From My Private Dictionary for Rheumatoid Arthritis | Rheumatoid Arthritis Warrior

From My Private Dictionary for Rheumatoid Arthritis

dictionary rheumatoid arthritis

Rheumatoid Arthritis words I made up:

To me, it’s fun to coin a new term. So I’ve been making up words for the blog as I go along. I have printed for you here an excerpt from my private dictionary. It’s only fair!

  • Appointment disappointment: n. 1: a despairing feeling which often occurs after a medical appointment; 2: often a result of feeling misunderstood or having been treated with skepticism by a doctor or technician
  • Bee sting: n. 1: pet name for injection site reaction; 2: red, itchy, hot , and hardened skin surrounding injection site
  • Courses of RA: n. 1: any of several various patterns which Rheumatoid Arthritis may follow in an individual patient; 2: Although the course of the disease is progressive in most patients, there is much variation in the pace and range of destruction; specifically, patients differ as to how often flares remit or how many joints are involved
  • Delusional response to RA: n. 1: Unreasonable behavior by non-RA patients with regard to Rheumatoid Arthritis caused by assessment that Rheumatoid Arthritis is not a painful, crippling, and progressive disease; 2: behaving as if people with RA are able to do things that they are not able to do; 3: related to denial
  • Dr. Dolittle: n. 1: a physician who does very little to help patients because of a lack of understanding of the impact of Rheumatoid Arthritis; 2: aka Dr. Do Very Little
  • Full blown RA: n. 1: Rheumatoid Arthritis which does not remit; 2: Rheumatoid Arthritis which affects enough joints to make a normal life impossible
  • Hysterical woman diagnosis: n. 1: ludicrous remarks written into a medical record which imply or state that a patient of either gender is crazy and not physically ill ; 2: misdiagnosis of a woman based upon erroneous assumption that she is malingering
  • Leftovers: n. 1: pain, stiffness, and other symptoms of Rheumatoid Arthritis experienced after disease fighting medication has been applied; 2: leftovers require additional disease management
  • Old School Treatment for Rheumatoid Arthritis: n. (also: Pyraymid method of treating RA) 1: the use of mild symptom relieving drugs as first-line treatment for Rheumatoid Arthritis, followed by gradual steps toward stronger medicines; 2: saving the most effective and modern medications until Rheumatoid Arthritis has already caused a great deal of damage
  • Preventative first aid: n. actions taken to prevent injury or illness, specifically as it relates to chronic illness or a compromised immune system
  • Patient protection plan: n. similar to witness protection plan; secret identity for patients who do not co-operate with medical establishment
  • RA-er: n. (also spelled RA’er) 1: a person diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis; 2: preferred term to Rheumatoid Arthritis sufferer or Rheumatoid Arthritis victim 3: contraction of RA warrior
  • Surge (also: treatment surge): n. the early use of DMARD combination treatments for Rheumatoid Arthritis, especially including Biologic drugs to attempt to slow disease progression and limit or prevent damage caused by RA ; antonym: traditional Rheumatoid Arthritis treatment pyramid
  • Under-diagnosis: n. the tendency of physicians to diagnose Rheumatoid Arthritis as a less serious diagnosis
  • The Wall: n. 1: a barrier which obstructs productive communication about Rheumatoid Arthritis; 2: Non RA-ers may put up the wall because of denial of some aspect of the disease or because of fear of discussing an illness that is mysterious to them.

And there’s more! Look forward to the unabridged edition soon. Do you have any words you’d like to suggest?

More Warrior:

Kelly O'Neill Young

Kelly O'Neill (formerly Kelly Young) has worked over 10 years as an advocate helping patients to be better informed and have a greater voice in their healthcare. She is the author of the best-selling book Rheumatoid Arthritis Unmasked: 10 Dangers of Rheumatoid Disease. Kelly received national acknowledgement with the 2011 WebMD Health Hero award. She is the president of the Rheumatoid Patient Foundation. Through her writing and speaking, she builds a more accurate awareness of rheumatoid disease (RD) aka rheumatoid arthritis (RA) geared toward the public and medical community; creates ways to empower patients to advocate for improved diagnosis and treatment; and brings recognition and visibility to the RA patient journey. In addition to RA Warrior, she writes periodically for newsletters, magazines, and websites. There are over 60,000 connections of her highly interactive Facebook page. You can also connect with Kelly by on Twitter or YouTube, or LinkedIn. She created the hashtag: #rheum. Kelly is a mother of five, longtime home-schooler, NASA enthusiast, and NFL fan. She has lived over thirteen years with unrelenting RD. See also https:/rawarrior.com/kelly-young-press/

