!