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68 Responses to “Easier Said Than Done: Simple Things That Seem Impossible”

    1. Jazzcat says:

      Well: the “get your nail done” I agree with it, but I do them myself, I can’t afford to have my nails done every weeks.
      My favorite is: do some sport !
      Yes, sure… what in the words “joint pain” you don’t understand ??
      People don’t live with it like us, well, maybe they’re trying to help, in a way.

      • I really miss doing my nails. I wonder what people think it means when I do get dressed nice & still have sharp jagged uneven nails. They wouldn’t be like that if I could help it.

        Yes, and sports is a good one too. I DID do sports! & it didn’t prevent RA from disabling me!

      • Tracey says:

        Hi Jazzcat,

        You do your own nails? Ohh but how I wish I could do that too! I don’t have the strength in my hands to trim my own nails any more, well not in a good way! It’s got to be one of the most frustrating things I’ve encountered. And I can’t stand anyone else touching my fingers!

        What is even more frustrating is that my fingernails are soooo tough – they refuse to chip off conveniently – they just keep growing. I have taken to using the kids school scissors to trim them off after a shower, when they’re softer.

        On the upside, I have great looking nails, unfortunately my hands look like something out of Grimms fairy tales. So that, combined with long nails, means I’m getting very witchy! Oh well it’s good for Halloween!



        • Tracey, Since this blog is an old one, don’t know if you’ll see this, but I have a large toenail clipper that the hand specialists in occupational therapy adapted with a large flat piece of silicon-like stuff they molded on the handle, so I can cut my nails by pressing on it with my forearm, after I position it on the nail.Hope this helps.

    2. Margie says:

      1) Walk around the block with friends.

      2) Pick up the coffee pot with one hand – and not worrying about whether I will drop it.

      3) Start typing early in the a.m. without stiff fingers.

      4) Rarely making a typo – crooked fingers no longer hit the correct keys.

      5) Turn the pages of the newspaper without a struggle to get the pages apart.

      6) Run down stairs without even holding on to a railing.

      7) Moving body parts without hearing the snap, crackle, pop of my joints.

      Oh my, this list could just go on and on.

    3. Carly says:

      Oh calling insurance is the WORST! Mine has a system that takes about 30 of keying in your ID number before you even get a chance to talk to someone who doesn’t understand, can’t help, or won’t write up the call properly. It takes about one to two hours minimum to get anything accomplished and you have to get everything in writing and then call back later to confirm.

    4. Leigh-Ann says:

      The one that comes to mind is sleep. People are always telling me if I sleep more I would feel better. I just want to tell them gee why didn’t I think about that when I layed in bed all night with the pain screaming at me.

    5. Janis says:

      Yes, all that is said with the “evil eye” look and explanation “But you don’t look sick.” “Just go to the gym and do a hard workout for an hour and you’ll feel better.”

    6. Marie Levesque says:

      I get the exercise one all the time! (I know we all do) but when my husband starts saying – WE really need to get back to the gym, it will help YOUR joints to keep the muscles strong…hmmm but WE need to get back to the gym?? I love how he includes him in the first half to benefit ME!!! Grrrrr…..

      I also love the one about the shoes!!! haha!!! I live in my Crocs – it’s the only thing comfy on my achey feet. Dear husband keeps saying they are not supportive – yeah but they also don’t put pressure where things HURT!!!!!

      Oh, and take some Motrin – that’ll help!!! Heck if the Orencia, MTX and prednisone aren’t working, will the Motrin stinking help???


    7. Susan says:

      My personal favorite is: “Just think positive.” That statement makes me feel like a total failure, like I’m doing something wrong or that my symptoms are all in my head. OR “Get some rest.” Sure, that would be fantastic in the real world. I have two small children that I am raising by myself.

      • Erla says:

        I so agree with Susan about “Just think positive” and I would like to add the phrase “and smile”. And what? My RA will then magically go away.

        What irritates me about these comments is that people with RA often experience extreme pain which can be difficult to handle. Then people that don’t suffer from chronic disease tell you to stay positive and smile, well most of those people aren’t spreading the smiles nor staying positive. But the people who are suffering pain, they are supposed to be positive and smiling to the world.

