Having Rheumatoid Arthritis takes away from us more than one can see. It is like the thief in the night that comes in and robs you but is bold enough to rob you in broad daylight. It strips us of the seen and unseen leaving behind pained, confused and fatigued torn lives that we’re trying our best to hold together after being confronted with its wrath. This is how it feels when this disease strikes our lives tearing it apart without warning stealing from us the person we once were forcing us to face just what it can do and can take from us. Rheumatoid Arthritis one of the biggest and busiest thieves we have come to know. One that is constantly on the move who never lets us settle down for peace simply because at anytime it can steal just what it wants from us. Did you turn around one day and your whole life as you knew it had been stolen. My parallel to a Thief. What do you think!!!
When we were diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis, we were told by the doctor what we should expect with having it but our reality with this disease was far more reaching than our expectations could have prepared us for. We in no way was prepared for what this disease would do to us and what it would slowly but surely steals from us. There are still many of us who cannot explain the pain that we feel because it is really in a category of its own and really too painful to describe. It can be vicious and it can be unrelenting stealing many moments of our peace and comfort. The fatigue has stolen many precious moments of restful times and while we may have been told we would be tired, the reality is, “we are totally exhausted”. We never knew what 2 words could do to change life as we knew it right before our eyes. The change may have been subtle or it may have been aggressive but the change did come. We may have been working just fine one day and little by little the use of our hands and feet started to fade. We watched as our knees became weak and the joy of wrapping our arms around our love ones almost became unbearable. Slowly we began to see our abilities being stolen each day by this thief as we looked at ourselves and began to realize our identity is being stolen away. The thief that is bold, who fears no one and who daily is stealing away our normalcy. Our efforts to fight Rheumatoid Arthritis sometimes seems to be in vain because just like a thief it invades our lives leaving its devastating effects and so much emptiness for us to deal with just as it clears out our ways of living, yet evading our attempts at protecting ourselves.
We see ourselves change physically realizing that RA is robbing us of the sparkle in our eyes, maybe our minds, sometimes the use of our hands and feet, things we never thought we would lose. What was the purpose of this happening we wondered. It is bad enough that we have this disease but now seeing the reality of all that it would slip in and take from us is more than overwhelming but still our reality. All that it has left us with is shock, surprise, hurt, anger and disbelief but along the way and with time we began trying to accept all that was and is happening. How do we ever come to terms with this and the reality when it’s always changing. That is the purpose of this thief, to keep us unsettled as it lurks in and around our lives.
Is it like the thief in the night for you always stealing something from you? I guess calling it a thief is a little off-hand but in reality it is stealing our lives from us. It never seems to give us a break as it robs us of all of the important things in our lives, things that we have to continue to adjust our lives around. This is not about pity for any of us it is about what we have lost to this disease and it is about what we can’t get back no matter how much we wish for it and work for it. Being the recipient of any form of theft is unpleasant and this thief is one of the worst there can be. Accepting what we have lost can be one of the hardest things we have to deal with and dealing with the losses from Rheumatoid Arthritis is right at the top of our list.
Rheumatoid Arthritis, who would ever think of it as being a thief , oh but it is. It takes but never gives back, it invades without warning, it hurts without any regrets, it makes us feel isolated without us being alone, it terrifies without any shame but above all, it leaves us vulnerable knowing that at any time it’s ready to strike again. It is the Thief that will never leave us alone.
photo credit: kaaiyamack