You Know You Have Rheumatoid Arthritis When…

Comments 858

  1. Post
  2. April

    You have to think twice (or three or four times) before you consider buying a glass of lemonade from the kids’ lemonade stand down the street… what could this do to my compromised autoimmune system… sigh…

  3. Post

    You have to place the shampoo bottle against the side of the shower wall and lean on it to get the shampoo out so you can wash your hair!

  4. Ailsa

    You have to bribe your four-year-old to run errands requiring climbing up and down stairs in your home.

  5. crackedbetty

    … you have a ‘script’ in your head for various scenarios where your RA doesn’t allow you to participate fully or where you need to ask for help for the most simplest of things.

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  7. Cathy

    Instead of going to the restroom as needed when eating at a restaurant with friends, you stay seated until everyone else is getting up so they won’t notice you struggling to pull yourself up from the table or watch you limp away.

    I love your comment RA Guy. I keep scissors in my purse and in the car for that exact reason. If I can’t find the scissors in the house, I panic. Felicia, yours totally cracked me up because I have had the exact same experienc. 🙂

  8. Katie

    you can’t sleep at night because you can’t find a pain free position to lie in. And yet, you are so tired, you’ll fall asleep in a chair, anywhere… sigh

  9. Kat

    Your upstairs office is now downstairs, you have your 4 yr old brush your hair, and you have to wait for a semi good day to shave your legs (or beg someone to do it for you).

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  11. Halo_Jones

    No matter how much those Louboutins have been reduced in the sale, you have absolutely NO desire to purchase them. But you’ll happily fork out twice as much for a comfy pair of “granny” shoes!

  12. Katie

    You wear clothes that you can pull on because you can’t handle the buttons. When shopping in the grocery store, you ignore prices and look for whatever is easier to open.

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  14. Tyrone M.

    Buying another package of Icy Hot/Aspercreme/Ice pack/Heat pack doesn’t seem like a bad idea.

    You wish that Motrin made 400mg pills instead of 200mg.

    You constantly have to remember if a pain is caused by a repetitive motion, or banging a joint on a table or door jamb.

  15. Halo_Jones

    When getting up from seated looks more awkward than a camel doing the same.

    When your partner has to carry you not just over the threshold, but all round the house on the really bad days. Starts romantic, but unless you’re living with a weightlifter it soon degenerates into a very undignified waddle!

  16. Post

    You have to sit down to get dressed, 90 year olds look at you with pity and hold the door open for you, you can’t put your socks on…

  17. Halo_Jones

    When you gain a new found respect for toddlers – after you’ve forgotten how to walk and have to try to learn again!

  18. Briana

    when the benefits of a nice hot bubblebath are outweighed by the effort of turning the faucet on and figuring out how to get in and out of the tub…sigh

  19. Halo_Jones

    When furniture is positioned around your house not for aesthetic reasons, but for on a support-for-limping basis.

  20. MissieBird

    You wake up on a Sunday morning with a headache and sick to your stomach but it’s just from your MTX.

  21. LiveLoveLaughRA

    You curse at juice and water bottles because you know you can’t open them without help.

    You cringe when someone (healthy) complains that they are developing arthritis in their knee because they worked out too hard at the gym last night.

  22. Cathy

    When you drop your debit card in line,struggle to bend down and pick it up, and then realize you can’t because your fingers are too stiff and swollen to grasp it. Embarrassing! This same thing has happened with a sheet of paper in front of a classroom full of students. Doubly embarrassing.

  23. Post
    RA Guy

    Your pharmacist knows your name AND all of the medicines that you are taking, without even having to look at your records!

  24. Halo_Jones

    When you’ve learnt to take a deep breath and not snap someone’s face off when they tell you about the “dead cert miracle cure” their friend’s brother’s second-cousin’s acquaintance used who’s “totally better now”.

  25. Post

    You can predict the weather changing better than your tv weatherman just by the aches and pains in your joints.

  26. Cathy

    When you have to wait for your husband to get home before you can take a bath, otherwise you won’t be able to get out by yourself.

  27. Pam

    Mine is the scissors. My grandson even thought that everything had to be opened by scissors!! “Let me get your scissors Mimi” or “Where are my scissors so I can open this?”. Now at 6 1/2 he tells me “Mimi, you can open it like this”. Well, he can – Mimi can’t. Also, do the computer mouse with the left hand because it is much better than the right.

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  29. Jewels

    When your 7 year old hovers nervously infront of you’re when your on your 5 th attempt at getting up so he can steady you when you finally make it. =}

  30. Mur

    …when your teenage son has to walk in arm & arm into stores with you to help ‘steady your pace’…

  31. Deb aka murphthesurf

    You use your kitties for heating pads, dust mops and to pick up the crumbs. You tell your grand daughter that you can’t get down on the floor to play house because you have ra and she runs into her room and comes out with pom poms and starts cheering ra..ra..shishcumba!

  32. ca42

    When you have more braces of various kinds (wrist, knee, ankle, etc) than you do underwear. When you take more pills in the MORNING than your 89 year old father takes all day. (and he takes a lot) When the same 89 year old father gets up out of his chair a heck of a lot easier than you do at 40. 🙁

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  34. Erin

    You decide to go on a diet so it won’t be a strain on your husband to carry you down the stairs, put you in the car, etc.

  35. Suzanne Robertson

    …you have to take multiple rounds of differing antibiotics and hop around to many different doc offices convincing them that another week will heal it this time–to finally get over another infection you have…

  36. t"RA"cy

    You’re sad ..because your own Mother stops in unexpectedly ..and finds you for the 20th time in the late afternoon laying on the couch in pj pants and a hoodie half asleep and sick from a MTX hangover ..and also from the pain & fatigue of RA ..and she asks you AGAIN for the 20th time “whats the matter with you do you have the flu or something?” and you AGAIN for the 20th time tell her ..”Mom ..I have RA remember? ..and Im in a lot of pain and I cant move well and I get very tired and fatigued especially after my MTX shots”

    And you realize ..she either doesn’t listen to you ..or she doesn’t take it seriously when you explain it to her in detail over and over ???

  37. t"RA"cy

    And on a lighter note :
    When you know when every single one of your favorite shows or movies is on TV ..and you have them all lined up so you always have the perfect stuff to watch while your laying on the couch! 🙂

  38. Lori

    when you understand all the other RA superheros comments, as above, like they were your own and you know that this group of people understand what you go through like no one else can.

  39. Renju

    Right from the moment i woke up in morning and have to wait for a while before stepping off from my bed. . .

    Everyday when i had to bend down and put shoes before goin to office. . .

    When my buddies suddenly plan for an outing and i just cant accept it whole heartedly considering the distance, mode of travel and how my body wil respond to it as the climate changes. . .

    And even while opening the wrapper of a chocolate coz the pain it cause to my fingers while doin it. . .

  40. Kiwi05

    Lori – brilliant comment and so true.

    When you buy shoes based not on looks, but the amount of padding inside.

    When you purchase a drink bottle purely by the shape and size of the lid – not the flavour.

    When you paint your finger and toenails bright red, not for the colour, but to draw attention away from your degenerating knuckles. It does work 🙂

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    RA Guy

    …when every driver for your local taxi company knows, by memory, the location of your physical therapist’s office.

  42. Mariellen

    When your hands hurts so bad that you have to lean on your toothpaste with your forearm to squeeze it out!

  43. Dawn

    your husband can shake the medicine bottles and you know what’s in them by the sound of the bottle!

  44. Dawn

    you have ur knee replaced only for the doc to tell ur hubby “she may be 44 but her bones are that of a 70 year old woman” and it took him a SURGERY to figure THAT one out? LOL

  45. Dawn

    you go to a new doc, start w/ the paperwork, get to surgeries and medicines and write “see attached” across those parts!

  46. BridgetS

    when you contemplate running your great aunt over just so you can steal her cool new walker.

    when you and your grandmother discuss the merits of different handcremes.

    when your husband no longer gets thrills from unbuttoning your bra for you. (Not there yet – always thrilling, at least for me!)

    your husband claims the only reason you married him was to open jars and cans.

    your hangovers are no longer from drinking too much and partying.

    a “good day” means your yoga instructor no longer has to unpose you!

  47. Dawn

    you have tennis shoes that you wear to BED alone because you can’t stand the weight of the covers on your deformed tootsies!

  48. Dawn

    your phlebotomist takes one look at your arm and says…..”ooooooh, I’m likin what I see” referring to the vein in your inner elbow!

  49. Dawn

    when the phlebotomist pulls out the butterfly needle because you’re getting so many tubes of blood drawn!

  50. Dawn

    you have such a complex medical history that your Medical Alert bracelet is a USB thumb drive…pink of course!

  51. Nat

    …you wake up in the middle of the night in pain, but don’t want to move because you know that will only make you feel even /more/ pain!

  52. Dawn

    it takes you 45 minutes just to get 1 sock on because your hands/feet are so sore so you give up till someone comes home!

  53. Matt

    When your lifelong fear of needles and doctors turns into gladly giving yourself a shot once a week and blood tests every few months.

  54. Dawn

    when the radiology tech says, “ok, you need to lift your arms for these” and I say, “no, YOU need to lift them for me if you want them up there

  55. SouthernGirl

    when you master a non-offensive “glazed over look” in response to “Well, you look good.” | When you wish your 7 year old was just a little older…like 10 years older.

  56. Dawn

    your cane is multipurpose…when ya can’t reach something in the store, flip it around and hook it!

  57. Katie

    Your friends and co-workers constantly tell you that the doctor should be able to give you a pill to “cure” your “arthritis”.

  58. Cathy

    When your family physician is excited when you tell him about your nodules and cautiously asks, “I have never actually seen one, can I see yours?” It’s like being a cool kid at school with a tattoo that everyone wants to look at.

    Getting new nodules and making your family feel them to make sure you aren’t imagining them.

  59. Kel

    When walking to the bathroom from your bed feels like running a marathon.

    When you get questioned ” why do you need that handicap parking space daily, even though you have one of those hanging placards.

    When your 82 grandma is more worried about your health more than her battle cancer.

  60. Kel

    When getting to the bathroom from your bed seems like an Olympic sport.

    When your grandma ( mine has passed away) was more concerned about your health than her cancer.

    When replying to things like this on smartphone, takes at least 30-45mins, because your fingers just won’t cooperate with the rest of your body!!!!

  61. Kelsey

    You shake hands with someone at a business meeting and have to hold your breath so you don’t gasp audibly in pain.

    When your 18 month old holds your finger while walking and you scream and say, “be gentle!!”

    When you wake up one morning and your wedding ring doesn’t fit anymore even though you’ve lost weight. So you get it sized up not wanting to admit it’s RA and then finally go to a rheumatologist and on meds that work and now can’t wear it again because it’s too big.

  62. Laurie

    You have to have your kids carry in your heavy groceries after they shop with you and you have them “loosen” all bottle caps so you can use them later in the week.

  63. Brian Twohig

    You lay your socks on the carpet, hold them open with your thumbs, and then wiggle your feet into the socks – counting on the carpet to hold them in place.

  64. Lizz

    When you have to ask your 6 year old daughter to open the jar for you

    When you have to change the high fives with your kids to “Gentle Fives!!”

  65. Wendy Horne

    When you bake something special, then have so much trouble getting down to get it out of the oven and on the way back, drop the whole thing because your wrist has given way, and also when… get overtaken on foot by a man who is old enough to be your great grandfather wih two sticks, still going faster than you ever will 😉

  66. Thrive With RA™

    you learn to live for “that moment” of precious mobility –however fleeting or mobile that moment may be – whether it is the encouraging opportunity that day to reach an inch higher with your arms than the week before, or being able to pull on a sock all by yourself when you couldn’t the day before, or being able to open your jaw a bit farther to reach your back teeth when brushing, when you couldn’t the day before, or being able to pull yourself up from a chair unassisted, when you couldn’t the month before, or inch your fingers a bit closer to touching the palms of your hands again when you haven’t since onset, etc. etc.

    You know you have RA when you learn to be adaptable and live for the moment – not because you’re evolved and spontaneous by nature, but because you need to live in the present and have an attitude of gratitude for the things you CAN do, to achieve the maximum state of hope with happiness, despite dis-ease. 🙂

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  68. Sissy

    When you are thirsty but don’t buy a bottle of water because you already damaged your teeth enough, trying to open countless water/soda bottles:-/

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  70. Bengta

    When you struggle to get “easy off” lids off of your medication bottles (that happened this morning).