        • Fiona says:

          First time posting on here – but that really sums it up, the miserablists who tell me to cheer up! My mother-in-law, in particular, who is fit as a flea but never short of a grumble really hates not being able to cure me with her folk wisdom. Really because it’s my job to sympathise with her…

    8. Leti Peterson says:

      I would add (1) It might be child proof but I can’t even open it .(2)it might just be 5lbs to you but to me it’s feels like 20lbs.(3) thank you but I like this pen , yea I know it’s fat but thats all I can hold in my hands .

      Love ya Kelly if I think of more I let you know :)

    9. Shannon Trevizo says:

      I get just go for walks youll feel better.

    10. Darla Conley says:

      I liked Get a dog….I got one and I am so glad she isn’t a puppy unfortunately she’s a 30lb lap dog. I named her Pearl after a friend’s grandmother, who’s standard question is how are you? I say pretty good. Standard response, my grandma “Pearl” always said you have to move every 20 minutes. If I have heard it once I’ve heard that once a ginzillion times. I would like her to move to Missouri every 20 minutes.

      • Darla, you are a scream! 😀

      • Tracey says:

        Hi Darla,

        I moved a good four hours away from my in-laws so I know where you’re at with Pearl! However, I think I’m at a stage with my arthritis where I actually agree with her! Sorry about that. If I stay in one position for too long ( I haven’t as yet got a time frame on it) I find I feel worse than if I’m being relatively active. (I use the term relatively active very carefully – because for me active means getting up and walking from one room to another!)

        I usually have a bit of a flare on Saturday nights and Sunday mornings because I tend to want to relax on Saturdays! So I read a book (not for too long)or generally veg out a little and I pay for that lack of activity!

        So I think Pearl’s pearl-of-wisdom might have something to it; for me anyway! With any luck it won’t apply to you – because it would be great to be able to relax with a book for a couple of hours without the excruciating back, neck, hand and wrist pain that I get!

        I do chuckle about wanting her to move out of state every 20 minutes! LOL.



    11. Avery says:

      “Try this new supplement/drug/miracle food.” Sure, and are YOU going to pay for it to eventually sit in my “joint pain remedies that don’t help” cabinet?

      “You should see a chiropractor.” OW! That hurts just thinking about it.

      “Could you hold the baby for a minute?” I would, nothing would make me happier, but I’m terrified I’ll drop him. Breaks my heart.

      “Maybe you should lose some weight.” Sure. Love to. Just tell me how, between the thyroid condition, steroids, and inability to exercise.

      The hardest one for me comes from the people that love me most. “If you need help, just ask.” Do you have any idea how it makes me feel to ask for help to do things I could always do? Things a small child can do? I can’t make a bed! Some days I can’t even dress myself. Asking a loved one to fasten my bra and do my buttons? Humiliating. And so, so hard to do.

    12. Tanya Tudor says:

      You really need to use lotion.
      You would feel better if you fixed yourself up.
      Buy things in bulk it helps save money. (I know a gallon of milk is cheaper then 2 half gallons, but I can barely lift the half gallon)

      • Tanya Tudor says:

        i forgot
        Get a hair cut
        Go visit a friend

        • I have a hard time with lotion most of the time since my fingers hurt too bad. I really notice it when I can’t do it, but I’m sorry someone points these things out to you. ♥ That’s rude in my opinion. They obviously don’t get it.

    13. Diana says:

      I always feel the worst when my family says, You never come and visit or participate in the family functions….. You’ve changed so much, your not the girl I used to know.

      • Dawn says:

        OH, I get the same thing!!! It’s so frustrating to hear as it’s not as if I don’t want to participate in functions or even just go hang out at a family member’s home, but at home I have a heatpad at every place that I sit or lie down. Also, people want to go do everyday things such as pleasure shopping, going for a walk, etc and I have to say no, I can’t. It’s almost like rubbing your nose in it, as if you’re trying to offend them!