30 thoughts on “From My Private Dictionary for Rheumatoid Arthritis

  • August 5, 2009 at 8:21 am
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    HA I just used RAer in one of my blog posts a couple of days ago. I just typed it and went with it, I had no idea it really was an accepted term.

    Terry

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  • August 5, 2009 at 8:30 am
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    We will make it an accepted term! We are re-writing the dictionary!
    May be sending a motorcyle-riding RA-er your way.

    Reply
  • August 5, 2009 at 4:29 pm
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    Excellent! Not many that ride with RA, we are few and far between.

    Terry

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  • October 9, 2009 at 7:07 pm
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    I am a motorcycle riding Ra’er too :-)) Rides are getting less though as flares take over. Yeah RA riders 😀

    Reply
  • December 27, 2009 at 8:51 am
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    hahahaha…

    i got one..

    true story a woman related to me .. she went tosee her rheumatologist and there was a young girl there in a wheelchair. She asked the lady… “are you here to see the RUINOLOGIST”.. The woman said.. well.. yes… im here to see the rheumatolologist…. why do you call it that? The girl replies “Because everytime you see them, they RUIN your life” LOL so new word… ruinologist (aka rheumatologist)

    Reply
  • December 27, 2009 at 2:43 pm
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    I have a few of my own..

    Break through RA – Similar to break through bleeding while on the pill. I’ve taken all my prescribed meds and will still have a flare. It can be even less fun, and just as messy.

    Dr. Areyousure? – Occasionally the Dr I have been seeing for the last 5 years will ask me if I am sure that I have RA, and who diagnosed me.

    Nurse Pokesalot – You know her, she can’t find a vein to save either of your lives. But she is happy to keep looking. One day, I think once a good vein is found I’m going to have a target tattooed on it that says stick here.

    Reply
  • December 27, 2009 at 3:28 pm
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    I call hard, too low to go chairs ” Chairzillas

    Reply
  • May 24, 2010 at 8:23 am
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    I have one for you…

    Dr. Dumbologist (AKA the fired Rheumatologist):
    The Dr. that tried to put me back on a RA treatment that is on my list of severe allergic reactions.

    Reply
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  • February 22, 2011 at 5:19 pm
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    Drilling for oil: what happens when nurses/lab techs can’t hit a vein but want to keep trying

    Reply
  • April 27, 2011 at 12:05 pm
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    All through I do not have RA (I am still undiagnosed ) I can relate to your Dictionary. In reality sad but does bring a bit of a smile, in not such of a funny way. Just the definitions for things I’ve been through.

    Reply
    • April 27, 2011 at 1:12 pm
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      good luck finding that diagnosis Bruce. Smiles, even wry ones, help a little.

      Reply
  • August 10, 2012 at 12:51 pm
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    I have a few, and learned a few from the Twitter community…

    LAW: n. Acronym for “Little Arthritic Wrists”; coined by a friend of mine. e.g. “How are your LAWs today?” or “I can’t do that because of my LAWs.”

    Rheumatoid Uterus: 1. Freudian slip made by a gynecologist while writing a (poor) article on RA. 2. A fictional medical diagnosis that we don’t even want to think about; sometimes used jocularly to refer to severe or strange symptoms.

    Monster Hands: n. Hands that have been in some way disfigured by RA, typically characterized by deformities, enlarged joints, inflammation and presence of rheumatoid nodules.

    Wasp Venom: Injection medication, particularly one that burns (like a wasp sting) during and after injection. See also: Humira.

    Shield: Used as a more favorable term for biologics, in that they block the proteins that lead to inflammation.

    Civil War: Used to describe RA disease activity and the concept of Immune System vs. Self. Remember: a body divided against itself cannot stand.