    When you’re walking in a crowd of people and fall to the back and realize you’re thankful that you’re not a gazelle on the Sahara desert because you’re pretty sure you would be picked off by a lion or something.

  71. Sam

    When you spend more time reading RA Guy than helping your daughter with her homework. 😉

    Really enjoyed reading and relating to these. Thank you all for a really good laugh.

    ps: Halo_Jones love the name. She is one of my all time favourite sci-fi characters. Sorry, I know my inner geek is showing. ;-D

  72. tetty

    When u need to use ur left hand instead of right hand to turn the door knob, turn on car ignition and need some time to comb ur hair with left hand while right hand was in flare and inflammation….

  73. Kary

    Since the onset of RA just 5 weeks ago I was so glad to find RAGuy on Twitter, I’m still waiting for referral (based in UK the NHS moves v slowly) but the tweets and blog have been a lifeline. And as for these comments I actually started to laugh for the first time in weeks! So thank you everyone. Mine is when you get into the disabled bathroom and have to use the palms of your hands to lock the door.

  74. Colleen

    When those dang rubber things that are supposed to help you open bottle hurt way more than they help!!

    When you walk gimpy though a party and try and play it off as a “pimp walk” lol

    I am only 27 and have had RA for 10 years.

  75. barbara

    There are so many good ones here, I can relate to almost all of them! How sad.

    When you pray that the public restroom toilet is not so low that you can’t get up or at least it has some thing you can use to pull yourself up with.

  76. Marissa_Hormell

    …you laugh at yourself when you can’t open jars,lids, etc. because if you didn’t you would cry

    (well this is what I do, it’s not really funny when other people can’t accomplish it)

  77. Sadie

    … When you read this list and suddenly feel really grateful that Enbrel works for you… When you roll around at night muttering, “F**king Fibromyalgia”… When you crack up your rheumatologist by referring to your problems as, “the autoimmune prize pack”

  78. Erin

    When you hand someone a bottle of medication without saying a word, they know to open it for you.
    You’ve learned to moan and groan silently, but still kind of hold your mouth open haha
    You spend more time looking at your hands than your hair or makeup.
    Everyone in your family has helped you to the restroom at least once… and you’re not even 30
    No one texts you with “What’s up”, its always “How do you feel?”.. like anyone actually cares anyway.
    You tell your Dr. that your hair is falling out.. and he just documents it along with all the other things you complain about.

  79. Bert Stenzel

    …when you are very thankful that you added the handicap bathroom items (toilet, sink, shower) to your home when you built it (10 years ago) before RA to accommodate you now!

  80. Carolyn Roberts

    You dont shut the curtains when you need a sleep in the afternoon because your friend over the road says, “you been in bed again?”

  81. Kate

    When u cant brush your dog cause you can’t hold the brush
    When u have to tell hubby, no, no hug, too sore..oww, just don’t touch me
    When u do get up off the sofa and wonder, how many steps till feet support me
    When people ask you will it rain tomorrow, and you answer, no, any minute actually
    And on and on and on-or I would but hands are too sore

  82. LissaRachelle

    …when you can never commit 100% to anything, ever (or if you do, it is always with the caveat, “If I’m up to it”, and usually with the consequence that many people think you’re either lazy or anti-social) because you never know if you’ll feel well enough when commitment time rolls around.

    …when someone says, “oh, yes, I know EXACTLY how you feel, I have arthritis too!” (as they casually and ever so effortlessly twist the cap off their previously unopened bottle of water), and you suddenly have a vision of yourself being arrested for the gruesome ax murder of that particular someone – but then the vision fades as cold reality smacks you in the face: you will never be arrested for any act of violence, because you simply haven’t the strength to act on your violent thoughts – not even if/when you would love nothing better than to chop someone’s head off – or at least cut their tongue out so they can’t say such annoying things!

    …when your fingers swell up so much that you have to have your hubby use wire cutters to snip the bands of your wedding & engagement rings to get them off before your fingers turn black from lack of circulation.

    …when your shoulder, elbow or hand (or all three) are too sore to lift the blankets to cover yourself up when you’re cold or fling them aside when you’re too warm (sheer hell when you get hot flashes followed by cold sweats!).

    …when you actually spend time training your toy poodle to pull your socks off as preparation for when your hands can’t manage the task.

    …when you finally can’t stand the agony anymore, so wake hubby at 3 am (knowing he has to get up in 3 hours to go to work), to run a hothot bath for you, help you out of bed, help you undress, then help you into the tub and bear your full weight to lay you back, then a half hour later when a small bit of the pain has been soaked away by the heat (and just as he’s fallen back asleep again) call him to lift you back out, dry you off and help you back to bed.

    …when you have a hobby/skill/passion that involves using your hands, and you’re often just too damn sore to use your tools correctly or effectively.

    …when you actually try to use your left hand to draw with because the right one hasn’t the strength left in it to even hold a pencil.

    …when you wake up feeling so grateful that at least today you can walk 🙂

  83. Amy

    OMG these are so good.
    When you watch your dog go guiltily to the wee wee pad because you can’ find the energy to get up and let him or her out…and you’ve just made it into a pain free position just before they give you that LOOK. Aw heck it’s only a floor.

  84. Brandy de Cusack

    When a few hours gardening at the weekend keeps you off work for two days.

    When someone says, “Ooh, I have a touch of that,” you say, “Here, let me smash your joints with a clawhammer and then inject burning napalm into them, see if you still think you have a ‘touch’ of it.”

    When you want to punch someone for saying, “You’re looking well.”

    When you want to punch someone for saying, “You never come out any more.”

    When you want to punch someone for saying, “Just one little drink won’t harm,” and explaining you have more toxins floating around your body than were sprayed over Vietnam seems to make no difference.

    When your 67 year old mom who has severe osteoarthritis and is recovering from a broken shoulder offers to come and do your housework for you.

    When it takes six months, three formal complaints and the involvement of your local MP to get a disabled parking permit.

    When you have to use three different mice throughout the day to stop your shoulder and hands from siezing up.

    When twelve hours sleep is really not enough.

    When your MedicAlert bracelet has to be udpated every six months.

    When you have to set up a spreadsheet to keep a track of what medications you’ve taken during the day.

    When you forget what it was like to be healthy and pain-free.

  85. KarenZee

    When setting up your weekly pills becomes a family activity like a “marble game.”

  86. keystone

    When your husband brings drinks for the family. The toddler gets a regular glass, and you get a sippy cup.

  87. vanessa

    when getting dressed involves taking off your pj’s and putting on a clean pair

    when an outing involves going to the dr for your weekly visit

    when dinner consists of cereal as your too tired or sore to prepare anything else

    when u cant plan anything for the next day let alone next week or next month

    when u have to give up you job as a nurse as u can barely look after yourself let alone someone else

  88. MarthaB

    If, when I wasn’t sure a minute ago….I am now! After seeing all the same (as mine) troubles described here! UUgghhh

  89. Charlene

    when driving a car it looks like you’re constantly flipping people off because today is the day that your middle fingers decide they are not going to bend.

  90. Post
    RA Guy

    …when by the time you’ve finally reached a standing position, you forget why you were even moving in the first place.

  91. Samuel

    Thank you all very much for these comments. A few comments seemed particularly true for me, a 21 yr. old diagnosed a month ago w/ RA.
    –You’ve learned to moan and groan silently, but still kind of hold your mouth open.
    –When the weatherman says “Sunny skies today”, and you inform your family he’s dead wrong, and that it will rain sometime in the evening. . .and you’re right.

  92. lauren

    completely agree joseph –
    “When you’re in your in 20’s and wish you could be like everyone else your age.”

    when your 22 and cant go out and act stupid like your mates and have to have a list of excuses on standby because you cant face the pain that will come from going out.

  93. lily

    When you keep changing the setting on your morning alarm to earlier and earlier, giving your body time to become mobile enough to get ready for work. (Currently @ 0400)

  94. daina

    When you only buy a certain sunscreen because it is the only one that has a bottle you can use.

  95. Verna

    When you buy sneakers with velco instead of laces because you can’t tie your own shoes.

    When you learn to enjoy the morning coffee with a straw because you can’t grip the mug without spilling it.

    When there are more medicinal items in your cosmetic bag than cosmetics.

  96. Mrs P

    When you get a nasty note left on your car while its parked in a handicap spot because you “look normal.”

  97. Carmen

    When your boyfriend dumps you saying he didn’t sign up to take care of a handicapped woman for the rest of his life. When he says ‘you let yourself go’ after gaining 40 lbs on Prednisone, not getting your hair cut because you can’t go to the hairdresser, when he gets home from work and he has to take you to the bathroom because you haven’t been able to get out of bed yet, when you buy a bottle of water and ask the cashier to open it for you as you’re paying for it…but now, I’m on Orencia and I actually snapped my fingers yesterday!!!! The bum is out of my life and yesterday was a good day.

  98. Mandy

    When old people look at you and wonder why you walk so slow and with a limp…

    When you can’t get the milk carton out of the fridge because it’s too heavy and if you get it out you can’t twist the top off…

    When you can’t get into pill bottles that are NOT child proof…

    Some of these are hilarious and some just depressing. But what I do know is that you people know exactly what I’m going through. Where are you and how do I get in touch? Blogs? Facebook?

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  100. Melissa Schroeder

    When you work in a nursing home, and the 103 year old lady can walk faster than you, and we both have walkers!!

    T RA CY- love the comment about your mom coming over and saying why are you always laying down or asleep, and asking if your feeling okay, have the flu or something!!! NO I STILL HAVE RA everyone!!

    Arguing with someone because you “look fine”, why are you parking in a handi cap spot!

    When you have Double (yes both at the same time) knee surgery and your find your an inch (at least) taller!! Have to change height on my Driver’s license! Lol

    had Ra for 10 years and I’m 39!!

  101. Tanya

    these are so great and I can relate to so many of them…including Ailsa’s about bribing your 4 year old to run up and down the stairs for you…i did that just a couple hours ago and at least now he’s peacefully sleeping 🙂 and i’ve had RA for nearly 10 years too and i’m almost 37 (but some days these joints feel like 73!)

    my additions…

    when you have to ask your 10 yr old to open a packet of mustard for you after trying unsuccessfully and tearfully to open it for 10 minutes

    when trying to grip and open a bottled water means spilling water all over yourself at work.

    when a little old lady at work passed me walking down the hall (and I’m on the verge of tears from the pain) and she asked ME if i was ok and if she could help me

    when having an automatic jar opener means asking my husband, 10 year old or 4 year old for help (Thank goodness i have 4 strong boys in my house!)

  102. Frank

    You know you have RA when your fashion choices go from things with buttons, zippers and laces, to sweats and tees and slip ons, 🙁

  103. Carole

    You know you have RA when you are driving to the store and someone pulls out in front of you and your busy finger (yes the “f” u one) hurts to lift it up and is crooked and knuckle is swollen.

  104. Sal

    When you’re at one of your favourite bands gigs, being the huge rock chick that you are…but you cant nod your head to the music any more and you have to pretend your clapping as it hurts too much to do it for real. Urgh!

  105. Melanie

    Charlene! I thought I was the only one whose stupid middle fingers freeze up! My friends think I am exaggerating when I tell them about driving and flipping everyone off! Awesome.

    You know you have RA when you’re 34 and the 86 year old woman in your “Yoga for Senoirs” class shakes her head at you sympathetically while bending herself in half.

  106. Kami

    You live on smoothies because your hands are too shagged to chop and your TMJs are too clappered to chew… and the baby food diet requires jar opening! God I love the individual who invented my blender, with a single, smooth-operating dial and 1200w behind it 🙂

    Saturday night on the razz is replaced by Saturday night on the MTX… Sunday morning still the same though !

  107. Marcy

    When the, “be careful and don’t spill” warning is issued for me – not the kids and chances are I will spill.

    When hubby has to get on his hands and knees to clean up my spills because it hurts to bad to get on knees and to use hands scrubbing.