    14. Lene says:

      I heartily agree with #2, but for another reason. I’m not a big fan of looking at the needle as it enters my body, but could probably suck it up. My problem is that my fingers don’t have the kind of mobility and dexterity it takes to give yourself a shot. Which means I have to get my doctor or her nurse to do it.

      get a job is another one. If you randomly and unpredictably need to take a day of doing nothing but sitting spell, not a lot of people will employ you. Even if you’re looking for a freelance writing job you can do from home and on your own schedule, when you only have the ability to be at the computer for max two hours a day (and that’s on a good day) it’s pretty difficult to get a job. Besides, having a chronic illness/disability is a full-time job in itself…

      • Dawn says:

        Lene, I have gotten “get a job, get a hobby and just get out of the house” a lot, especially if I confide that I’ve been depressed. I wish that my body would do what my mind wanted! I have even told my family that if I make plans for any future dates it will be “tentative” since I never know how I will feel on that given day, but they will still get diappointed when I have to change or cancel plans. How do they think it makes us feel to say no, not only do we have to disappoint our loved ones, but we are also disappointed with not being able to do things AS WELL as having this wonderful gift called RA?!? Really.

      • Dawn says:

        Thanks Kelly for the topic & for all the posts–it’s always so helpful to hear other sufferer’s experiences, to relate and know you’re not alone and offer support for one another. I have a hard time empathizing with other people when they complain about small aches and pains or being tired, I usually think, do you know how exhausted that you feel when you have the flu? that’s how I feel nearly everyday! The aches and pains associated with the common cold, NOTHING to what I feel everyday. That little cut on your finger? Suck it up!!! I know that other people have pain, I’m not meaning to discredit that, however it’s very hard to feel empathy for a paper cut that someone complains about 8 times per hour, when every joint in my body doesn’t want to work as designed and screams in pain 24/7.

    15. mlillich says:

      My favorite is ” maybe your getting to much sleep”. yea thats my problem thats why i fall asleep at the drop of a hat is because i am getting to much not because i wake up every hour on the hour to turn over since the left hip hurt now its time to give the right hip a turn. yea i sleep for 8-10 hours a night but never more then 2 hours at a time.
      and the loose weight yea cause all of these meds say may cause weight gain and fatigue

    16. Julie says:

      This is my first time posting, but I have been a fan of the blog for 4 months. Thanks so much for the daily laughs/encouragement! My “easier said than done” would be when our worship and praise pastor tells everyone to stand and doesn’t let us sit down for 5 songs. It’s really hard to worship when you are focusing so much on waiting to sit back down because your joints are killing you. I personally believe that God listens to our hearts when we are sitting or standing. :)

    17. Tracey says:

      Hi all,

      I agree with everything I’ve read so far, plus things like,

      Have you tried: Massage, Reiki, meditation, chinese medicine…, the list is endless. I suppose people just want to help.

      I’d love to be able to read a book in a big comfy chair on a lazy afternoon. Instead I have devised a cunning means of achieving something similar. It involves kindle books or ibooks and several different devices, including an ipad, and a computer. I make sure the computer chair is comfortable and that I have a good laptop holder for the ipad. Then I make sure the book that I want to read is downloaded onto both the computer and the ipad. Now I can read for a period of time at the computer, then when things start to get uncomfortable I can move to another location with the ipad, sychronise the book and continue reading in a different position. I can keep doing this for quite a while.

      It’s complicated and my son is less than impressed at having to share his ipad with me and Jane Austen, but he’s very good about it as long as non of his friends see the book list on his ipad!



      • Tracey says:

        Oh yes, I just remembered,

        Sitting on the grass at a picnic, kneeling down, crouching down or sitting on the chairs at kindergarten! Ouch – also cutting up the fruit at kindergarten – that’s not gonna happen again – last time I did that was 8 years ago!

        And – sharpening a pencil! how frustrating is that, can’t even use an electric sharpener because i can’t grip the pencil! – Mechanical pencils are my best friend – especially with the rubber grippy bit!



    18. KatyHening says:

      The church one makes me laugh…a LOT! We’re at church at least twice a week because my husband and I keep the church nursery. As a matter of fact, in the next seven days, we’ll be at our church five different times for a minimum of two hours each…I don’t see any miracles coming yet. But I do really enjoy playing with the kids so I’ll keep doing it :)

    19. Lisa says:

      #10 Kelly, it constantly swirls in my mind. I can hear it.

