When I say I am sick, what do you think I mean. When I say to you I am so tired, can you see that I really am. When I say I hate all of the medicines I have to take, do you wonder why. When I say all of this is because I have “Rheumatoid Arthritis”, do you know what I’m talking about or do you think I’m being weak and a complainer without knowing or understanding my honest truth. Can I tell you something about it!!
Life with this disease is a question we as sufferers sometimes can’t even answer ourselves. It can be confusing and overwhelming even to us. We know our daily life is filled with pain, the question is how much pain. Fatigue is a constant thing but how bad is always a guess. Flares always seem to be in the forefront but how harsh and how long, we never know. Our medication sometimes is daily so will it work, is what we always wonder. Being lonely and depressed is what we endure often yet, will we get the support we need, we honestly can’t say. You see, this life with Rheumatoid Arthritis is full of questions. Questions that we have and questions that others have but can I tell you something else about it….
As sufferers, we concentrate on ourselves trying hard to seek comfort physically and mentally yet it’s easy to find ourselves alone wondering what to do when we’re in pain and exhausted from dealing with the fact that a lot of times nothing works for us. This is why understanding our pain is important and knowing when we say we are sick, we are. To look at us you may not see it but the reality is, we definitely are. Understanding this disease will help with understanding our plight. You see, our pain is an emotional thing for us as well because it brings on the emotional fatigue that wears us out along with our physical fatigue. All of these things happening because of Rheumatoid Arthritis, a disease you may not know much about or understand at all.
Can we give you a little lesson just to make you aware. Rheumatoid Arthritis is an auto immune disease that comes at us in many ways. First, as a surprise, then with pain in our joints, maybe our organs are affected, certainly our minds and the toll it takes on us and our families in ways never expected. There are so many symptoms, many that will confuse us and scare us and with all this come the facts that are understood: we have pain, fatigue, joint destruction, organ damage, swelling, possible disability, flares, isolation, misunderstanding, medication with side effects but above all, no cure. The facts that are misunderstood: we are complainers, we are lazy, we don’t try, we exaggerate, we’re seeking sympathy and we only have arthritis. Now do you have a better idea what we’re talking about when we mention we have Rheumatoid Arthritis?
What everyone should remember, RA should never be taken lightly or dismissed as arthritis which is only a symptom of our disease because every day each one of us is experiencing most of the harness associated with RA, not just the one symptom. It is not a subtle disease though it may be invisible for many of us which many times helps to hide how much we are suffering. As we struggle through each day, we are reminded we are carriers of a disease that does not have a cure so that means for us our struggles go on. Our fix is not at the store so it cannot be fixed by anything from over the counter. This though is what many believe but we are here to say, our lives are in a much more vulnerable position than that and this everyone is why our disease is very serious.
So, when we say we’re sick, know that we are..when we say we are fatigued, know we are actually exhausted..when we say we hate taking our medication, know that we do but it is something most of us have to do..but above all know that all of this comes from us having an auto immune disease called Rheumatoid Arthritis, a disease without, A CURE.
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