    When at work and you dump a huge cup of ice in the breakroom floor, three people come in and say, “Don’t worry, we’ve got it.” because they would rather clean up your mess than pick you up off of the floor…

  108. Dorothy Carlo

    You have someone else cut up fruits and vegetables so that you don’t add your fingers to the bowl. You have someone else do the laundry so that you do not have to climb up two flights of stairs( might as well be Mt. Everest).

  109. Dawn

    When you cut your bread under the table so that people don’t stare or ask you why you are cutting like that.


    When you get a spasm in your hand and it just opens and releases.. lost a beer at a ballgame the other night.. two second after it was ordered.. cramp and 7.75 down the drain.. oh and a 400 camera that apparently got wet 🙁

  110. Cammie

    To mention a few~~
    You know you have RA when you realize the “IN SICKNESS” part of the marriage vows didn’t mean anything. 🙁

    When you have to get up 3 hours earlier just to make it to work on time.

    When you can’t lift your arms to get out of your night clothes and you call the office to say you won’t be in cause noboby would appreciate if you came in your pj’s.

    When you go for your colonoscopy and your hip are so painful you can’t assume the required position. 🙁

  111. Hope

    You suddenly realize how extremely hard it is to bathe, go to the bathroom, or even brush your teeth. I pass a senior citizen who looks at me with pity and asks if they can help ME…and I have to say yes.

    Wow! I can’t believe how many people go through the exact same struggles I have to deal with. I just hope I can figure out how to deal with it all at 16 years old and quickly! But keeping a positive outlook, praying, and having a wonderful group of family and friends to depend on definitely helps me get through each day 🙂

  112. Mrs.Strong

    When your 80 year old Grandmother offers you to buy you a wheelchair so you can get around your house

    When your 9 year old knows how to cook dinner in case of an “Owwie Day”

    When your husband buys you a kindle so you don’t have to flip the pages in a real book

    When the same sweet husband installs a speech to text program so you can still finish your schoolwork when you are unable to type.

  113. Christie Bassett

    Filling the Jacuzzi Tub with hot water, lying in bed listening to the sound of the water falling, hoping you won’t fall asleep and the tub overflows. Anticipating the feeling of total weightlessness you will enjoy as you lower yourself into the water.

  114. Stephanie

    You know you have RA when your 2 1/2 year old daughter automatically helps you get up and asks “Are you feeling good today?” before she touches you, jumps on you, tries to play with you etc.

    When nothing makes you feel better about yourself except sitting on the computer and reading what other people with RA have to say and then realizing when you are done reading and want to get up that your are so stiff you can’t do it. So you sit and read some more until someone comes and pries you out of the chair.

  115. stephanie

    When you’re only 22 and contemplating having another baby because “your time is running out” and you know you are going to need the extra help of another set of hands in a few years. (Hoping that next set of hands is a boy because heavy lifting may be required at some point)

  116. Sandy mirisciotta

    THANK YOU ALL!! The comments were awesome, it feels good to know there are more out there like me…the laughs helped so much! Bless and keep you!


    You can’t open that arthritis-friendly container no matter how hard you try and you hope your typing makes sense because it’s all a blur

  118. Juli

    When you wonder what you did in your sleep to cause you to “sprain” your ankle.

    When you’ve forgotten what it’s like to not be in pain.

  119. Sherri

    You know you have RA when
    ~your 72 year old father in law is in better shape than you have been in years.
    ~When your gaining wight because of the pred.
    ~A hot bath followed by a nap is a more than a once a day occurrence.
    ~You drink your coffee from a sippie cup because your tired of dropping and breaking mugs.
    ~You only order crab legs when eating out, if your husband feels like cracking them for you.
    ~Round doorknobs are a thing of the past in your home.
    ~you only turn on the lamps in your home that are plugged into the outlet controlled by a light switch.
    ~uncombed hair is a fashion statement.
    ~by the time you get cleaned up and ready to go somewhere you are so tired you need a nap.
    ~When the only people whom truly understand what you go through daily, are the ones with RA that you are friends with on your computer.
    Thanks for all the support my fellow RA warriors!

  120. Frank

    You know you have RA if:
    Your styling cues depend on the amount of pain you’re in on any particular day.
    “well my wrists and fingers are on fire, so can’t wear my snug jeans”, or “my shoulders hurt so much that I can’t even think about slipping that tee shirt on”

  121. Kat

    When you give yourself a shot of Humira, and the burning, searing 10 seconds of pain as it goes in, isn’t “so bad”. 🙂

  122. Trill

    …you cringe at the thought of someone else having to help you wipe your butt and hope that some new meds come out soon

    …you beg your friends to get on voice chat because you can no longer type

    …when you tell your kitty, who’s mewing at your feet, ‘no brushing for you today, no hands’

    …when you jokingly (or well, not so much) order a meal with a side of morphine

    …when your husband asks if you need something from the store, you say, ‘yes, some new fingers/knee/whatever’

    …when you have a family member named kelly, yet your husband knows when you talk about kelly, you actually mean kelly young!

    …when you want to throw all of the diet food out of the house because you want your old southern down home food, and don’t care if you get fat as a house, because, why does it matter when you’re homebound?

    …you make SURE your liver panels are done because last week you drank enough to get ONE evening of pain-free-ness

    …you want to throw your mtx because it doesn’t seem to be working, and you can’t stand the thought of just swallowing a handful of poison

    …you wish for marijuana to be legalized in your state

    …your in-laws are mourning the loss of a precious family member, and when you send condolences, they send get well wishes

    …you are SO pissed off that you can’t play WoW anymore, because THE MAGES GET TIME LORD REGALIA!! 🙁 🙁 🙁

  123. Christinann

    You say I’ve falling and I can’t get up….And you are only 36….And you sleep with your electric all year long….

  124. Janie

    When your joints ache and hurt in the morning.. you limp to work .. gotta tough it out.. and then by mid-day you are feeling a little better. Limp is not as bad… but you can read the faces around you “Drama queen… hypochondriac…faker”. Sorry folks that I can’t limp around all day to please you. I’m sure one day I will. But not today – Thank God!

  125. Bridget

    Your hip goes out at the club and your friends have to help you walk so you pretend you had to much to drink even though you haven’t had a drop of alcohol.

  126. Chad

    When you can’t remember the last time you were able to put on your own socks.

    When your children’s morning routine includes asking you, are you ready for me to help you with your socks.

    When you only buy slip on shoes.

  127. Valerie

    You know you have rheumatoid arthritis when:

    …when getting out of bed first thing in the morning without any assistance feels like an accomplishment.

    …when your version of giving a thumbs up looks a little screwed up because your four fingers can’t completely close into a fist LOL.

    …when you look a little strange lifting yourself up from sitting on the floor because you opt for lifting yourself up with your elbows leaning on the couch instead of your hands because your wrists are too stiff to bend that way and too sore to support your weight.

    …when you awkwardly use the computer mouse with your left hand because your right hand is too sore.

    …when you’re the most dedicated student in the classroom but you don’t bring your textbook to class because it’s too heavy to carry.

    …when you wear shoes INSIDE to reduce the pain/impact on your feet.

    …when you consider daily getting a haircut, not for fashion reasons but because your hands and elbows hurt when brushing your long hair.

    …when you spend more time in a day exercising and stretching your hands and fingers then healthy people spend exercising their whole body.

    …when a doctor asks his med student what DMARDs mean and you chime in saying “disease modifying anti-rheumatic drugs.”

  128. Eliza Jane

    You push the button to automatically open the door at work because the ‘artistic’ door handle hurts your hands too much. And you worry that your co-workers will see and wonder why you’re so lazy, because “you don’t look sick”.

  129. Eliza Jane

    and when you see a picture of a hand holding a pencil getting ready to write, and automatically think “I’ll bet that hurts”.

  130. I Key

    Lifts (aka elevators) are better than sliced bread

    You wish the inventor of childproof tops hadn’t

    Pain is all in the mind, also fingers, hands, wrists, elbows, knees, feet and toes

  131. Paul

    ….when your Rheumatologist is about the same age as you but looks 20 years older because you’ve tried every drug out there for the last 20 years and the only thing that works almost kills you. One of those unacceptable side affects 🙂

  132. Paul

    …when you look around at all the tools, sporting equipment, and musical instrumants that you used to enjoy so much are now just a constant reminder of what used to be.

  133. Linda

    …your teenage son complains of knee pain and you want to cry, because the thought of your child having this disease is unbearable

  134. Colliebug

    You know you have RA when you can’t use a cane to stabilize your walking because your hands hurt too much to grip the cane.

    or as your 1yr old is crawling towards the stairs and you are desperately trying to get to him you realize that if you call your spouse they can get their faster from downstairs than you can traverse the 10 feet between you and your child.

    or you stay at your desk all day, not going to the restroom or lunch, not because you are such a dedicated worker but because it is too painful to get up.

    or you learn to ignore the insensitive comments like when your boss says, “we all have aches and pains; get over it.”

    or you begin to wear a brace on your wrist to church in order to be able to avoid shaking hands with other parishioners (even though the brace is almost as painful as the handshake.)

    or you feel guilty parking in the handicap spot at the mall on days when your walking isn’t too bad because you know by the time you get out of the mall you won’t be able to walk at all.

    or when you cook meal of hamburger helper and your children ask what’s the special occasion.

    or when you are finally forced to stop working because you are about to get fired due to excessive absences. Then when you apply for Social Security benefits, they evaluate you on a good day and tell you that you are fine and need to go back to work.

  135. funnybone

    You know you are a senior with RA when your never sure if your going to be able to get out of the car when you get to your destination.

    When you fall asleep on the couch & wake up because you have to go to the bathroom, but it’s such a struggle getting up you pee in your pants.

    When your kids say maybe you should hang up your drivers license because in a weak moment you mention pulling out of a parking space is 25% looking behind you, 50% mirrors, and 25% faith because you cant turn your head anymore.

  136. Rats

    …when the methotrexate hangover is worse than the time you drank a half bottle of whisky and a few shots of tequila.

  137. Rebecca

    Old people won’t complain about their arthritis around you because they feel it’s insensitive.

    You never realized how many amazing foods were “wide” until RA affected your jaw and you couldn’t open your mouth wide enough to eat a burger.

    Your medical file is thicker than the swelling in your joints.

    You’ll go for hours needing to piss like a racehorse because it’s better than doing the stairs to get to the bathroom.

    You walk down the street, and a police officer will question you because they think it’s a situation of public intoxication because you’re struggling to walk straight.

  138. Rebecca

    You’re starving because hunger isn’t as painful as the jaw motions it takes to chew.

    When elderly people with arthritis look at you sadly, and say, “I couldn’t imagine what you’re going through”.

    You hear “yeah, my grandma’s got it, too,” and instantly roll your eyes and think, “Here we go…”

  139. Jodi Armstrong

    When your mother actually forces you to sit and play video games all day (just to try and keep the swelling in your feet down)!

  140. waynette gatlin

    When you have to call your 16 year olds cell to wake her up to help you walk to the bathroom..when your 8 year old has to open your water bottle for you.

  141. Sonia Buck

    As a professional (lawyer) with RA who is lucky enough to still be able to work, you know you have RA when:

    1. you now have a speech impediment when it comes to American Sign Language: your hands will not allow you to properly sign the alphabet.
    2. your biggest fear about speaking engagements or networking/professional events is not speaking in front of a crowd or mingling, meeting new people. It is the fear of hardcore hand-shakers.

  142. Post
    RA Guy

    … when you celebrate (Rocky style!) every time you climb a flight of stairs. Assuming, of course, that you can actually lift your arms over your head!

  143. Erika

    You describe the morning-after-methotrexate nausea and puking and fatigue as “not too bad this time” as other people can barely look at you.

  144. Erika

    You know you have RA when your 7 year old daughter approaches you every morning and while rubbing your back asks how sore you are today.

  145. Rebecca

    When you’re 16, and more self-conscious of your deformities than your boob size, big nose, or stretch marks.

    When you’ve got stretch marks on your joints from such severe inflammation, and are excited because “They’ve faded!” … and then you get surgical scars to add to the funky joint tissues.

  146. dennyp

    when your five year old tells you she knows you won’t be joining her class on a field trip because “you hurt all the time Daddy.” And, your three year old son looks forward to “wrestling” with the mom of a friend instead of me, his daddy.