    20. Ronda says:

      My favorite, easier said than done: You now have the world’s number one crippling disease,you must live in secret anguish and pain, never letting on it’s RA or depending on sedatives or physical help like wheelchairs. So now’s the time to buck up and be a hero, outdo healthy people your own age, otherwise you will look like a hypochondriac and be totally disrespected. Nobody will write about how brave you were years from now, unless you fake it and lie in public about your RA. Let other people think it’s a technical problem. God forbid they become aware of how RA really is.
      No wonder the public is not aware of the real RA. Thanks Rosalind Russell and all you hero’s that lie about RA!

      My brother is a now a paraplegic and has the pressure on him to be a hero too.

      • Turtlemom says:

        I wouldn’t take too much umbrage that Lucille Ball, James Coburn, Kathleen Turner and Roz Russell kept their disease and suffering private. They were in a business that would have dropped them in a New York minute if their disability had become known. The competition is fantastic. A casting director isn’t going to cast you if there is the least doubt that you might not be able to withstand the rigors of the shooting schedule. Time is money. I have a lot of respect for Roz. She retired, then made her condition public and developed a foundation. Did Ball or Coburn do that? Coburn finally went public saying alternative treatments and diet had “cured” him. Ball never admitted her diagnosis. We found out after she died.

        Annette Funicello [remember her from the beach movies?] developed a horrible case of MS. She’s confined to a wheelchair. She’s urged to be a hero, too.

        What is is about people? I **think** it is that none of us with the exception of a very, very few, can sympathize, much less empathize with others. We are, for the most part, not raised to be sympathetic or empathetic. The mourners or the disabled, those in pain or handicapped, are not to be given very much attention. And if we with disabilities seem to want more attention, they encourage us to be heroes so they don’t have to share their lives with us.

        I’ve lived a fairly long life. Over 1/2 of the members of my high school class have died. So, statistically, I’m in pretty good shape. The above has been my observation all my life. And it continues to be.

        This is why this blog is so unusual. You, Kelly, and the commenters are all empathetic as well as sympathetic to those in flare. Keep it going!

      • I think these are good points that might be good to discuss further (from both Ronda and Elizabeth). So, I’ve spent a few hours on it today & written a blog post. Will post tonight for tomorrow’s blog.

        Also, there are some very interesting comments over on the Rosalind Russell article about how her work continued after her death & how her doctor continued her influence also. Thanks to Steve for that.

        Edit: Here’s the link to the reply posted today:

    21. LetsDance says:

      My mother told me last night that we could all split the job of taking the heads off the shrimp my sister is bringing us.

      Iced-down cold shrimp. Pinching those slippery heads. With these fingers. Used to be so easy, I could do one with each hand. Now? Nuh uh!

      I just laughed and told her we’d put them in the freezer with the heads on. Luckily, my sister bought them with the heads off.

      • LetsDance says:

        Oh yeah, and she wanted me to talk to my sister on her phone “real quick.” Not with this neck/elbow/shoulder! I have a ritual for phone talking: “find headset, put it on so it doesn’t hit the tender spot on my head, THEN talk.” Mom’s phone doesn’t have a jack for a headset, can’t use it.

    22. Kathy says:

      I guess folks just want to help by some of the appalling things they say to those w/ chronic illness. My sister in law told me last summer she knew someone who “cured” her fibromyalgia (which I have) with diet and exercise. Um…there is no cure…

      People don’t get that the way people would help the most was to just keep their frickin’ mouths shut. If they have to say open their mouths, use it to offer to help clean our house, cook us a meal, take us to a doctor’s appointment, etc.

      • kelly says:

        You go girl – so right – the other night my father in law told my husband over the phone about a cream that will help my “Arthritis” – and I said to him – I don’t have arthritis – I have RA! and he said ” whats the difference” – I went to the other room and cried! I have been living with RA for 6 yrs.

    23. Headstrong says:

      “Ee gads” and “I feel ya!” on each point here – especially 10. Yeah, you try not considering a disease that pushes painfully to the forefront every day… But hey, best to you and cheers for writing for therapy and awareness!

