What NOT to say to an RA sufferer!
1. Well, you LOOK great!! --- Thanks for the compliment, but what I'm dealing with is going on INSIDE my body. Just because I look great, doesn't mean I feel great. There's a war going on in my joints, I just put on a smile to get through the day.
2. Well, just don't take your medicine tonight and we can drink! -- This was said to me in regards to my MTX. I tried explaining that the MTX takes months to even work, not taking it one week is not only dangerous, but will do nothing to stopping my liver from acting up if it wants to. I can have fun without a drink.
3. I hate when you tell someone you have RA and they say "It is hell getting old"! -- Thanks Cindy Arnold for this one! RA is not something you get because you're old, it's an auto-immune disease!! Rheumatism, or Arthritic fingers, is different from Rheumatoid Arthritis. There are 100s of different types of Arthritis. Hell, I've had JRA since I was 3!! Please refer to the RA Dictionary for some more definitions.
4. I don't understand why you can't hang out with me. You just have achy joints. You're being selfish. It's hard to hang out with you. -- Courtesy of Hannah Cerasoli. It's tough when you have friends who don't believe you, or don't understand why you have to cancel plans all the time. It's not that we don't want to spend time with you, we either are in too much pain, or don't have the energy. Like I said before, there is a war going on in our joints, our cells are fighting each other. This bogs us down and makes our energy fly out the window. Please try to understand it's not you! Please check out The Spoon Theory, this should help clear things up a bit.
5. You have RA, nothing to it...not like you were dying or something, I have it -- Courtesy of Tammy Rabon Hardwick. Nothing to it? You can live with a weakened immune system, having days where you're in so much pain and your joints are so stiff you can't even get out of bed? Some days you force yourself and you loose all energy? You get sick all of the time? You're put on toxic drugs? Yea, just a walk in the park. Sorry, this is one that angers me too. While you can't die directly from RA, our lives are cut short by 10 years because of it and can possibly die from the resulting weakened immune system and dangerous drugs used for controlling the disease. Organs are affected by Rheumatoid Arthritis including the skin, nervous system, eyes, lungs, heart, and blood among others can be adversely affected by RA. It carries the possibility of developing Rheumatoid Vasculitis, or inflammation of the blood vessels. this disease is life-threatening and can cause skin ulcerations, infections, nerve disorders that cause pain, numbness or tingling and bleeding stomach ulcers. Vasculitis can also affect the brain and nerves, as well as the heart, which can lead to stroke, heart attack, or heart failure.
Coming in the next few blogs...
An exclusive interview with Elizabeth Wald, Stones in Harmony owner &creator
Holiday Cooking -- ways to make it easier!