  147. Bonnie

    When you’ve successfully made a big crockpot full of soup, it tasted great for supper and will be wonderful again tomorrow so you don’t have to cook again, but drop the whole thing on your more comfy kitchen floor on the way to the fridge. You wait for the dogs to finish cleaning up the mess for you, as much as they can because they don’t eat every kind of veggie in there, since you can’t figure out how to get it all up any other way, but by the time they’re done with their part of the clean-up, the tomatoes in it have stained the white squares on your new blue and white floor. And now you have to figure out what will get that tomato stain out of the floor by trying different concoctions since the floor is brand new and you know you cannot use bleach on it or it will be ruined. Then your ever loving husband screams at you because of the stain the next day because you’ve not had the energy to “make it all disappear” today – and he won’t help at all because even though you’ve had RA for 4 years now he still does NOT get it. Thank God for having 3 dogs that love tomatoes and everything but butter beans. DOG really is GOD spelled backwards – and the best three little helpers in the household.

  148. adrienne

    When you can recite your pharmacists, primary doctor, rheumatologists phone numbers by heart.

    When you pick up your brush, it drops out of your hand, you pick it up again and it falls out of your hand again. Finally you give up. Who needs brushed hair? This also happens with silverware, pens, cellphones, and other assorted items.

  149. RhianW

    When your 2.5 year old child tells people that you have ‘baddy legs’ from all the times struggling to walk up and down stairs.

    When you burst into tears when your toddler gets your attention by grabbing and pulling on a finger.

    When you can hand anyone that knows you a bottle or jar to open and not have to ask them what to do.

    This site is GREAT. Reading all of these posts has made me appreciate how I am better off than some of you in terms of how bad my RA is, and I can identify with it all. Thanks everyone.

  150. Dianne

    When your grandson now says, “I need to rest because I am weak and tired.” I guess he has heard it so many times from Nanna he just repeats it. It use to make me sad when he would say this but no it just makes me laugh!

  151. Camille

    When your first priority on a Saturday morning, MTX hangover et al, is to re-fill your days of the week pill box, specifically endorsed by the arthritis foundation.

  152. HayWire0831

    You constantly drop things because your hands are so weak, but bending over to pick stuff up is so hard too, so you’re basically, involuntarily, torturing yourself.

  153. Clair

    A hot water bottle isn’t just for the winter.

    I even have one in my desk at work. Much to the amusement of my colleagues.

  154. Haylee

    When your husband has to break the chocolate off the block you bought to drown your sorrows from the pain in your hands. When you’re 24 years old and walking like a 70 year old. When you have to pretend there’s nothing wrong in front of your dad so you don’t make him sad because he knows he passed it on to you.

  155. Kiwi05

    When a pair of scissors are your most important implement when cooking… and you have five pairs of them in the kitchen (just in case you loose one).

  156. Nicole

    I loved this some made me laugh, some cry. I am recently diagnosed, but had pain and cluster headache pain for these are from both cluster and arthritis.

    When you 15 year old has to tie your shoes and laughs with you about it and scolds you the next day when you try to do it yourself. When your doctor says he may write a research paper on you and you joke about the getting rich on royalties. When you don’t have to give your last name when calling the doctor, they know who you are already.

    I’ve been blessed with wonderful teenagers and partner who are there when I need them and tease me when I am able to laugh at myself.

  157. naomi

    When on a night out your the only one wearing flats and sober yet you are the one who falls over twisting that ankle yet again!!

  158. Lauren

    These are all so good! The one that made me laugh the most because it’s exactly what I do was the shampoo bottle against the wall one! Thankfully I have an incredibly thoughtful partner who purchases toiletries with me in mind and gets the ones with pump lids! Here’s some of mine:

    …when at 24 you can stump a rheumy with questions about birth and prosthetic hips

    …when upon waking up your evaluation of how the day is going to be depends on how much of a fist you can make

    …when you’ve thrown something across the room in frustration because you couldn’t open it!

    …as a kid you’ve woken your mum up terrified because your elbow was locked!

    …when you’ve seriously considered writing to a company after they’ve changed any packaging that now makes it impossible for you to use – gah! makes me so mad!

  159. Leanne Hutchings

    Wow I can relate to sooooo many of these….

    You Know You Have Rheumatoid Arthritis When…
    You daily medication routines are larger than your meals….

    You have to sleep in a separate bed to your partner because you find the most impossible positions to sleep comfortable and pain free….

    and I am only 25!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Noooooooooooooo

  160. Jennifer

    When your answer to “How are you feeling?” is

    “I’m ignoring that today.”
    “It’s a good day. It’s only a four (out of ten).”
    “I did laundry today!”
    “I only took one nap today.”

  161. smooch

    Your child has to explain to the pharmacist why you need non-child proof caps, and “NO he doesn’t want to take your medicine, are you crazy?”

  162. Post
  163. Adam Wolfe

    You know you have Ankylosing Spondylitis when you can’t give your kids piggyback rides because of back pain.

  164. Shirley

    when you read everyone else’s replies and know that they apply to you too.
    when you no longer care if the house is clean and tidy anymore because it hurts too much to hold a cloth in your hand to clean with and even if you could it would be dripping with water because you can’t squeeze the excess water out.

  165. Gene Britton

    When your other half (that’s me, BTW) runs to the pharmacy so often that he has become mayor on foursquare.

  166. Krista Stouder

    When you apply more perfume to mask the smell of Icy Hot. You’ve had a child help you get up off the floor. You drink coffee all day to combat fatigue, then regret it when you have to go to the bathroom constantly and it hurts your knee to get off the toilet. When you’re in your 30’s and want to buy lingerie, but instead shop for a raised toilet seat.

  167. Amy

    – When your purse sounds like a giant tic-tac.

    – When your go to answer for “r u limping” is “horrible skydiving accident”

    – When you go to a certain pharmacy because of their perscription bottles odd shape…vs the small round ones you can’t hold onto. Thank you Target

    – When if one more person tells you what Dr. Oz said on his show… you just might have to ask for credintials.

  168. Heather

    You know you have Psoriatic Arthritis when you have put bricks under the clothes line so the kids can hang out the washing!

    when the thick handle on the vegie peeler isn’t thick enough to hold still

    when you take the lift to go on breaks when everyone else walks up the stairs…and get there quicker.

    when your husband comes home from work and sees you lying on the lounge and raises his eyebrows with that look of…looks like I’m cooking/reheating the casserole again. You tell him that you will stop getting casseroles delivered when he stops looking like that when he walks in the door!!

  169. Debra Thorpe

    When you are too tired to teach middle school and have to hand over the reins to an elderly substitute.

  170. Skeeter

    It’s always refreshing to see that I’m not completely off my rocker and that others have the same issues!

    You know you have RA when your kids fight over who gets to apply the icy hot to your back and hips.

    When you weigh the same as when you were 9 months pregnant because of prednisone and lack of exercise.

    When you give away all your very cute high heels that match all the dresses that no longer fit your much larger body because you would be crying before you got out of the room.

    When it takes you all day to clean the bathroom with rests in between each thing.

    When you’re soaking in sweat AFTER taking a shower because it was so much work to get dried off and put clothes on.

    When you have to quit your work at home part time job because even though you only work 20 hours a week, you do transcription.

    When you consider getting a tattoo of a wedding ring because your fingers go from a size 5 to an 8 on a weekly basis.

    When your teenagers are excited to go to Dinsey World with you because they might get to cut in line when you have the wheel chair.

  171. Sandi Cooper

    When you no longer fight the dog (but encourage her) to lick your feet because the warm, wet massage of her tongue feels wonderful! and… no one else in the house wants foot massage duty 🙂

  172. M. Allport

    You know you have rheumatoid arthritis when you fantasize about having knuckles on your hands again instead of just a uni-knuckle.

  173. Sid

    you know you have RA when you have to resort to playing “zombie tag” with your kid because you can only limp across your lawn rather than run lol

  174. Silvia

    When you are trying to bring in groceries and go to grab milk and think it’s in your grip and just falls on the concrete and busts open and you just stand there and watch it go down hill on our driveway and to exhausted from the shopping trip to do anything about it ! Then your OCD husband comes out and freaks out and you let him clean it!

  175. nuria

    …you’re at the hand-specialist ortho because you’re afraid things have progressed so much now you can no longer work at 47.. and she says” why didn’t you just have a baby when this all started- sometimes that snaps people out of it” . And you wanted nothing more at 32 than to have another baby , but they put you on MTX and said DON”T EVEN THINK ABOUT GETTING PREGNANT NOW, and you had to take it because that was the only way to keep walking to take care of the toddler you already had.

  176. Rats

    …when someone wants a high five and you move your hand away at the last second to avoid contact because you can’t bear explaining to another blank face why ‘high fiving’ doesn’t feel like a celebratory gesture

  177. Sargeantmajor

    You baby/toddler proof your house only to find you then can’t open any drawers, cupboards or doors.

    Latest is my 5 year old twin boys understanding that mummy can’t jump on the trampoline with them and being very concerned, asking if you are ok and helping you out whenever you say ‘ow’.

  178. danice

    when you wake up in the morning (after not sleeping due to the pain all night anyway) and you really really have to go to the potty but you are so stiff, swollen and in so much pain that it takes another hour or so before you can make it to the bathroom- 10 feet away! That is after I’ve pried open the non-safety cap med bottle of course 🙂 I’m seriously considering stealing some of my mom’s depends underwear- lol!
    -And finding yourself nodding or saying “oh yeah, that’s me!” to every post on here!
    Thanks guys for sharing & bless every one of you 😀

  179. HayWire0831

    You realize the bar in the handicapped stall in public bathrooms isn’t just for people in wheelchairs. :-\

  180. Lise Jinnah

    When you feel like clunking every older person who insists they too have had arthritis for years and advise you how to manage with linament, but restrain your self only because it will hurt too much to thump ’em! ;p

  181. sherry

    Ya’ll been peaking in my windows (life)! when you are fustrated at saying I can’t do that today, and wondering if there will be a day when I can! I just hate I can’t

  182. Gillian Pidler

    When two years ago you were a part time dinner lady cutting up children’s dinners, and last time you went to a staff dinner your hands hurt so bad you were on the verge of asking one of them to cut yours up for you. (I still get asked to dinner, though I had to retire early).

    When your teenagers tell you as you go out the door ‘Not too much walking around Mum, be careful’.

    When you get a tummy bug your first thought is ‘Oh no my meds won’t stay down’, then you spend a day in agony from codeine withdrawel.

    When you husband automatically takes every bag from the shop assistant and carries them dutifully without being asked.

    When you get excited over a food processor because it’ll make grating cheese and chopping things a doddle. Hubby does all the cooking but I bake occasionally when I feel well enough.

    When you have entire converstations in medical terms & know more about your drugs than your GP does!!

    When your favourite list in your browser is full of surgery research & health sites.

    When hubby sees you in your pjs when he leaves for work and back in them by the time he gets home again!

  183. Chaps

    When u can’t button up yr blouse. When u have to drink yr soup with a straw because u can’t take the spoon to yr mouth. When your 7 yr old kid needs to attach yr bra. When washing yr hair is not an option. When u can’t hug your kid because you are unable to bend your arms. When pressing the channel button is impossible. When going down one floor feels like crossing the arrival line of a marathon…

  184. Aga

    When not being a parent, you plan your romantic outings with your partner for late afternoons/early evenings so you could be back home before 9, cause pass that hour you feel like walking zombie (you look almost as fresh and frisky) 🙂

  185. Aga

    When you raise a glass with your two hands cause it is certain you’d drop it if you’d used only one hand. When being a right-handed person for all your life, at 34 you suddenly realise this is no longer true because somewhere along the way you beca,e left-handed. When a big backpack replaces your beautiful handbags and you gave away all your high heel shoes – which for some reason turned into a medieval tool of torture – and your favorite shoes have either a zipper or do not require fastening at all. When you moved to using voice recognition tools. When you see blank faces as a response to your answer to “how do you feel?” question.

  186. Jerry La Bathe

    When you wake up in the morning with a hangover and you remember that you stopped drinking. Then it dawns on you that you took your mtx last night!

