It’s Ok to Laugh if You Have Rheumatoid Arthritis

laugh with rheumatoid arthritis laptop

Living with Rheumatoid Arthritis can still be funny.

Funny things happen every day. I can laugh at almost anything. It just takes a certain perspective.

Sometimes my son Tiger doesn’t appreciate my joking so much about the RA. If I make a funny comment about how bad it is, he might look at me pleadingly and say, “Mommmma, that’s not funny!”

“Yes it is,” I told him recently. “It depends on your point of view.” I always talk to my sons in terms of sports analogies, so I talked about how hard it is to tell whether or not someone stepped out of bounds when you are sitting at the other end of the field. Point of view is everything.

My son loves me so much. He was young when I “got sick” with Rheumatoid Arthritis. He wrote me a note about how mad he was at this “evil disease.” I will always cherish that.

He went with me to my very first rheumatologist appointment. But he stayed in the waiting room. He did not see how rudely I was treated. The man typed on a laptop without looking up at me. He never looked at me. He talked while looking down at his keys. Eventually, he and his laptop escorted me to the door.

Of course, we reported the episode to the family in the car on the way home (two of my kids had been in the room with me). Years later, we were laughing about the incident with a friend who also has arthritis (both RA and OA). She had had the exact same negative experience with Dr. Laptop! Neither of us had kept him as a doctor.

My son heard us recall the story and offered to me his reaction: “You know the world could be a lot nicer if doctors would treat people right.” I think my son was calling a penalty on Dr. L. From his view anyway, the man was out of bounds.

And then, my son laughed out loud, “You know what, Momma? I think maybe the guy was playing video games on his laptop the whole time. He just never looked up because he didn’t want to stop. And he did not want you to see what he was really doing.”

We laughed. That’s very amusing, son. See? You can find the funny side to anything. You just have to look for it.

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Kelly Young

Kelly Young is an advocate providing ways for patients to be better informed and have a greater voice in their healthcare. She is the president of the Rheumatoid Patient Foundation. Kelly received national acknowledgement with the 2011 WebMD Health Hero award. Through her writing, speaking, and use of social media, she is building a more accurate awareness of Rheumatoid disease aka Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) geared toward the public and medical community; creating ways to empower patients to advocate for improved diagnosis and treatment; and bringing recognition and visibility to the Rheumatoid patient journey. In 2009, Kelly created Rheumatoid Arthritis Warrior, a comprehensive website about RA of about 950 pages and writes periodically for other newsletters and websites. Kelly served on the Mayo Clinic Center for Social Media Advisory Board. There are over 42,000 connections of her highly interactive Facebook Fan page. She created the hashtag: #rheum. Kelly is the mother of five, a home-schooler, Bible teacher, NASA enthusiast, and NFL fan. You can also connect with Kelly by on Twitter or YouTube, or LinkedIn. She has lived over nine years with unrelenting Rheumatoid disease. See also http://www.rawarrior.com/kelly-young-press/

21 thoughts on “It’s Ok to Laugh if You Have Rheumatoid Arthritis

  • June 26, 2009 at 5:15 am
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    Escorted to the door by the laptop 🙂 Very funny, the whole post! Cheers x

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  • June 26, 2009 at 7:35 am
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    Not sure what to make of people like that. At least we can get a chuckle out of it now, I guess.

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  • June 27, 2009 at 7:56 am
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    Kelly, how old is your son? He seems very wise.

    I have to admire anyone who tries to laugh through hardships of any type. I have been told I have a strange sense of humor. I take that as a compliment.

    By the way, do you know about blogtalkradio.com? I am hoping someone will do shows on arthritis.

    Reply
  • July 3, 2009 at 3:32 am
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    I live in Australia and have a disability completely different from RA but I'm still sure I've seen the same doctor! Perhaps there's a whole guild of them?

    And I very much agree with you about the laughing – it's the best strategy to laugh at anything you can. Laughing is lots more fun than crying!

    r

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  • July 3, 2009 at 6:12 am
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    Thanks for the shout out, Ricky.

    Yes, Haha, a "whole guild"; where is their school? Let's get it shut down! 😛

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  • November 6, 2009 at 7:34 am
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    That’s great that you laugh about it. I’m telling you, if I couldn’t make fun of myself and the disease sometimes I’d go crazy. Having fun with it, for me, is better than moping around feeling sorry for myself. And your son is correct “… the world could be a nicer place if doctors would treat people right.”

