Rheumatoid Arthritis effects our lives in many, many ways.  In ways that people question, ignore or criticize. Though there are some who stick by us through our journey which is filled with struggles that we face daily and for that we are grateful.  This is a disease that will swallow us up if we give up the fight and give in to it as it takes it toll on us.  What are our struggles?

Pain-physical suffering
Our feet are bad and so are our hands
We fail at getting up because our knees won’t let us stand,
The pain in our hips and back is way too much to bear
It’s slowing us down and even stopping us from going anywhere,
Did I mention the toll it takes on our mouth and head
Leaving us wondering “with pain like this why am I not dead”,
This can’t be true many might say
Well step in our shoes if only for one day,
Yes our pain is with us no matter how much we try to steer it away
But our hope is for a cure so we can all be pain-free someday;

Fatigue-extreme tiredness
Then there’s fatigue, something that binds us to our couch or bed
Leaving us to hope beyond hope if we would just lay down our head,
It will give us some energy to get something done
But try as we may (energy), we get none,
Fatigue our enemy, something we’ve truly come to hate
It’s entered our lives hanging on with its tireless weight,
If we could just figure out how to be rid of this worrisome stress
It will relieve us of one enemy giving us strength to deal with the rest;

Isolation-the complete separation from others
The sadness of being alone with our doubts and fears
The pain of being alone with our often tears,
Losing those we love because they don’t understand
While we’re alone wishing there was someone to hold our hand,
Why does loneliness and isolation for us have to be
Why can’t others take time, watch us and see
That being alone with this disease is such a tragedy,
So our hope is that isolation will fade and togetherness grow
Then this will bring us closer as understanding and support starts to flow;

Medication-substance used for medical treatment
We take our medicines to do what we’re told is right
Knowing the chances are there will be tough days and sleepless nights,
We take it, get sick but we still give it our best try
But in the meantime it may make us feel as if we’re going to die,
Yet we don’t give up, we keep the fight going
Suffering inside, hoping the medicines are working but still not knowing,
This process we may try from the beginning to the end
Never giving up hope that someday this fight we will win,
Our medication, another enemy is suppose to work like a friend
As we reach for it over and over and over again;

Depression-state of feeling sad, unhappy or despondent
Just having Rheumatoid Arthritis brings with it a myriad of emotions
Though many may think this is some sort of self-pitying notion,
No, it is not, it is real and it can rule your life
Filling our minds with overwhelming toil and strife,
It can leave you weak, lost and sometimes crying for days
As you feel your body is being pulled apart in so many ways,
You look to others to help you through the tough times
But it may even be them who’s adding the load to your mind,
Maybe a talk to yourself, a yell or even a good cry
Will hopefully ease the emotions, God knows we will give anything a try,
To make all of these difficult emotions hopefully cease
Anything to rest our minds to get some needed mindful peace;

Disabilities-physical conditions that limit movement or activities
We’re no longer the person we thought we would always be
This disease has come along and made us see,
That it can change our lives in no time at all
While it leaves us reeling from this traumatic fall,
A lot of things we were once able to do are now in our past
Still we find ourselves hoping this isn’t true and it won’t last,
But RA is a disease that is ruthless and it doesn’t care
If our lives are on hold and YES we feel it’s unfair,
We long for old times when there were no restrictions to adhere too
Praying someday our abilities will return so we can get back to doing what we have to;

Guilt-emotional experience
For you we will do anything and everything we can
Yet Rheumatoid Arthritis has come in and switched some of that plan,
We feel the lost of letting our love ones down
But they don’t know each day in our guilt we slowly drown,
Though we’re not at fault and not to blame
The torch of sorrow and guilt we carry just the same,
We wish with all our hearts this too will end
But Rheumatoid Arthritis makes it stick with us like an unforgivable sin;
We hide our GUILT from the world with a smile
Knowing it’s tearing us apart all the while,
Just know we love you and this hurts us so much more
Because gone is the pain-free, fatigue free and disability free life we knew before!

These are some of the ways this disease effects our lives daily which many fail to realize or to acknowledge. Though we have tried time and time again to convey this, it still seems to not be taken seriously, ignored or forgotten. These things are real and overwhelming which makes our struggles harder.  Our hope is someday things will get better in every aspect of every effect.

Be Blessed

photo credit: noskill/pixabay.com