Love of Challenge & the Rheumatoid Arthritis Speed Limit | Rheumatoid Arthritis Warrior

Love of Challenge & the Rheumatoid Arthritis Speed Limit

RA challenge scrapbook Roo


At bedtime, the race is on. As soon as the pajamas are on, my four year-old declares, “Race ya!” He expects to win, but he still wants me to try. I think he wants me to almost win.

Some days, I can oblige. Other days, he protests, “You are too slow!” That’s when I cannot provide the adequate challenge he needs to feel significant.

SOME days, I can actually run to his bed. And I do. And I win. And he cries.

I’m sorry if it seems mean. I just don’t want him to see me as lazy… There’s no need to wonder where he gets his love of challenge.

Lately, I feel just like my son. The race is on! There is so much I want to get done.

I feel like it all needs to be done “yesterday.” I love the challenge of it all. But, I’d like to “win,” too.

Winning the race is getting it all done. Crossing stuff off the list. Getting on top of it all.

There is the problem of the speed limit enforced by RA. Mostly, I think I am doing so well “under the circumstances.” I JUST DON’T WANT TO STAY UNDER THEM. It’s uncomfortable under there.

At least I am enjoying the challenge.

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Kelly O'Neill

Kelly O'Neill (formerly Kelly Young) has worked about 12 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 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 fourteen years with unrelenting RD. See also https:/

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5 thoughts on “Love of Challenge & the Rheumatoid Arthritis Speed Limit

  • August 5, 2009 at 7:52 pm

    Kelly, that little blondie is adorable! Must get his good looks from his mom. :0) I love when I can "run" after my kids. Most times, for me running is walking fast but on occasion I can muster up a run. I usually pay dearly for it the next day with painful and swollen feet and ankle joints but it seems well worth it. My latest blog (from Tuesday) talks about my latest attempt at playing with kids. I definatly felt the results of my uncautious and not-so-smart actions when I woke up next morning but I wouldn't trade the experience. I think it's important to try when we feel we can. Keeps us "alive" if you know what I mean. Something of life before RA seems to resurface during these times. Best, Angie

  • August 5, 2009 at 10:10 pm

    Wanting to win is awesome, Kelly! It wouldn't be awesome if YOU were crying because YOU LOST…but it would be worse if you were crying because you didn't WANT to race at all! Here's to keeping up the race.

  • January 30, 2011 at 3:50 am

    I think the speed limit thing is what gets to me the most. My spirit and mind (when not in a fog) want to run and go and go…and win! Unfortunately it is something that I have had to adapt to over the years. There are times still that I break the rules and run anyway, and push myself to do it all anyway.
    I pay greatly for those moments…but they are the ones that I truly live for. When I am blessed enough to be well enough to be willing to forget for a few minutes, even though I know that it will cost me somewhere down the line.

    I am so glad that I am a people watcher and enjoy observing others do things as much as I enjoy doing them. People are so much fun to watch doing various activities and the human condition never ceases to amaze and astound me.

    • January 31, 2011 at 9:27 pm

      Hi Tammie, well said. Yes, that’s why airports are so exciting isn’t it?

  • February 16, 2017 at 8:16 am

    Yes keeping up with the kids is hard and it’s the part that makes you feel guilty, sad & inadequate. Ugh – I wish I could shoot hoops and ride a bike with my teen as I used too – I’d even settle for being able to get up school early and cook breakfast as I used too. Unfortunately the fatigue & morning stiffness have put an end to that.


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