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Rheumatoid Arthritis, what do we think about it?  We as sufferers will never be at a loss for words.  For others, there will never be enough words.

Our lives with this disease is full of struggles.  How do we maintain?   How do we keep on fighting? How do we make them believe?  Am I Going To Make It?  Questions I’m sure we have all thought about at some point while battling this disease. I’m sure there are many who would never in a day think these are the many concerns that we would have but how wrong they are.  Little do they know, our lives are consumed with struggles everyday whether they are big or small.

Are we alone in our struggles?  For so many of us we are and that is also one of those struggles that we are forced to face.  How can someone live with a disease as debilitating as Rheumatoid Arthritis and many not understand the magnitude of the damage that it can cause.  Are they turning a blind eye to our reality or are they just ignoring our reality due to our continued need for help in ways they may not be willing to accept and help us with.  Our lives consists of medical care, medicines that are a constant and the all important loss of what once was; our ability to do the things that we once could and still want to do, still there is more fighting do, struggles we have to face.  This may be why we are felt to be a burden in the eyes of many.  While they may think this is overwhelming for them, the truth is, we are the  are the ones overwhelmed.  We are living it daily and it does not allow us a break contrary to what others think they may see or believe.

Getting others to understand us and support us is a huge struggle for us.  Are we being selfish in our need for understanding and support?  I think not; I feel these are important because it brings togetherness to a relationship that could very well drift silently apart also as a bitter effect of this disease.  Do we ask for more than we think we should have?  No we do not because we understand what it means to appreciate the smallest amount of help given.  We would love not to bring others into our struggles with this disease but it is inevitable because It draws others in.  We wish we could control Rheumatoid Arthritis but there are no doubts, it controls us.   What others fail to understand is how hard we have to fight for anything when it comes to this disease.  We are fighting for understanding, we are fighting for support, for peace and comfort,  we are fighting with providers for approval for medicines, we are fighting with doctors for the right medicine, as well as  fighting with doctors for their understanding of what we are going through just as we are with those in our lives.  Fighting is what it takes to survive this disease in any fashion. Reaching out in ways that we have to is a part of our fight and our survival.  Being selfish is not a part of the makeup of this disease, there is no room for it. We need out of a necessity not of selfishness.

Our struggles come in many forms so that is why our minds are hardly ever at peace. No one can imagine what it’s like to have a day when you are pain-free.  That for us is a dream.  Many wake up, get on with their day without the struggle of putting one foot before the other, putting your clothes on, the simple task of combing your hair, brushing your teeth or even fitting your shoes or any of the other simple things in life let alone the Harder things.  These are the things that many take for granted while we take it as a joy and a Blessing to be able to achieve.  Our joy is just BEING ABLE TO DO!

So to all of those who do not understand the struggles we face, know they are not minimal, short lived or imaginary, they are fierce, long lasting and real. We are everything that Rheumatoid Arthritis has made us which are the things that you see and those things that you cannot see.  We are the real faces of this disease and we wear it well.

Be Blessed.

photo credit: diamond mack