20 Things Not to Say to a Rheumatoid Arthritis Patient

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A list of things not to say to a Rheumatoid Arthritis patient
Laffy Taffy, Nerds, & Sweet Tarts

Another kind of Rheumatoid Arthritis Treatment: how people treat RA… Imagine treating a broken arm with a band-aid. How would it be if a heart attack were treated like the flu? What about telling someone with breast cancer to just go on a diet? Crazy.

However, people often minimize Rheumatoid Arthritis symptoms. When they do this to folks living with Rheumatoid Arthritis, they act like RA is a not a big deal. That would really be fine – if only it were true.

Recently, I asked people with RA / RD to tell me the most inappropriate things people say to them. I thought it might be funny if we looked at them all here at once. Of course, it might be a learning opportunity besides.

I’ve compiled the list of the top answers sent to me directly from people living with Rheumatoid Disease.

Top list of things not to say to a Rheumatoid Arthritis patient

  1. Aren’t you feeling better yet?
  2. You’re not old enough to have arthritis.
  3. Oh, I know; me too.
  4. Exercise would really help you feel better.
  5. You don’t look swollen, sick, or ______
  6. Have you tried counseling? Maybe you’re depressed.
  7. Why do you walk so funny?
  8. No, it’s not heavy. Here, hold this.
  9. Have you tried the blue stuff?
  10. You’re feeling achy. / The aches & pains of arthritis.
  11. Why didn’t you try glucosamine (or Omega3 or gluten-free…) before you tried that medication?
  12. Just drink this juice. (Or eat blueberries…)
  13. Is that your handicapped parking tag?
  14. You just need to lose some weight. (Or gain weight!)
  15. I’m glad you’re better now.
  16. At least it’s not cancer. It’s not like it will kill you.
  17. I read about a woman who cured hers with…vitamin supplements, antibiotics…
  18. You just have a low tolerance to pain.
  19. My Grandmother had that.
  20. I used Tylenol arthritis and mine went away.

Did I miss your favorite  thing not to say to a Rheumatoid Arthritis patient?

How about you? What do people say to you?

Don’t miss the sequel: 20 Replies to Things Not to Say to an RA Patient

Note: A special treat coming up on the blog: an interview with a young lady who will inspire you.

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Kelly Young. All rights reserved.

This entry was posted on Monday, November 30th, 2009 at 7:00 am and is filed under Living with RA / Managing RA. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.


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