  187. Eileen Shuchat

    You’re out for a meal and you kindly ask that your companion pass you the water/a napkin/the olives on the table, etc. They hand it to you and you outstretch your arm, but it’s bent because your elbow is now so swollen that you can no longer straighten your arm. So there you sit, with your bent arm, looking like a princess who simply refuses to stretch far enough to accept the item being passed to you. Your companion looks at you as if you’re being lazy and unappreciative, and you have to quickly come up with a reason for not reaching far enough. Not wanting to explain your personal health situation, especially if this is a business meal, you not-so-quickly try and rise from your seat to leverage your entire body over the table in order to reach for the water, and you do so with both hands because your wrists hurt so much that there’s no way you can simply hold the item.

    And here’s another one…

    You’re walking in to a building and someone in front of you is kind enough to hold the door open. Social protocol would dictate that you kick it up a notch and walk quicker so you can get through the door, so as not to delay a kind stranger. Only problem is that your body isn’t cooperating. Stranger is getting annoyed. You’re becoming apologetic as people twice your age scoot past you. Rather than explaining your situation you come up with a quick lie about a knee injury and how you were going top speed.

    You realize you have R.A. when you realize you are facing difficult social situations that you hesitate to explain. I haven’t yet met a physician who seems to realize the social impact of this disease. Many are genuinely sympathetic, but there are many social situations that nobody seems to discuss or prepare us to handle.

  188. Tania

    You know you have RA when you have to go to the Supermarket on a walking stick and people stare because I am young and using a walking stick.
    When your son has to help you dress yourself as I am so stiff and it hurts to use the fingers and arms,
    As a mum when your so tired and just can’t manage to do the things that Mum’s would normally do!

  189. mayce

    …..when i had to ask my 7 yr old to open the jar of pickles. or my dt coke that i could get open for 30 minutes. ugh!

  190. Lindsey

    …when the old lady in the commercial saying, “I’ve fallen and I can’t get up!” is no longer funny and you write down the phone number just “in case”. (I am 29 yrs old)

  191. Jodi

    You go grocery shopping, then have to stop at a fast food drive through for dinner because you are too exhausted to cook.

  192. Naomi

    When you have to “scoot” down the stairs on your rear end with your baby in your arms because you are terrified you will either fall or drop him if you would try to walk down the steps. At least the kids found it fun.

  193. rheumerhasit

    When you start thinking of things you will say at work to explain why you are limping, or not using your right hand, etc., because having RA will make your colleagues doubt you can do your job…which you already worry about on a daily basis.

  194. Ellie

    When you hand all your Christmas presents to your boyfriend to open because tape on wrapping paper might as well be a concrete wall as far as your swollen fingers are concerned.

  195. Ellie

    When you’re thrilled to find a super stylish tote bag to hang off your walker and then realize that almost everyone under age 70 won’t even notice the tote bag!

  196. Wendy(Tubagurl)

    Like many others, I am saying “Me too!!!!” Toward the beginning, musical instruments were mentioned… I play(ed) tuba for our Symphony Orchestra… not hauling that thing around anymore feels like a chunk of my identity is missing.

    My other favorite thing is reading… now I can’t hold a hardback, and paperbacks are getting too heavy and and hard to hold… guess it’s almost time for books on tape. :o(

    And crafts are definitely out. I’m trying to teach my husband to cross-stitch so he can finish a table cloth I started! hehehe – it’s not going well! :o)

    You know you have RA when any other person reading this would say, “Sheesh! That lady sure is a whiner! She should get a grip!”

  197. Kathy

    When your friends stop talking about your Ra because they think its all in your head as well as the biggest part of your family does also. They dont ask how I’m doing anymore just say you should get up and move around that will make you feel better, boy I wish that was true.and when you want to work but struggle to get dressed to go is a task alone. These replys helps me know that I am not alone alot of people struggle with everyday task like myself. I was diagnoised with RA when I was 30 yrs old now at 51 I am learning to except the things I cannot change, just try to live everyday that I can and thank God if I can get out of the bed and make it to the bathroom on my own.

  198. Sandi

    When you carry on with “meetings” with the floor on a daily basis and while your down there the first thing out of your mouth is “I really need to use the vacuum cleaner don’t I” lol I sat and read most of everyone’s posts and this feeling of happiness passed over me because I don’t feel so alone any more, just knowing I’m not the only one! 🙂 I fight with jar a lot and I joke saying that maybe its because God knows I’m on a diet and doesn’t want me eating that stuff anyway LOL In the last 6 years I’ve gone from walking 6 miles a day and running 4 miles every morning to not even being able to walk across the street for my groceries, some days I grieve the loss of the old me but from now on I will celebrate that I’m still alive and my mind is sharp and I still have my lousy sense of humour. God bless us all 😀

  199. Melissa

    *When you carry a foldable cane in your purse or car.
    *When your kids have to help button your dress shirts.
    *When you use plastic cups or straws to drink from.
    *When looking for new shoes, it’s all about the sole and build of the shoe, not how cute they are!
    *When you can’t open a public bathroom door to get out.

  200. HayWire0831

    You know you have RA when it’s New Years Eve and around 7:30pm you say “I’m ‘spent’ guys. Gonna have to call it a night!”

  201. Tami

    I had to buy baby clothes with zippers because there was no way I could button up those teeny tiny little buttons!

  202. Katherine

    When your wedding vowels say “when your hips hurt and when they don’t” instead of “in sickness and in health”

  203. Kim

    When you not only have to count one two three, you have to rock back and forth to build up the momentum you need. (In response to: ‎”You know you have RA when you count to three every single time you’re about to get up.”)

  204. Tracy Pierce

    Megan – so right there with ya on the bra thing.

    When you buy a bottle of water at a drive thru then realize you forgot your bottle opener/gripper at home and you have to drive back thru and get a soda because you don’t wanna ask the drive thru person to open your water you just bought ( this has happened to me alot back when i worked, I always had to get my coworkers to open my drinks, very embarrassing)

  205. Tracy Pierce

    When you have to use the public bathroom and the handicap is full and you wonder and worry if you will be able to get back up off the toilet yourself or will you have to call for backup because there are no bars to hold on too to help you get back to your feet.

  206. Robert Wallace

    When your favorite Kitchen appliances are scissors, and pliers. I keep a multi tool (letherman) handy next to the coffee pot. When I can’t pinch it can.

  207. Kaz

    You pick up your months supply of drugs from the pharmacy and they don’t have a carrier bag big enough to accommodate it all

  208. Bailey

    You know you have jra (juvenile rheumatoid arthritis) when everybody in your grade knows you as the one who is always hurt. They don’t even know anything..

  209. Sam

    When you have your tubes banded, to minimize the risk of a second pregnancy, since you can barely take care of your 1 year old.

    When you’re on first name basis with your doctor.

    When all you have to do is hand the water bottle/peanut butter jar/pill bottle/etc. to your husband and don’t even have to say anything, and he just opens it.

  210. Post
  211. Andy

    When you set your alarm 20 minutes early because you know thats how long it will take you to put on pants and socks.

    When you havent made love to your wife in nearly a year because it just hurts too much.

    When you are close to losing your job because they do not believe you are going to the doctor as much nor do they believe you have any disease at all.

  212. HayWire0831

    You know you have RA when you wear your slippers to the grocery store because putting on your tennis shoes seems like “too much work”.

  213. Jen

    When you suddenly wince in pain and say that your hand/knee/foot (add in your joint here)hurts and your husband asks “Why? What happened? What did you do?” and you answer “Absolutely nothing”.

  214. Jen

    When you have heard on more than one occasion from those healthy people trying to help that getting stung my masses of angry bees is supposed to cure this disease. (sick freaks!)

  215. Jen

    When you go downstairs to get something. You finally make it down to the bottom of the staircase and you forget what you came for. So you hang out for awhile trying desperately to figure out what it was that you came down for. Decide to give up and go back upstairs to rest. Make it to the top of the stairs and suddenly remember what it was you were supposed to get but are too exhausted to attempt the trip again.

  216. Tricia

    Having read the above comments where they all ring a bell in one way or another lol, my comment is; “when you can’t pop the painkillers out of the bubble pack because your hands are too sore”. “When you can’t press the button on your deodorant, perfume, body spray etc.

  217. Post
    RA Guy

    …when you recognize more than half of the medicines, diseases, and treatments that are mentioned in any one episode of House, M.D. (television show).

  218. Sarah

    RA Guy – your last entry had me laughing so hard I woke up my girls! House is my favorite show.

    I’m so glad I read this list. It definitely proves I’m not alone. Plus its awesome to know that its okay to laugh at these situations (^_^)

  219. Liz

    When you burn the side of your neck with a curling iron when your hand spasms as you are doing your hair and you drop the darn thing. Instead of learning your lesson the first time, you drop it on a different occasion and try to grab it mid fall and get the ceramic barrel instead of the cool handle. Now you really have swelling and pain times two fold.

  220. Liz

    When a HOT pair of shoes does not mean a darling pair of pumps/stilettos but a decent pair of flats that won’t pinch and looks better than something my grandmother would wear.

  221. Sarah

    When you have a jacket and/or blanket in just about every room of the house. When your only fashion accessories are your oh so colorful wrist braces, fingerless gloves, or wacky socks… Because you actually need them! When you think its going to be an awesome day because you opened your medicine bottle without assistance or on the first try! When you look forward to when your children take their naps because you can use them as an excuse to take one too!

  222. Barbara

    When you wake up in the middle of the night to switch to your other side, because the pain in your hip is so bad you can’t take it anymore . . . and then you have to keep doing that every hour or so until you finally give up and get out of bed.

  223. Ursla

    You know when….
    Your 56 year old mother, whose father had RA, tells her 35 year old daughter to get tested and she goes online to research ra and realizes all the testing she has insisted on for her thyroid to her endocrnologist because her type 1diabetes is under the best control its everbeen in 17 years and she still feels like an eighty year old has probably been a waste of time because I feel like laughing and crying at the same time because I can relate to all your stories. I called my endocrinologist and go for the blood test next week.

  224. pat watanabe

    bust out laughing so hard reading these comments, that my husband comes to check to see if I am ok! Then I thought to myself (HEY I FEEL BETTER) So along with all my meds I need to read this every day for relief.

  225. Jill

    1. Decorating your crutches is classified as a craft and hobby!
    2. You enjoy sipping hot tea in the summertime!
    3. You’re the only one in the gym with two knee braces and a wrist brace but are working out harder than the muscle men!
    4. You are obsessed with your new electric can opener!
    5. You use the kiddy shopping cart for light grocery shopping, instead of the hand basket!

  226. Gina

    When you are 49 but feel like an 89 year old.

    When you are right-handed but become adept at doing things left-handed because your left hand is a little better than your right.

    When you could open nothing with one of these>>>

  227. elizabeth

    You have a mouse on the left side of your desk and a trackball on the right; which one gets used depends on which hand is functioning better.

    You stand in the middle of Crate & Barrel picking out dishes and glasses based not on aesthetics, but their chances of not being dropped on the floor.

    You plan routes while driving to minimize lane changes, so you don’t have to glance over your shoulder, thus causing it to hurt more.

  228. Paula

    When for Christmas your daughter who normally gives you perfume or a pretty blouse gives you a snuggle blanket to keep yourself warm in the evenings and a wheat bag to put in the microwave oven for your sore joints………..and your pleased she did!!!!

    When you undress for bed and just manage to take off your trousers and get in bed with your T shirt and bra on because it hurts too much to take them off.

    When you have to try to get dressed wet in the morning after your shower because you had to give up trying to dry yourself because it hurts too much.

    When your trying to blow dry your hair (something that always had to look perfect) and then give up and think that it will have to do.

    When you have to take your ‘special pillow’ away with you on holiday so that your neck and head don’t hurt too much the next day.

  229. Dreamzncolor

    All of these really hit the nail on the head.

    When you take forever to go down 1 short flight of stairs.
    When you’re mother-in-law reserves a wheelchair for you on a tour.
    When you hold your newborn and everyone stares and asks if you need help. They think you’re going to drop it, and you’re thinking if there is one thing that this RA isn’t going to do is keep me from holding my baby. I don’t even offer to hold babies anymore. My babies are just fine at 2 and 6, thank you! = )

    I have to say, though I have lost range of motion and do have deformities, I feel much better and reading these posts reminded me of a world I once endured. Hang in there. I don’t know what exactly did the trick for me, but I can tell you what I take. Enbrel 50mg once a week and Etodolac AKA Lodine 400mg twice a day (when I wake up and at dinner time). Maybe it’s the two kids too. Stretching really helps as well. May you all keep finding strength!

