What is the best way to explain (very simply) what RA is to someone who is unfamiliar with it?
Like being physically beaten,
Tough one. My approach is this. And I do it this way because people do not know, as I did not know, how extensive it it is in our bodies. When people say most people get it as they age, I say it is not only about painful distorted joints. I have a lung disease caused by RA. So do not take it lightly and if you know people who have it listen to them because this disease is much more than most of us realize unless we know someone close to us. Relate it to where you are and have progressed in your disease. Exhausting, painful depressing when every day is a challenge.
It is a autoimmune disease that causes your immune system to attack healthy tissue. It can attack your joints, skin, eyes, heart, lungs, and blood vessels.
Fluctuating, cyclical, severe debilitating pain and aches, fatigue, swelling of tissues and organs that may continue to progress, cause damage. Anxiety/depression brain fog from swollen brain tissue. All this caused by the immune system creating inflammation, ebbing and flowing chronically in the body.
If they've ever had severe headaches... İt's like a recurring headache all over your body with the achy type flu. Or a broken bone in several places at one time. And you never know when it's going to hit or how long it will stay
Like a nail going through my joints.
My fingers are being slowly broken.
It's internal not just physical. It's eating at my bones
Your immune system sometimes mistakenly attack’s the healthy cells in your body. Usually in your joints but can be anywhere that produces fluidI. E. eyes. Try to avoid using any overly negative words as your own brain will pick up on these
And some intense fire at that!
I tried to open a jar today and when it finally popped open - I honestly felt like I had broken my wrist. I suppose this is an improvement from a couple of months ago when I couldn’t even open one...
I think the comment above about how it’s difficult to fathom unless you or a loved one suffers from it is spot on. People hear arthritis and think yeah yeah, you’ve got aches. The last few days I have barely been able to walk - sometimes I don’t even think those closest to me understand how much pain this causes.
leah I use an old fashioned can opener, not the one with a little wheel but the very old one with a sharp point, the rounded edge can be used to lever the jar lid on both sides, I also get frustrated with corks on cool drink bottles and put the top in the door jam, pull the door closed to create a vice, then turn the bottle anti clockwise, available from woolies or k mart.
There are fat grip tin openers and kitchen utilities you can buy on the internwt
Try to pop the side of the jar with a bottle opener first. It’ll open easier. Desperate times make you creative. I wanted pickles and no one was home.
Last summer my SO had to wash my hair for me because I couldn't open and squeeze the shampoo bottles.
I tell my Lil Girl.. İn the easiest way possible. I have a disease.. And my Body is attacking itself!
I remember reading ' it doesn't kill you but it takes your life away' ... Sooo true xx
My own body attacks my joints, organs and connective tissue
It's like being beaten up and poisoned
An auto-immune disease that causes me to feel like the Michelin Man and the Tin Man all in one body.
This may sound wrong but I give lupus as an example. People seem to know how awful and serious lupus is so it's the best comparison I've found that doesn't require an extensive explanation. I notice while trying to explain what RA is, people tune out because they think it's just joint discomfort.
Absolutely! People will cut me off and say “My grandma has arthritis in one of her fingers” Yeah, not the same. Not even close
Keep it simple. Just say it is an autoimmune condition. There is no need to say anything more unless they ask specific questions.
It's like someone took a hammer to every joint in my body after they beat me up while I have the flu!
It is a disease that attacks my body. It not only attacks my joint's, but it attacks every organ in my body. It's like I have a permanet flu. I am tired, there are days I can barely make it to the bathroom .
My hands are like broken glass.
My shoulders hurt so much. Do you experience this?