What is Rheumatoid Arthritis?
“Will people ever understand that the autoimmune disease Rheumatoid Arthritis is not the same thing as Gramma’s arthritis?” I have read numerous remarks recently that sound like this. They say: “Impossible. It is impossible for people without RA to understand what RA actually is.” It can be discouraging.
I understand the exasperation. However, building a bridge between RA and everyone else is one of my most basic goals. However impossible the rift looks, I am not ready to give up.
What can you and I do to improve understanding of Rheumatoid Arthritis in the world? I have 5 ideas. I have done them myself.
5 Ways to tell the world what is Rheumatoid Arthritis
1) Send a message
Email an article now and then that discusses something about your RA. Expect that if someone cares about you, they care to know what is happening to you. Try not sound defensive, but just add to the email: “I could not have said it better myself.”
Of course, you can always print an article if the person does not do email. Say something like this: “I thought this explained ‘blank’ so well, it would be good for you to see. That is just like it is for me.”
2) Speak the truth
Be honest about how you feel physically. I know you do not whine, so I am sure you will not abuse this permission. But you and I have to communicate if we are to see any changes in the status quo. We are the only ones who know what it’s like to have Rheumatoid Arthritis.
3) Introduce RA friends
Expose your loved one to other people who have Rheumatoid Arthritis. If you are lucky enough to have a local RA friend, you can arrange that they are with you when you meet in person. If not, you can send links to some great Rheumatoid Arthritis blogs. You can even print out some of the great comments or discussions.
4) Share medical information
Cancer patients frequently share sed rates and PSA results. People naturally share what’s going on with their health. Yes, it is more difficult with a chronic illness. But actually, we have lots of interesting information to impart. There are not only blood tests and imaging studies, but also rather funky prescriptions. When we come right out and mention our shots, it is difficult to think that Rheumatoid Arthritis is just your Gramma’s arthritis.
5) Ask for help
Don’t pretend you can handle things that you can’t. We have to tell the truth even when it makes people uncomfortable. If a door is too heavy and no one offers to open it, we have to ask.
I did not say they were easy. But we cannot give up. We are the only celebrity spokespersons that we have. We have to gently inform whoever will listen about the realities of Rheumatoid Arthritis. Can you think of more ways?
- The Invisible World of Rheumatoid Arthritis Speaks
- If You Do Not Have Rheumatoid Arthritis, Please Read This
- To Tell the Truth: Will the Real Rheumatoid Arthritis Please Stand Up?