  230. Chris

    When, tears streaming, you have to wake your wife at 3 am because you cant open your meds without help, so you can be less tired and she can be more

    When you sell the car you dreamed of owning because you cant drive it anymore

  231. Marie

    You’re in your 30’s, and you get super excited when a new type of pain patch comes out.

    You need a special closet for your collection of heating pads, neck wraps, cold patches, heated gloves and warming booties.

    You have to buy rings a size or two too large just to fit over your huge knuckles.

  232. Holly

    LOL I identify will ALL of these…Especially the falling asleep in a chair…ANYWHERE….I have so done that on MANY occasions! LOL

  233. Melissa

    Your idea of “working out” is doing your long list of PT excercises that each of your various ortho docs give you.

  234. Robin Hamm

    When your doc’s assistant calls to tell you that blood work looks good and you casually mention that your massage therapist mentioned your elbow is ‘hot’ and it hurts… and the doc calls back immediately to have you come in to see about aspirating fluid and do a steroid shot!

    When you have roaming pain. When every time you see friends your old pain is mysteriously gone and seemingly unrelated pain has popped up elsewhere.

    When you have 5 places to be for Christmas and you choose to stay home alone crying.

    When you are afraid to begin a relationship…because if you really love someone…why in the world would you stick them with being your carer?

    You have more online friends than f2f friends… because it doesn’t require moving.

    When you have to watch a movie 4x (or more) to either stay awake thru it…or understand it.

    When you get a slight cold and stress out about the cost of an emergency room visit.

    When you wear a hot uncomfortable face mask for 8 hours while flying to Europe…to avoid getting sick.

    When you have to decide whether or not your have the strength to open the back door to let the dog out to pee…and sometimes you don’t make it…so the dog goes inside. 🙁

    gawd I cud go on for hours.

  235. Robin Hamm

    You have pants ranging 6 sizes AND have to keep them all because it just keeps changing. Same thing with jewelry and shoes!

    You have no schedule…other than the one your body decides for you.

  236. Elizabeth (Lizzee) Laurino

    Your Rheumatologist asks you how long your morning stiffness lasts at 3:00 in the afternoon and you point to your watch.

  237. Libby Schou-Kristensen

    …when your tupperware containers have teeth marks!

    …when you experience joy unspeakable at a public toilet that is high enough!

    …when you have to ask for a higher chair in the changeroom before you can try on clothes!

    …when you sit on the arms of chairs in waitingrooms because all the seats are too low!

  238. Stevi

    …when you cut your hair as short as possible because it is too painful to brush what’s left after the mtx has fried it.
    …when you collect more medical specialists than boys collect baseball cards.
    …when you go for a CT scan and the technician can’t beleive the scarring from all the draws for blood work.

  239. jaemae

    When you sometimes wonder what’s the point anymore.How long can someone be expected to live like this fully knowing it’s the rest of your life. And you feel like a burdon and useless to your family because you can’t work anymore. ANd then some how stumble on to this site and feel a little lifted. I can relate to nearly everyone of these posts. Thanks for this site RA Guy and all the posters. It’s my new source for living with all things RA. xoxxo

  240. Brenda K.

    When you are just too tired to get out of bed to give your injection, that takes less than 5 minutes.

  241. Roslyn

    When I go to bed, I have to wear a rolled up towel to support my neck on my Obusform pillow. Also haven’t had a bath in years, too hard to get in and out of the tub – showers are the order of the day. Already had both my knees replaced before the age of 55. 🙁

  242. Echo

    – When you’re waiting outside a classroom for your next college class and sit down on the dirty floor because your ankles can’t take it anymore.
    – When you ask a complete stranger to open your water bottle.
    – When people assume you aren’t trying hard enough.
    – When you can’t sleep because there is NO possible way to be comfortable.
    – When you give yourself Enberel injections at age 18.
    – When your once small, beautiful hands swell up and look like sausage fingers and you want to hide them.
    – When you can’t take notes in class.
    – When people run ahead of you and you have to ask them to wait up.
    – When everyone around you and hear your pain meds jingle in your purse.
    – When you have to email your professors multiple times a week and explain, and then realize that they won’t get it.

  243. Heather

    You have the WEIRDEST, most nonsensical pains, symptoms and illnesses. Doctors scratch their heads when you try to tell them what’s going on…

  244. jaemae

    When cleaning your house used to be important to you. Now you say F—k it. It’ll have to wait till I can do it…. when I can do it.

  245. Anne

    I can relate to so many of these. I do not have RA, but UCTD … overlapping autoimmune diseases .. polymyositis, sjogren’s (not just dry eyes at all, fyi … in case you’re not familiar) and scleroderma …. and I do have joint pain – not as much as the rest of you, however I am very weak and I cannot open lots of bottles, jars, etc. The rest of my tissues (the T in UCTD) hurt, too… as I’m sure they do for all of you.

    SO I tend to subscribe to RA blogs, threads, facebook pages, etc, 🙂

    Robin Hamm I can relate to almost everything you said. I live alone and nodded to every one of your sentences. Also, the person that said they don’t date because they don’t want to be a burden.

    When you lose your sense of pride about your home decor ..

    When your coworkers keep saying “you should come to the gym with us” and I try to explain … that kind of exercise can set me back …

    When your therapist can’t make heads or tails of you …

    When you are sick, know you need antibiotics, and are so fatigued/tired/exhausted that you can’t even dress, get in a car and drive yourself to the emergency clinic

    When your list of things to do has been pretty much the same for 2 years. (only keeps growing).

    When you just can’t explain to people the difference between the person you were when you were in remission (and perhaps a different diagnosis or none at all yet) and the person you are now.

    When you have to cancel doctor appointments because you can’t make it because of fatigue!

    OH the person who said they have to watch movies more than once .. that happens to me, not because I fall asleep, but for your second reason, I just don’t understand stuff like I used to!

    I can’t concentrate enough to read a book anymore, 🙁 So I read short magazine articles. Same ones, over and over (kidding, kind of …)

  246. Jeff

    When you start looking for what is causing the pain in your feet and realize its only the weight of the blanket.

    When you notice the elastic in new socks is to much to deal with and wonder if your son would wear them a few weeks to get them broken in.

    When you wonder if the same son would break in those new shoes.

  247. Lynn

    I relate to many of these comments, and it helps to know I’m not alone; for me it’s the fatigue that always seems so overwhelming, and never feeling refreshed, or being somewhere and feeling like I’ve hit the wall all of a sudden, or the pain that brings me to tears when I hit a joint….

  248. Phoof

    When the glasses at most resturants are too heavy so you have to get to-go cups with lids.
    When even your clothes make you hurt.
    When you pour all meds into a waterproof tackle box so you don’t have to open bottles daily.
    When your hubby gives you your meds when he leaves for work so that they will have time to kick in hours later when you wake.
    When you hope there is a shopping scooter at wal-mart.

  249. Phoof

    When you have to quit nursery duty at church because you can’t pick up the babies.
    When the other women ask you why you don’t take your turn.
    When you can’t make it to church because it starts at 10 am and you just can’t do morning anymore.

  250. Phoof

    When you find a pair of shoes that don’t hurt you buy them in bulk.
    I could go on but will save some for another day

  251. Caroline Rich

    You know you have rheumatoid arthritis when double dares start to involve things such as knee squats, running up the stairs, and lifting a gallon of milk.

    You begin to imagine that being a vegan involves not chewing on a nice juicy steak. 🙂

  252. Emma

    When you are glad you did the nurse’s aide training pre-diagnosis because now you know all the range-of-motion stretches 😀

  253. Becky

    When your children have to pull the wet clothes from the sides of
    When you cant zip your jeans
    when you feel your hands in pain even when you sleep
    when you cant get out of a room ( door knob)

  254. Becky

    i found this site yesterday and wrote a comment then this morning im
    here trying to type one out now with hands that say no,,
    reading these i am saying i know that too.
    i used to say i had a good day now its been years and years
    since ive said that cant remember a good day.
    i guess i look at it that a good day is im breathing

  255. Lauren

    You know you have RA when you to bed hoping to wake up to a better day and knowing that even when you wake up to the worst pain in the morning – they day can only get better from there.

    Keep fighting.

  256. Aggie

    When you wear short sleeves in winter because the inflammation keeps you so very warm…

    When you hold your friend’s hands at church because her hands are ice cold and you both want to just say “Ahhhhhhhh…that feels wonderful!”

  257. Anne

    you have to ask every single time you need to open a bottle of water

    You end up eating only things which come pre-chopped up as cutting up veggies and meat is pretty much impossible

    You can;t run adventure races any more or climb coz your knees/fingers will give out after about a minute 🙁

  258. Angie

    You know you have RA when….

    …your dream car would have steering levers like your riding lawn mower!!

  259. Aggie

    When all of a sudden, for no particular known reason, you feel really pretty good for a change, and even though it’s so late you don’t want to go to bed for fear of missing even a moment of this wonderful feeling. Eventually, you do go to sleep, and awake the next day back in the same pain you nearly ALWAYS feel.

  260. Girija Raman

    When you cannot open a reagent bottle cap in the morning, zip up your surgery gown at 8.00am but at 4.00pm it seems like you can run a marathon

  261. Tasha

    You know have RA, when your 23 month old child has to open a box of instant oatmeal because you can’t and then you have to use scissors to open the packet just so you can make an “easy” breakfast for your child.

  262. mrs. w.

    –> you ask the kid at the drive thru window to open your bottle of water for you and then you drop the cap between your seats when he hands it to you! DOH! <–

  263. Tanja

    When your hands hurt after pushing your kids at the swing.
    When you need a nap after one hour playground.
    When your son of 5 tells his teacher, that is mommy has a body of a very old person, everything hurts..

  264. Fernanda

    When you don’t want to give up your seat to a 60 year old lady… =D jajajajajajajajajaja, also people look at you with a frown because you are sitting in the handicap seat in the bus, because RA is not a noticible disease… when you have to explain to the rest of your peers that you can’t go rock climbing even though you are 22..

  265. Sherri

    Instead of sighing over cute heels and delicate stilettos you browse the birkenstocks, rockports and clarks and think “boy don’t those look comfortable and supportive!”

  266. Ann

    When you rush to the pharmacy to refill a script that is being taken off the market cause you know it works for you when the others only make ya puke.

  267. Ann

    And: when you turn on the shower then realize you cant lift your arms to get your shirt off. You just stand infront of the shower crying cause you know if you got in the shower your shoulders would feel so much better but now your in a tee shirt prison.

  268. Joy

    When the druggie’s WANT your illness so they can get all the pills like you do !!! They can have ALL my pills, but PLEASE take the RA with it as well !! :):):)

  269. carrie

    When you have to take pain meds while still in the bed, crank up the electric mattress pad and wait 30-40 minutes before attempting to get up and make it to the shower.

  270. E.B.

    ~ When you ask work’s wellness nurse about ways to work with RA, and she immediately can’t keep her eyes off your hands, and has no idea how to help – even at every required annual visit.
    ~ When you’re next in line for the job promotion and been training in that capacity for over two years, but are passed over for an external candidate because your boss is concerned that your FML will ALLOW you to be absent too much.
    ~ When you remind your seven year old that his future wife will be a lucky lady because he knows how to rub feet and backs like a pro, and can brush hair until it shines.
    ~ When your 11 year old helps to dress and undress you most times; suffers from worrying about her mother dying from RA; and deliberately not sharing requests for parent-help at school functions because she knows you can’t muster the energy.
    ~ When your estranged husband begins to realize that you REALLY do have RA, Fibromyalgia and Degenerative Disk Disease JUST LIKE YOU SAID when you lived together but he didn’t believe you until AFTER he moved out because he still has to help pay the medical bills. Then you realize you’re glad he’s move out except for the loss of help with the yard work.
    ~ When you lie to your coworkers that the wrist braces are for carpel tunnel. And “yes, the handicapped plaque is because of that slipped disk that just won’t heal right.”
    ~ Back when your four year old asks about the “branches” on your back when referring to your surgery scars. And after the explanation, uses the phrase “my back hurts too much” or “I am so ‘zausted, I need to rest” when its time for his chores.
    ~ When the child who most takes after you physically complains of ANY ache, your heart skips a beat as guilt waves over you with fear that you’ve given him another family curse.
    ~ When your second grader has to keep a food log at school to see if it is a food allergy or the early signs of FM. Only to have IBS confirmed two years later, and then hoping her fatigue is due to lots of physical activity and not FM. Then you try to be positive and upbeat but let her stay home whenever her stomach aches because is it an excuse to stay home in bed and rest yourself.
    ~ When “coming out” means confessing your RA at work or to friends because you are concerned at how they will take it.
    ~ When you try to be practical in discussing legal information with your parents about caring for your children and the physical help you’ll eventually need, and you have to pause frequently because your mother leaves the room to cry only to come back and everyone pretends she’s not so she can be strong for you.
    ~ When you really stop to look at the sky, and the flowering trees, and the color of your children’s eyes, and their laughs. Remembering it all.
    ~ When you have a list of things ‘to do’ when you become bed-bound that you hope the meds won’t interfere wit like learning a new language, and memorize scene details when watching old movies to play “does it fit the movie’s time period” with my family.
    ~ When other comments on this page reflect so much of your life that you feel you could have written almost every one as you laugh or cry at the realization; all the while being grateful that YOU AREN’T ALONE any more.