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  • November 17, 2009 at 6:46 pm
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    I have had doctor’s office experiences like that before. I wish they would take who they hire more seriously, because it can really affect a patient’s experience! It’s crucial that you have someone with a smile at the front desk because it can be a very scary time in one’s life (going to the rheumatologist for the 1st time). I wish people would be more considerate!!
    -Sylvia

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  • December 19, 2009 at 11:10 am
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    That’s too funny–you son’s comment, not the Neevil posing as a doctor.

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  • January 9, 2010 at 10:35 am
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    Have you tried medical marijuana

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  • May 2, 2010 at 3:04 pm
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    My kids and I have had alot of fun joking about my RA. It makes us laugh at times. Agood attitude is the best way. Its harder for some to laugh. Depends on their situation.

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    • May 3, 2010 at 9:32 am
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      Yes, it is. It can make for some wonderful moments laughing with them. I try to save those moments in my mind for times I’m alone or can’t laugh.

      Reply
  • May 2, 2010 at 3:08 pm
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    Funniest is my son told me i walk like the nurses on silent hill. My daughter said “oh mom ill just push u down.lol

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  • February 21, 2011 at 12:40 pm
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    Funny! I call my doctor Copy and Paste! He keeps his nose in the computer copies my chart notes from “whenever” and asks me the same question about stuff I never took. Are you still taking this…? NO, I never took it, I asked you if I should/could.
    I think your son is right, he is playing video games!
    I am working on getting a new doctor now because if I do ask a question he often says “look it up and you decide”. What??? Who has the degree here? Ditz! Yeah, maybe I should get my online degree too! 😉

    Reply
  • July 10, 2011 at 7:48 pm
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    My wife went to see a doctor in memphis that made fun of the way she is built,told her she looked like an ape,didnt run any test,prescibed her naproxen,when she told him she had had lap band surgery he scoffed at her and made reference to her loose skin where she has lost over 100 pounds,if any of you ever go to memphis stay away from a doctor adams,he just senile ,he offered her no help and the pain she goes through is unbearable,most times she cant even stand to be touched,her toes draw upward at times,her fingers are so in pain she has a hard time gripping things,does anyone know a good doctor within 100 air mile radius of tupelo that is taking new patients,it took her over six months to see this quack,3 days later she is still crying over the things he said too her,im 52 and times have changed 30 years ago I would have went to jail for someone talking to my wife the way he did,thanks

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    • July 10, 2011 at 8:28 pm
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      Tommy, we have a list we are building of recommended doctors for the new Rheumatoid Patient Foundation site, but it’s not ready yet. You can look at those that have been listed in the comments pages on these 2 posts: here and here to see if there is anyone close to you.

      I’m so sorry that your wife was treated poorly – but I’m also so glad she has you. I hope you know how much that can help her by standing with her and caring about how she is treated.

      Reply
  • July 30, 2011 at 1:37 pm
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    I learned some time back while taking care of my mother who had had a stroke, diabetes, suffered from encephalopathy and was confined to a wheelchair that it’s better to laugh a little, or you will cry all the time. A diagnoses of RA is not very funny, but I can find humor in the things that happen because I have this disease. Like the other day when a helicopter kept circling over the house. All the kids (mine and neighbors) came running wanting to know what was going on. I just said, “well the governmental spies read my medical records and reported to the sheriffs department that I had a disease that would qualify me for medical marijuana. That’s just the police looking for my field.”
    I had 10 sets of eyes staring at me, until the neighbors kid said “really…. where did you plant it?” Duh… I just walked in the house laughing.
    then there was today when I went to the bathroom and on habit locked the door. My husband had just went outside and I was suppose to be going out too the help him feed and water the chickens. Only I found out when I was done that I couldn’t get the door unlocked. I finally figured out a way to get it open, but told my husband you know we really have to update the magazines in the bathroom, maybe put a glass in there and a cushion for the toilet in case I ever do that again and can’t get out. Hey , if you lock yourself in a bathroom you might as well be comfy! My husband said ” I thought you were just trying to get out of feeding the chickens.”

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  • July 23, 2012 at 7:31 pm
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    I have RA and my sister has fibromyalgia. Thankfully God gave us the twisted sense of humor that allows us to laugh at our situations. Laughter keeps us sane.

    Reply

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