How does it feel to have Rheumatoid Arthritis? Do you feel overwhelmed, broken, tired, alone, misunderstood, helpless or just plan unhealthy? How does it feel to be someone who has Rheumatoid Arthritis, a chronic and confusing disease that will rule your life until the end. It is a feeling that no one should ever have to feel.
Many do not know or understand that Rheumatoid Arthritis is a chronic auto immune disease because they are most likely thinking it is just a bad case of arthritis. They do not realize we are dealing with something that has changed our lives, our way of living and what has far more reaching problems than most will ever come to understand. It has not only changed some of us on the outside but the inside which for us can be most dangerous. Being our worst may not be seeing our worst. This disease can literally tear us up from the inside out. So I ask how does it feel to have a disease that can be invisible but can be doing irreversible damage even as we sleep! You see, we deal with intolerable pain and insurmountable fatigue both which are relentless and it takes every tiny ounce of strength we have to do the smallest things but we go forth with the almost impossible task of putting one foot before the other accepting there are millions of times that we do this, trying to continue with our lives as expected because no one can believe things for us are as difficult as they are.
It feels so isolating at times when we need warm arms to embrace us but instead getting cold shoulders from those wondering when are we going to suck it up, get back to normal and do what needs to be done. They do not understand that no matter how much we may want to or try to, there are times when we can’t suck it up and carry on because the pain and fatigue are so unbearable it leaves us motionless. We find we can’t lift our hands or stand on our feet as our knees and hips give out so it leaves us no way of picking ourselves up and pretending it’s okay when it’s convenient for others. Yet so many times we have been truly unfair to ourselves and worked through horrible pain out of guilt and frustration trying hard to please others. And the price we have paid for that is more pain, staggering fatigue and broken spirits that we have been left alone to cope with. Honestly this happens in our lives more than most would ever admit to. Just like the denial of the effects of our illness, there is the denial of how much we are struggling with it and this should never be. Rheumatoid Arthritis is a debilitating disease by all measures and denial won’t change it.
You see, our disease has stripped us of so much leaving us craving to be healthy again. It feels defeating to roll out of bed trying our best to work through fatigue when your head is spinning and all you want to do is just lay back down. Still you carry yourself little by little trying to do things that are simple but through your fatigue they appear to be enormous, yet you accomplish nothing much at all. You find yourself sitting down barely able to move wishing for nighttime to come knowing that may not bring the peace and rest you need. This is what we miss, this is what it’s like having this terrible disease. We want rest and peace of mind and to be able to function in the smallest of ways but RA has taken our serenity, our abilities and some of our family and left us with much more than we will ever be able to get use to. How does it feel having Rheumatoid Arthritis? Most of us will tell you “Putting It Into Words Really Won’t Make You Truly Understand”.
When someone says “I know how you feel”, they do not. They do not know how it feels to lose so much of yourself to a disease and can’t get it back. Unless you have our disease or a painful chronic illness it is too much to imagine but what you can do is accept that we are going through all that we say we are and respect that.
How does it feel to have Rheumatoid Arthritis, just watch us and hopefully one day you will come to see and understand!!
photo credit: mr.moore
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