    Reply
    • August 10, 2012 at 1:08 pm
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      Here are few more that I collected from Twitter when the Rheumatoid-uterus article was printed.

      Rheumatoid Insanity – When your bones and joints are going crazy and people tell you, “But you don’t look sick.”

      Rheumatoid Psychosis – A close cousin to rheumatoid insanity evidenced when the patient thinks they may be going crazy due to lack of understanding from their family, friends, or medical personnel.

      Rheumatoid Deafness – An unusual illness that causes doctors not to be able to hear what their patients are saying.

      Rheumatoid Seizures – An uncontrollable thrashing of ones hands and arms when someone tells a person with RAD that a diet change would cure them. Usually manifested by the intentional accidental slapping or hitting of the person who made the suggestion.

      Rheumatoid Dyslexia – When someone reads, “RAD is an invisible disease.” and they think they read, “RAD is an imaginary disease.”

      Rheumatoid Testicularitis – This happens when the patient with RAD has the courage and inner fortitude to advocate for themselves.

      Reply
      • August 10, 2012 at 1:49 pm
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        I loved this!! Lol made me giggle ty Eric

        Reply
      • August 13, 2012 at 3:18 pm
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        I love all of these! Thanks for sharing.

        Reply
  • August 10, 2012 at 1:54 pm
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    “Meat Sticks” – Digits or limbs that are non-functioning due to a flare. As in: “My meat sticks are held on with pain glue.”
    “Muti” (Moo-tee)- My hold-all word for the meds, esp. herbal. Originally an African word for what the witchdoctor (Sangoma) prescribes.
    “Coming on”, “Hurty”, “Flat”, “Puffy”, “Spiking” – All descriptors of how I’m feeling, or the progression and subsidence of the pain-wave.
    “The Mill” – Endless rounds of records, specialists, medications, assistance applications, needles, closed doors, side-effects, ignorance, null days and Sisyphean effort required to meet this ailment head on.
    “The Team” – Indispensable for tackling the Mill. Everyone positively supporting me in my struggle, from a close buddy picking up some slack for me, through the winnowed out medical professionals, to the checkout lady that gives me an extra hand when she sees I’m struggling. They are my angels, and I need them to do this thing.
    “The Wall” – .3 The divide between my life before the first flare-up, and the life that followed.
    May your days be easy.

    Reply
  • August 10, 2012 at 1:54 pm
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    I love the ‘monster hands’ from Dana. I call my hands “Lobster Claw” hands a lot because I often have to (attempt to) grip things with my palms instead of fingers when they flare up, and it looks like a big lobster claw.

    Reply
  • August 10, 2012 at 4:14 pm
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    Going back to my first months on Methotrexate with severe side effects….Deathotrexate!

    Reply
  • August 10, 2012 at 7:45 pm
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    RD – Rheumatoid Doctor
    The Troll – the name my rheumatologist gives RA because it lies in wait ready to bash you every morning with a club.
    The Dragon – the name I give myself when I’m told “you don’t look sick”, “eat this”, “drink that”, “pay this”. Rahhhhh! 🙂

    Reply
  • August 10, 2012 at 8:53 pm
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    I just love all of these terms.

    Here’s mine :

    RADophobia 1. The denial of rights caused by discrimination against a person with RAD.

    2. the intense anxiety of non RADers when witnessing someone in so much pain due to the fear of getting RAD themselves. This leads to behaviours such as being angry at the RADer, ignoring their pain, diminishing the degree of pain, minimising the amount of assistance needed , understating the seriousness of the disease.

    Reply
  • September 23, 2013 at 10:24 pm
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    Hey guys, I need a word for that graceful maneuver where you aim your keister at the chair and then just sort of plop/fall because your knees won’t let you sit down in any faintly normal fashion!

    Reply
    • October 26, 2013 at 12:10 pm
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      I need a like button! 🙂 I’m not use to wanting to comment or show support for so many statements! When I read this I smiled at the image of me doing this graceful landing so many times! Would love a word for it!

      Reply
  • August 20, 2016 at 1:28 pm
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    I am a newly diagnosed RA’er from my Dr. 8.18.16 but I have been living with since 2014. Thank you for having this site available. God bless you!

    Reply

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