    24. Hayzell says:

      Great carnival entry! I think the hardest thing for me is not knowing if the following day is going to be a “good day” without pain. So planning too much work is usually my downfall. I think it’s being able to say, it’s okay not to get things done is the hardest.

    25. Tonia Lovejoy says:

      My list of Easier Said Than Done:

      1. Open this jar or container.
      2. Sit at computer (or anywhere) for extended period.
      3. Write this down.
      4. Get a good night’s rest, you’ll feel better in the morning.
      5. Vacuum the living room without having to rest.
      6. Give the place a good cleaning (that used to be therapy for me, but no more)you’ll feel better.
      7. Get the grocery shopping done in less than 2 hours (when alone).
      8. You can get through the days without a nap.
      9. Get out and make new friends.
      10. Find some to share your life with (it’s a not easy finding someone who wants to deal with a chronic illness).

    26. Dolores says:

      So many of the ones that have been listed but my “easier said than done” is to be able to run across the yard, I was always so afraid when my grandsons were here with me, that something would happen to one of them and I couldn’t get to them fast enough. I wish I could pick up things and know I won’t drop them. A remark I hate is, “if you could get your days and night straightened out it would help you” yeah, right, I sleep when I can, it doesn’t matter to me anymore if it doesn’t match up to everyone else’s schedules. I wish I could go dancing, I love to dance, I’m a Texan, born and bred, so country dancing is close to my heart. I wish I could swallow every time I need to, so tired of the choking that no one can explain what is causing it! Wish I could wear my hair long but I can’t take care of it that way. Wish I could sit longer than 30 minutes without my feet/ankles/legs swelling up. All of these things are commented at sometime or another by someone who thinks they understand but don’t. I could go on and on about “easier said than done” but I need to get up and move, every thing below my knees are starting to go numb. Love ya, Kelly for all that you do! And soft hugs to everyone.

    27. Katie says:

      Yes, all of that sounds so familiar.

    28. tina says:

      The list for easier said than done is endless, lets see what i think of at the moment.
      Peg the washing on the line.
      Clean my own windows.
      pluck my eyebrows.
      brush the back of my hair.
      kneel down
      play on the floor with my grand daughter.
      scratch my back (that drives me insane)
      have a bath. i have not had a bath for about 9 years now.
      spray an aerosole, roll on deodorant for me
      write a letter.
      wear shoes (any shoes).
      walk my dogs.
      run up the stairs.
      dance for hours on end.
      enjoy a concert.
      The list is endless, but i know we all probably suffer from the same ones to varying degrees..some days better than others!
      xx tina

    29. Ting Lin says:

      I am an orphan and have been literally “BULLIED” like A SHET by these people whereby the sweet, dainty and young bloody rose along with the Government gang at my workplace ask me to “KEEP QUIET AND BE POSITIVE”.


    30. Jackie says:

      Raising my arms to wash my hair in the shower. Raising my leg to climb into the shower. Pushing a cart through the grocery store. Doing anything much at all the day after my weekly meds. Opening a bag of cheese, a jar, or pills in a blister pack. Scrubbing out the bathtub with a sponge. Pulling weeds in the yard.

    31. Marcia Blair says:

      Kelly- a pulmonologist told me I should go to the gym and lift weights to get stronger. What a moron! I told him I used to mountain bike, swim, run and cross country ski but now I can do none of those things and I stay out of gyms because I’m afraid of picking up germs with my compromised immune system. I felt like telling him to stick to his specialty – or perhaps stick his specialty :)

    32. Darla Conley says:

      Yes, to number 10. Tracy I know grandma Pearl is right and I agree if I keep moving it’s much better….BUT…I’m so tired of feeling like I’m moving through mud to get there and I get so aggravated hearing it from the same person. So now I have this healing broken ankle that blows up if I move and gets even stiffer if I don’t. Ice to keep the swelling down, moving to increase motion, heating pad to help with the pain and when I’m not tending the foot, my neck is screaming “what about me”. Getting ready to go out and breaking out in a sweat and feeling like I need another shower…having to explain why I’m dripping over nothing…argh…Just another venting rant over RA..Thanks Kelly

    33. ‘You should do Yoga’ (Steups)
      ‘Rub some soft Candle on it’ (On what exactly, my wrists, knees, back, toes, fingers,neck…? what? Plus I can’t rub anything anywhere & don’t touch me!)
      ‘So Nicole you cyah comb de chirren hair?’ (NO! steups! If I could I obviously would.)
      (This one was a classic) ‘All you have to do is move some bags you know. (yeah… that’s ALL.)