  271. cheryl cirko

    *When you have to replace the brackets on your base kitchen cabinets.

    *when your 5 year old can braid her own hair

    *When you can teach the occupational therapist something new

    *shopping for a hair dryer you only care how light it is

    *using the Gerber chunky spoon and forks that belong to your little ones

    *knowing you helped your orthopedic surgeons’ children attend an ivy league college

  272. Mombeenthere

    When you’re so exhausted that you just can’t sleep, which only complicates the problems with fatigue and the pain.
    When the brain fog is so thick you don’t know where your pain really is.

  273. Nikki

    When you get nasty looks and notes on your car for being a seemingly normal looking 21-year-old girl and parking in a handicap spot!

    You have a list of random excuses in your head for when people ask you why you’re limping. I’d rather lie and make up a sports injury than hear “oh you’re too young for arthritis” or “oh my grandma has arthritis” I would punch them if I could even make a fist 🙂

    Your boyfriend had no idea what the hell he was getting himself into when you told him about your RA.

  274. M. Allport

    You know you have RA when your doctor is converting your paper chart (27 years worth) to an electronic file and when she starts entering the “failed medications,” – the computer CRASHES!!! because there are sooo many.

  275. Melissa

    When you wait until you almost pee yourself to get up and go to the washroom because walking to the bathroom is such an ordeal.

  276. KellyRH

    When you are happy it is Wednesday cause its half way to the weekend where you can rest up for another week of work. Ugh!

  277. Lynn

    When you realize that it is not the onset of the common cold… but the aches, sleepiness, fogginess, and mental lethargy are the precursors to a flare.

    And the opposite side of the coin, when it takes you 3 months of suffering from a recurring nasty cold/flue to realize that you might want to ask for antibiotics instead of just chalked it up to R/A (than goodness I did)!

  278. Vicki

    * When cankles (huge swollen ankles) are a daily part of life.
    * You try to figure out inventive ways to get the lid off your biro so you don’t have to ask for help.

  279. HayWire0831

    You know you have RA when you can’t put your smartphone in sleep mode without it being painful and difficult. I mean, C’MON. Really?

  280. Sian

    When you have to work up the courage to get out of the shower, then dry yourself and get dressed.

  281. Becky

    You have to ask complete strangers to help you pump gas at the gas station because you can’t get the gas cap off the car.

  282. Becky

    When your once pretty handwriting looks more like chicken scratches.

    When your 7 year old begs you to go for a bike ride and cries when you try to explain to him that mommy can’t hold the handle bars.

    When you used to take pride in keeping your house clean, but now you do just enough to look like you tried.

    When you have to wait until someone else is home to do any baking because you can’t get the pan in and out of the oven by yourself.

    When the laundry piles up because you can’t get the basket down the stairs.

    When the pharmacist knows your face and knows what you will be asking for without even looking it up.

    When driving for long period of time is extemely painful and you have to keep switching hands on the steering wheel.

  283. Becky

    When you look forward to your next visit with the rheumatologist hoping he will increase or change your medication because what you’re taking now isn’t helping as much as it used to.

    When you find yourself wondering what condition you will be in this time next year.

    When someone asks you to do something you used to do with ease, but now you can’t and you have to explain, yet again, that it hurts too much to do it this time.

    When you are so tired after a day of work, that all you want to do is go to bed.

  284. Terri

    I am soso glad I found you guys. Reading all of these replies has answered alot of questions I have had regarding my fabulous future and alot of them have me questioning if some of you are living inside of me. You know you have RA when you are accepted into an RA Research, even tho some wacko doctors will tell you they don’t think you have RA. You know you have RA when you have a positive Rheumatoid Factor. You know you have RA when HOT POKERS are stabbing the joints throughout your fingers and hands. Love and hugs to all of you’ Terri

  285. Becky

    When part of your Saturday routine is refilling the days of the week pill box with the myriad of pills and going to pharmacy to refill the scripts you’re out of.

  286. BethB

    you know you have RA when…

    you need both a shower and an oil change for your car desperately, but only have energy for one or the other.

    See you later, off to get my oil changed. many miles over due

    Beth B

  287. Mara

    When people ask you why you are so pissed off, and you realize that’s just the face you make when you are trying to look happy but are in excruciating pain.

    When you boss makes fun of how you are holding something (not knowing you have RA) and you laugh your way to the bathroom to cry.

    When you go ‘goth’ in high school just to wear lacy gloves that hid how red and swollen your hands are.

    When your mom tells you its all in your head because after the first trip to a rheumatologist the doc said the blood work all came back normal and you feel like all the kids in school who say they are depressed and lonely don’t know the the first fucking thing about being alone.

    When you hope orthopedic socks will come into fashion. (maybe I can just play it off like I just got done with volleyball practice?)

    When you buy a bag of ice on the way home from work and immerse your feet in an ice bath when your friends all went to have a beer to end the day.

    When your fridge breaking down means more than just an ‘inconvenience’ because you have to run around town looking for a fridge to store your expensive medication. OH, and you have to figure out how to tell your professor that’s why you didn’t make it to class.

  288. Elizabeth (Lizzee)

    When you declare everything below your knees “not your business” and move all your clothing up higher in the dresser.

  289. Deb

    When your brother gets mad at you for kicking his door because it hurts too much to knock using knuckles, hands, elbows, or wrists.

    When you decide never to have children because you don’t want to risk passing your RA to them.

    When you haven’t dated in over a year because you don’t think anyone could love a person like you.

    When you only buy pre-cut fruit (despite the cost), and have to cook all of your veggies to make them softer so you can actually eat them.

    When you haven’t slept in days due to pain and are so tired from CF/fibro and people tell you to stop complaining, because they haven’t slept well either.

  290. Deb

    When you feel under pressure to do everything you want from life because wonder how much time you have left before you are unable to do anything anymore.

  291. Deb

    When every morning you make toast or tea, you hover your hands over the appliance to warm your joints!

  292. Maira

    When you wake up and go to sleep crying because the pain is unbearable.
    or when your husband has to brush your hair, dress you and put your shoes on.

  293. Mara

    When you try to teach someone something in sign language, try to correct them because they are doing it COMPLETELY wrong, then realize they are just mimicking what your fingers are actually doing. Then make a mental note to never try to use sign in public ever again because you might accidentally be swearing.

  294. Cindy Souza

    When you HAAVE to ask your spouse for assistance in the bathroom, because your dominant hand will not work today! RA can be very degrading and very humbling!

  295. Sara

    … when every year you get a new set of glasses because the set you got the year before have all been broken.

    …when everyone in the family knows that all you want for Christmas is new fuzzy fleece pajamas, fuzzy socks and a new electric blanket.

    …when your 4 year old son looks at your hands and says, “Mommy, there’s something wrong with your hands. I’ll become a doctor and fix them for you.”

  296. Mary B

    you have your own parking place at the hospital (I wish) and an invite to the hospital Christmas do!

  297. Natalie

    When baths become your best friend, and when you want to hit someone when they say ‘oh I sometimes get pain in my knee too!!’

  298. Raquel

    When you take a pay cut to work less hours(from full-time to part-time) and wonder how long you can keep up the part time hours before you can’t work at all.

    When your family knows you are flaring because your linguistic skills are shot; you go from being a polyglot to mixing words and languages because you are fogging so bad.

    When you can’t commit to any social engagements because you are not sure how sick you will be. The thought of traveling in a car scares you.

    When you have to give up your shift-stick car because your ankles and wrists hurt too much.

    When you want to punch someone for suggesting special “powders/meds/liquids/diets” that will cure your RA…

  299. BethB

    When your two most used kitchen tools are scissors and needle nose pliers.

    When you start buying individully packaged grapefruit slices, cuz preparing fresh is no longer efficient, then realize you can’t grip tight enough to peel the plastic lid off…enter needle nose pliers.

  300. Patricia

    When you can’t find the strength to use anything with buttons – the microwave, TV remote, cell phone.

  301. Aggie

    When the good days are fewer and fewer. And you are grateful for every moment of them, but miss them terribly. When you’re single, just bought a ranch house a few months ago because the steps of the 2-story were too much, and now you’re worried you won’t be able to keep working to pay it off. It’s so scary to be alone. You don’t want to be a burden and just want to be loved like everyone does, only you don’t think anyone will every look past the issues. Tough to feel unlovable isn’t it?

  302. Aggie

    How weird! I happened to have that thought as I finished doing a tiny bit of grocery shopping tonight!

  303. Becky

    When you do a better job at predicting the weather by your pain than the local weather forecaster does with his technology!

  304. Rhiannon

    – When you have to get your 59 year-old dad to put your hair up
    – When you’re terrified to meet new people because handshakes hurt so much
    – When you’re only 22 and feel like your life is over/fear for your future, dreams, and ambitions

  305. Katrina

    You feel self concious walking around in public because you have a limp.
    It takes you 2 hours to get out of my bed in the morning just because you know how much it’s going to hurt.
    You can’t jump up to get anything like you used to and everything takes a lot more time.

  306. Roxanne

    When you struggle to open a toy for your blind son for so long that he says “Never mind I got this”!!! 🙂

  307. Kym

    When zippers & buttons are at the top of your “Things I Hate” list! When you carry your on large cushioned pen everywhere because using any other pen is not only hard to grip, it also makes your hands hurt when you write with them.

  308. RAW

    *When you discuss your future “dream house” with your husband, and all the items on your wish list are about the bathroom (tall toilet with rail grip, seat and multiple rail grips in the bathtub/shower…)!

    *When you add a little extra limp to your walk (as if you needed to, anyway) as you walk away from a handicap parking spot, with your eyes at the ground, ’cause you look too young and healthy to need the spot- but your knees are truly killing you that day and you need to make it back to your car after walking around the market!

    *When you see a woman in adorable high-high heels and think…”Ouch!”…and you have given up anything cute and without support in exchange for slip-on tennis shoes (at age 32)!

    *When you see a TV commercial for an RA medication, and wonder what drug the lady in the commercial is taking, ’cause it sure isn’t the one they are advertising! (you would know, you tried it already)!

    *When being spontaneous means making plans the night before ’cause your knees don’t hurt too bad, and you figure you can take an extra dose of prednisone (which you hate), and a vicodin!

    *When you are thankful every day that your husband is so supportive and such a good jar/bag/pill bottle opener, hair washer, bra-clasper, laundry-washer, cook, and on and on and on……..!

    *When you love finding sites like this because you don’t feel alone!!!!

  309. Bryan

    When everyone else complains about how bad common aches and pains are. Really!? I’ll trade them at any time. I so miss common aches and pains at the end of a busy day. And then maybe just take a couple of Advil or something and rest for a few minutes and be fine again. Oh, those were the days!

  310. Bridgette

    When you choose a bf based on his ability to lift you off the ground at a moments notice.

