Living With Rheumatoid Arthritis: Asking For Help

RA Guy Adventures of RA Guy 3 Comments

The following is an excerpt from:

Living with Rheumatoid Arthritis
by Tammi L. Shlotzhauer, M.D. & James L. McGuire, M.D.
(A Johns Hopkins Press Health Book)
With the latest information on medication, nutrition, and resources (online and off), this volume is a complete and comprehensive guide to the management of a difficult disease.

More Info:…

“It is difficult to ask for help with tasks that you once were able to do on your own, but you will need to do this from time to time. If you learn to ask for help in a way that lets you keep your sense of independence and confidence, you will be much more likely to ask for the help you need. And when you get needed help, your feelings of frustration or anger can be avoided. Learn to ask clearly and without ambiguity, so that the person you’re asking know exactly how you need to be helped.


  • “I’ll just do it myself.” (Martyrdom is overvalued.)
  • “Can’t you see I’m in pain and can’t do this?” (It does no good to try to induce guilt in someone else.)
  • “Wash the dishes, or else.” (People who feel as if they are being punished for your arthritis will sooner or later come to resent your requests for assistance.)
  • “I can do it, but I think it’s about time for you to do something around here.” (Denial has the potential to develop into antagonism.)


  • “Here’s what I need help with. I know I can count on you.” (Describe the task and show appreciation; the response will almost certainly be positive.)
  • “I’m certain I can do this part alone, but I could really use your help with the rest of it.” (Be specific with about your needs, including what you don’t need help with.)
  • “I’ll clean up the living room if you’ll vacuum the rug.” (Negotiation allows equal input from everyone.)

Remember, your attitude has a far greater effect on your personal interactions than your disabilities do.”

Stay tuned…for the next adventure of Rheumatoid Arthritis Guy!

Comments 3

  1. Laurie

    My family has a tradition of going to the theme Parks in Orlando to see the different holiday displays. It’s always been me and my husband, my mom in a wheelchair and 2 teenage sons. Those wheelchairs a a bear to push over cobblestone streets and inclines. By 2001, my husband broke his back and had to walk with a walker (that converted to a chair) the boys were now in HS and able to take turns pushing grandma, and I was still going strong.
    This year, grandma has passed on, Dad still needs help with the walker cuz he tires easily, and I can’t breathe well, so I rode a wheelchair all day at Islands of Adventure so we could see the wizard world, then our son who is a manager took us thru the back alley to avoid going thru the whole Citywalk area. My daughter in law joined us for an early dinner..nothing says Christmas like Irish Pub food. Yummy! Then they parked me and my hubby in a handicap zone for the Macy’s parade while the young ones did a couple rides.We were only out 6 hours but boy was my tushie sore! You see the world about 3 feet lower in a wheelchair. I like to take photos so it was a challenge. We did have a good time. I literally sat on my butt 7 hours and I was tired,,slept 9 hrs on no meds. If this keeps up I may have to ask for a scooter!

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