People Just Don’t Understand RA


I have rheumatoid arthritis. If you’ve been reading blog for anything length of time, you know that I have more than one autoimmune disease. I even have more than two! I have rheumatoid arthritis, fibromyalgia, and Raynaud’s syndrome. The all affect me in different ways, but in some ways they are similar and they all suck…so they have that in common.

It’s April 18th and it is only like 40 degrees here in Connecticut. It was damp, windy, and cold today, and I’m hurting from my hips down. While my hands are still stark white and cold, they aren’t today’s biggest issue. My hips, knees, and feet are in terrible pain. At one point today my knees went numb, and I’ve been hobbling around ever since. I’m not sure if I have mentioned that I had surgery on my tow about year ago to remove a bone spur and to fix some of the arthritis damage. Every now and then it still really hurts, and today was one of those days.

I was just putting laundry away and I felt like someone stabbed me in the toe. So needless to say, I’m trying to tell you it wasn’t my best day. I also pulled something in my neck while trying to clean all the crap out from behind my daughter’s bed. I swear I’m going to call Hoarder’s on my children. I swear my son told me his room was clean at least six times today, only to have me go in there and his bed wasn’t even made, not to mention there were empty Gatorade bottles on the floor. Oh, but he “needed” those. Heaven help me when we moved his bed out. We found his football sweatshirt that he’s been missing for weeks…the one that I “must have lost while doing laundry.”

I didn’t get half of the cleaning done that I need to for Easter, but there is always tomorrow. I am not having a big crowd for Easter, but I still need to have the house looking nice. Between work, not feeling well, and the kids being home this week, the house looks like a tornado passed through it. It will get there. I have to lower my standards a tiny bit and remember that I don’t have the stamina that I used to. I don’t have the joints that I used to.

One of the high points of my day was getting out of the house alone to do a little Easter shopping. I went to Home Goods and found this fabulous metal flamingo (pictured above). Did I mention that I love flamingos? He was like 4 feet tall and fabulous, but he didn’t have a price and no one could tell me how much he was. They told me they’d call me in the morning when a manager was in the store. Yes, I know I don’t need him. I know that he’s a tiny bit hideous, but I want him for my yard. We just were forced by the state to remove 12 trees in our front yard and now the whole neighborhood can see my house.

All the neighbors know about my flamingo obsession because of my light-up Christmas flamingo. I’m sure they are going to LOVE my new flamingo, whom I have named Brutus! Let’s hope no one snatches him up before I get back there tomorrow!

The title of tonight’s blog is similar to many others I’ve written, but once again I had a conversation, this time in the grocery store, about arthritis. I was hobbling down the aisle when I ran into someone I hadn’t seen in a while. When she asked if I was okay, I explained that I had rheumatoid arthritis and that today was just a difficult day. If anything, when I run into people and explain things, I play down my issues because I don’t want to have a two-hour conversation about it. What did she say? “Is that because you taught high-impact aerobics for all those years?”

Yep! It’s completely my fault that I have an autoimmune disease. Thanks! It’s not hard enough not knowing what I’m going to wake up feeling like each day; not knowing how to plan for things because I don’t know what my pain level is going to be…let’s blame the whole thing on my years of teaching high-impact aerobics and staying fit. The years of taking care of my body were clearly to blame. I get that people equate the overuse of a joint to arthritis. I understand that in general people don’t know what rheumatoid arthritis is, but it’s freakin annoying sometimes to have to explain it.

I did explain it tonight, mostly because I was annoyed. I corrected her by saying that my joints weren’t deteriorated as of yet and that the type of arthritis I assume she’s thinking of is osteoarthritis, and what I have is an autoimmune disease where my body is attacking itself. Maybe I went on for a few more minutes than I normally would, but damn, it felt good to let it out tonight. She caught me on a night that I was in terrible pain. Sometimes you just can’t hold back, and tonight was one of those nights.




1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. marriedwithfibro
    Apr 19, 2014 @ 04:35:05

    It’s definitely frustrating to get someone to understand what you’re going through. I was told once that I was lucky because I didn’t have to work and hiw they wish they could lay around and not work. If only people knew how much pain people with chronic illness and autoimmune diseases have.


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