    34. Debra says:

      1. Pushing a shopping cart.
      2. Going for a walk on the beach and then realize you can’t make it back to the car.
      3. Riding a bicycle.
      4. Driving for long periods of time.
      5. Pulling the clothes out of the washer. I’m only 5’1″ and don’t have a front loader, so I have to pull them out on my tippy toes.
      6. climbing stairs.
      7. Tying to explain what RA is. Harder than you think when people just don’t get it.
      8. Trying to lift a full pan of water when cooking.
      9. Sitting in the doctors office waiting for them to call me back and my feet do not reach the floor all the way and gravity is pulling on my knees.
      10. Listening to the doctor tell me to exercise even if it hurts or I will hurt more. Lets she her do that when she hurts real bad.

      This is my list right now. It will probably change. Like your post today. I enjoy reading them. Makes me feel like I’m not alone.

      • Jennifer says:

        I laughed when I read your number 5, because I agree with you completely, but for the opposite reason. I do have a front loader, but am 5’10”. I have to bend and reach, and practically contort myself to get my laundry out.

    35. Karen says:

      Sleeping on my back. Typing a lot (and I’m a secretary). Driving longer than 10-15 minutes. The list goes on and on.

    36. Trill says:

      Getting a new (for me) car doesn’t mean I can suddenly wake up in the morning and start going places. lol? I am currently fighting the “she can take you now” that is going around here, with “not until/unless these meds start working again.” ONE more time, and I’m selling the damned new (to me) car.

      Also fighting the “I can tie them for you” thing about my shoes. I can’t get out any get any shoes right now, but I plan to, as soon as I can go, but hubs suddenly doesn’t realize that he’s not always here when I go to the dr, so he can’t always tie my shoes. I just have to laugh.

      Opening ANYTHING is one of my main easier said than done things. Pack of gum, apple juice, coke can, cookie tin, zip lock bag (and closing it), etc.

      Standing up or sitting down. Either one is a gigantic painful job, kills my knees, and well, let’s see, can’t push up with hands either. Forearms won’t push me all the way up, and anyway, nothing to push up from in the bathroom lol.

      Hanging in there is hard, too. Just hang in there. In where? In here? Not so sure I want to do that. Come in here and you’ll see why.

    37. Jennifer says:

      Getting up from a chair when both of my knees are the size of softballs. Or going to the bathroom for the same reason (can’t sit or get up).
      Opening a pop bottle my husband closed.
      Loading my daughter’s wheelchair in our van. It involves a lot of bending, squatting, reaching, and gripping. Sometimes I feel like I’ve just completed Jane Fonda’s entire career of workout videos just loading her once.

    38. Rebecca Richard says:

      1. trying to get on the floor and play with my grandkids. One of my saddest RA Demons. 2. answering politely when someone says ” oh you can cure your RA by eating hot peppers on a regular basis” this is especially irritating coming from friends and family that have known me forever and know that I EAT WELL, and love hot peppers of all kinds, and eat them frequently. 3. painting,well I remember way in my Pre-RA life really enjoying that.

    39. Jeanne says:

      Things that sound easy, but……

      Just get a good night’s sleep

    40. My favorite – combo drink of left over water from boiling okra, carrot juice, emalcified seaweed, vitamin AG12 ( Whatever that is) and vitamin D in small amounts not over 5iu.

      Ahh, Yeah sounds great let’s get the stuff and you drink 20 oz a day for 30 days and let me know how it works out.

      Naysayer? Never if it works for burcitus who knows maybe it won’t kill me.

      Keep the hints coming Aunt Lucy.

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