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XY With RA
RA Guy on June 9th, 2009

Superman1Rheumatoid Arthritis Guy has been wanting to write, for quite some time, about what it is like to be a guy living with RA. I originally thought that I might alienate some members of my predominately female audience if I spoke about this too early on, but now I know otherwise.

Many aspects of living with rheumatoid arthritis do transcend gender differences, and it is easy to relate to the words of someone else who is going through the same thing, no matter if they are male or female. But still, there definitely are perspectives that are unique to women living with rheumatoid arthritis, and there are perspectives that are unique to men living with rheumatoid arthritis.

One of the motivating factors in starting my blog, beyond the therapeutic benefits that I have written about in earlier posts, was the fact that I was having difficulty finding and connecting with other male voices of RA. Sometimes, it feels like the only thing more lonely than living with rheumatoid arthritis is being a guy who lives with rheumatoid arthritis.

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Comments 4

  1. Lana

    Thanks for reposting this. The article – Rheumatoid Arthritis: Women Experience More Pain Than Men Do, Study Suggests – doesn’t note that we come from a society that doesn’t allow men to be weak. Is that men don’t experince as much pain as women do or is simply that men are not allowed to show that they experince pain? I am sure that there many more cases of men with RA that have not been diagnosed simply because men have raised to beleive that they must been men, and men do not know pain – at least that is the upbringing. I see in my nine year who refuses to cry even when he needs to. That is our society.

  2. Wren

    Every time I see the words “three times more women than men have rheumatoid arthritis” I think of other men I’ve known, including you, who have this disease(I “know” several, now, since finding RA blogs on the Internet). The words have an unpleasant implication to them that slashes in both directions: That women are obviously sicker and weaker than men, and that men who get RA are obviously as sick and weak as women. Both implications are ugly and false.

    The other thing that bugs me, like it does the commenter on the link page, is when women are alleged to feel more pain than men. WTF??

    Nevertheless, I can easily imagine the difficulty men who have RA face in a world where men are supposed to be stoic and strong under all conditions. The pain of RA is often so intense that keeping up a pretense of stoicism is pretty stupid, (and impossible) no matter which gender you are. And RA doesn’t care about how “strong” or “weak” you are, either.

    I’m so glad that you’re speaking out, RA Guy, about your ongoing battle with this disease. I’ve met only one man — and no other women — face-to-face who have it, so it’s always been a lonely, private battle for me.

    On the bright side: It’s a LESS lonely battle since I’ve been reading your blog and the blogs of all these other tough, very strong people with RA, both men and women. What a difference not feeling alone makes!

    Thanks for a great post.

  3. KathyB.

    Thank-you Rheumatoid Arthritis Guy! My husband was diagnosed with RA 4 years ago and you are right, most info and articles are directed at women. We do read your posts, my husband is not likely to comment, but we do read! You are NOT alone!

  4. DaQuack

    You have one more male in the club. I was just diagnosed with RA and awaiting more tests results. I am/was a guitar player. Not looking like a promising career now. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and experiences.

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