  311. Socalgirl

    …..when you’re 39, but have had RA for 19 years and the reality that no one wants to be around the sick girl, anymore.
    Watching all of your friends, family… Husband, leave because you’re not getting better and the 18th surgery in 6 years is quickly approaching.
    Actually resenting cancer patients for their illness..they have understanding people around them and everyone knows their illness. If they die, it’s usually within a few years and well before they ever experience having to be completely alone.
    Even though I don’t eat but maybe once a day…gaining 40lbs from prednisone and having your doc have the audacity to tell you to lose weight.
    And, everything else mentioned on this site….but, still have hope that a remission is right around the corner.

  312. Socalgirl

    ….finding a site like this and finally feeling like you’re not alone and you’re disease is real. Finally being able to laugh again. Thank you, so much, RA Guy!

  313. Tioem

    When you realize that the potential side-effects from scary medications are a WAY BETTER option than this continued pain.

  314. Shelly

    You know you have RA when

    *getting out of bed takes everything you have

    *when did the shower bathtub get SO tall? When did the toilet get SO low?

    *crazy random (and constant) pain that takes your breath away

    *nights feel either really long or really short

    *your husband becomes your superhero for washing your hair, helping to dress you, and taking care of everything with no complaint.

    *half brushed hair is awesome

    *curling eyelashes and makeup application is like heavyweight lifting

    *you feel like there should be an awards ceremony on days you can wash dishes and do laundry

    *your superhero mom with a bad back does your gardening while you sit and watch

    *you cannot squeeze or hug anyone to show affection and gratitude

    *you dread people touching you during conversation and wish to be in an actual bubble

    *handshakes… to be rude or to hurt?

    *those damn pill containers!

    *your kitties/dogs lick your hands and it’s like a gentle massage

    *you go to bed filled with hope that tomorrow will be a good day

    *if one more person says they have arthritis too… It’s going to get ugly 🙂

  315. Socalgirl

    ……you have to ask your neighbor to sit on your couch while you take a shower… Just in case you fall… Again.

  316. HayWire0831

    When you recognize “the new person” at the pharmacy and they say “what’s the name?”. I just think ‘it’s okay, they’re new’.

  317. Donna

    When you call your Son in tears because you can’t “work” the screwdriver
    When you no longer undo the clasps on your bra but just pull them over your head like a jumper or T-shirt
    When your child does almost all the cooking
    When driving for a long time you worry about being able to get out of the seat at your destination

  318. rebecca cleveland

    it takes a half an hour to be intimate with your husband and 27 of those minutes is trying to find a position that doesn’t hurt your hips or knees

  319. serenityvalleygirl

    When your cancer-survivor mom, who will have a feeding tube in for life, says she wishes that she could give you her health and and take yours.

  320. Julia Black

    Hi fellow RA people,
    What an experience we have as we suffer for…what?
    I will say that RA has taught me many things…
    Whatever I have learned in the past…skiing, horseback riding, heavy gardening…
    I still have this knowledge and experience…
    I may not be able to use my body to do menial tasks…
    But the best things I still am able to do…
    Love, understand, give guidance, pray, learn…
    My journey may be much more intense with RA but I know it’s okay to feel overwhelmed…
    When I’m honest about my feelings I find the strength to face fear and terror…
    I see that RA gives me a platform to better myself on.
    Admitting my weakness can bring a knowing smile to someone’s face… When I appreciate the small beauties around me I’ve learned to love and appreciate my own value.
    I’m a 49 year old single mother of 5 children…have had both hips replaced…spent the past 11 months in bed fighting infection.
    Taken biologic medication (frightening when you see the possible side effects) Now that I’ve had Staff infection I’m no longer allowed to take it… I actually look forward to MethTrex again, knowing it can help to gain better mobility and hopefully work and ability to support my family.
    I am using ice, diet, exercise, rest and positive attitude to help me live with RA.
    So… with dignity,
    I tell you that courage is a gift found because of RA.
    We should live our lives with pride and gratitude…
    I believe my doctor and medical team are supporting me with their best.

  321. Bomber

    When your teenage kids won’t walk beside you at the footy coz you’re in your electric scooter.

  322. Bomber

    When your chemist smiles as you walk in the door and tells you about the exotic holiday they’re about to book.

  323. Socalgirl

    When you develop a logical treatment plan for your Orthopedic Surgeons to follow, but they think you’re nuts……place me in a drug induced coma for 2 months while all of your fingers, wrists, elbows, knees, hips, shoulders and neck are replaced and cleaned out so, at least for 3-5 years, you will be surgery free (and wake me after the stitches are removed!). It’s gotta be better than general anesthesia, another 18 times, don’t you think?

    All you want to do is go on vacation, but your surgeries and various treatments prevent you from going anywhere. Besides, the thought of traveling alone with your luggage, scooter and cane is exhausting! By the time you make it through security, you’re ready for a nap!

  324. Socalgirl

    When your child gives you a gentle High Five, but ends up popping the tendon out of the joint, requiring yet another surgery. Now, at 12, we call her the enforcer of the family; don’t upset her or she’ll give you a High Five, too!

  325. Cindy Zellers

    When I am starving because I haven’t eaten much today but I am too tired to make anything to eat.

  326. Kate

    When without even being diagnosed yet (26) you are finding out what the province offers in terms of disability support

  327. Shelly Tate

    When you feel relieved to find other people are suffering with RA as much as you are! No really, you all are a crack up but in a most genuine way. THANK YOU for the laughs and tears 😉

  328. Yasmeen

    I don’t have RA, but with Lupus, the joint pain is a part of the deal, too. I have to keep shoes close by, because it feels like walking on rocks. Some days if I take the right cocktail, I can feel “normal.” Other days I’m in so much pain, I go online trying to find natural remedies. I used to have lung inflammation, chronic fatique, and migraines. No more, thank God! I may not be able to walk fast, but I’m grateful to breathe and get around. The worse is that nobody gets it and can’t sympathize. I couldn’t breath for a month, so I took a leave of absence to rest and go to multiple doctors. When I returned, I was asked by my boss if I still wanted my job, because I took time off! I guess he thought I was vacationing, and not understanding I was home doing breathing exercises and using a nebulizer. I hate him. Everyone was falling over this girl with a cold at work, but I’m in PAIN everyday of my life and nobody understands. I’m done with that! I don’t care anymore, I do what I have to do to stay functional and out of bed. If I feel good, I don’t need to worry about sympathy!

  329. Radha Kattayam

    good comments. some made me really laugh good after a long time. and some really made me tearful, sad, and pity (ourselves).

    i wish my hubby read all these comments and laugh first and then understand what we all go thru exactly.

    here is my story. i know i have ra
    -when i no longer feel like brush my hair and just clip the hair up.
    -when i break into tears when my toddler holds my finger while walking.
    -when i stopped using strollers bcoz i cant take the pain anymore after using them.
    -when i gather all my energy and use my mouth (talk, talk, talk,) and face (making silly faces) to my best to entertain my toddler when i no longer feel like getting out of bed and feel fatigued.
    -when i see how i changed the things i used to do and how i am doing now (i love to cook, but now i look for easy cooking recipies. i like to be neat and clean, but now i feel good to leave my home messy sometimes-bcoz cleaning is a tough job for me)

    i feel terrible and just ignore:
    -when people ask me “how do you do today?” as if they really care for me…..and i feel like “GET THE HELL OUT OF HERE”
    -when i struggle to get up off the floor and when my hubby (sitting in the chair – staring at how i struggle – never understands its from the the RA-bad knee) says you got to do something (exercise vigorously) to cut down your weight
    -when i feel fatigue (always) and when people treat me as a lazy girl, faking as if i am in pain and tells me that “we gotta work hard to earn money – sitting idle we dont make anythig.” and i wanna say REALLY, I DIDNT KNOW THAT. THANKS FOR LETTING ME KNOW.
    -when i change my daily activities to which ones and how i can do and when people make funny stories about what i do and how i do the things. people see everything funny in me and laugh behind me………sick a*sh***s.
    -when i keep myself away from people who make sick comments on me and i try to enjoy my baby and make myself happy and when people make stories that i am a psycho (i laugh loud at them and feel pity for their sick brains-i dont care what people talk bullshit)

    i am afraid to answer my baby in the future when she asks me about a sibling. i am sorry my baby-i cant. this makes me guilty all my entire life hope she understands.

    and lastly, i strongly wish my hubby remarry (we are married for only 3 yrs now) and lead a happy life rather than taking me as a burden for his entire life, but i cant live without my baby.

    thanks for letting me share my feelings (vent) bcoz i have no one to listen to me. thanks for your time to read my story.
    hope we all feel better to our best.

  330. Radha Kattayam

    oh! sorry, i am about to be 33. I was diagnosed 10 years ago, but i did absolutely fine without any meds except for fatigue. things gotten worse and worse from the time i gave birth to my baby. she is 21 month old and i feel terrible as if i am 99 year old.

  331. CBeebies

    When reading this, after living 12 years with gradually worsening fibromyalgia, makes me realise how jolly lucky I am compared with all you RA sufferers!

    One tip – my hands are usually swollen, stiff or painful so I always use pretty plastic plates and drinking glasses as I’m contantly dropping everything. They just bounce happily across the floor. No damage to kitchen and so much easier to pick up than sharp shards of glass or china. (Added bonus – my cats get to feed themselves with no further effort on my part!)

  332. susan

    you deliberately take a “bathroom break” at work just to “sit down” for a few minutes – and don’t even need to go…..

  333. hsmom24boys

    Your well meaning new aquaintence tells you with a straight face that if you just BELIEVE you are better, you won’t hurt anymore

  334. RAchica

    You know you have RA when you are in the parking lot of walmart trying to get your 6 month old out of the car seat but can’t press the darn button hard enough so after 10 min just drive back home 🙁

    Darn car seats!!

  335. Edwina

    When you make a list of your medications, medical and surgical history and the papers look like you just wrote the intro to a great novel.

  336. Sangy

    When you are not able to pick/lift your own child. When your not able to turn keys through a key hole. When you request others to open a sealed bottle of water. When you are not able to take a turn while asleep and require another hand to lift other hand of yours. When you are not able to open a jar. . . . this list is endless

  337. Kris Helmuth

    When you are standing outside a public restroom doing the “pee-pee dance” waiting on your husband to unfasten your pants…. 🙂

  338. Girija

    When you cannot ever eat a pizza, bread, cookie ……RA flares get worse with foods containing gluten

  339. Natalie

    …when pumping fuel (gas) makes you cry.
    …when you use your forearms and feet to open and close doors.
    …when you start your morning by exercising your jaw open (with the balls of your palms, of course, because your fingers won’t move).
    …when you hobble down the stairs bent over like your Grandma.
    …when the 6-monthly sparodic swelling on your right thumb becomes a medical condition called RA and your GP tells you that you’ll either get better or you’ll be in a wheelchair for the rest of your life – oh, and by the way, we don’t know HOW you got it or HOW to get rid of it.
    …when you’ve only ever dreamed of having four children and you have to stop at three because by the third, you can’t even hold your newborn let alone look after the two under 3yo you’ve already got.
    …when FINALLY, after 9 years of chronic pain and illness your fingers go deformed which PROVES that, yes, I HAVE been in pain for 9 years – not just faking it!
    …when Methotrexate and folic acid really work for you and you don’t mind pumping drugs into your body at $50 a year because that was a lot cheaper than the $400 per month natural alternative.
    …when you’ve now had it for 17 years and your three girls are 11yo, 10yo and 8yo respectively, you can hold a full-time job and run a house and a family and the parents-in-law still think you’re a slack b*(tch because you need a ‘Nanny Nap’ on both days over the weekend – even when they come to visit. Tsk tsk
    …when it’s 4.30am and you’re googling ‘Rheumatoid Arthritis’ to see if anyone else out there goes through what you go through (Praise God for Bloggers)

    Gold Coast, Australia

  340. Jan

    Thank you to everyone who has commented. I’ve sat here and just nodded my way through so many of them….and don’t feel alone anymore. THANK YOU!
    (Melbourne, Australia)

  341. Sumi

    I was diagnosed with RA in 2008 and have been trialing many different drugs. Presently am on Actemra and am able to work and do my housework, albeit slowly. I get depressed because I feel so tired all the time. Just tired of being tired. Try so hard to be positive as I feel it’s the only way I can continue living.

    But after reading your blog I know that there are fellow RA sufferers suffering far worse than me and I should stop feeling sad and snap out of it. Thank you everyone. Queensland Australia

  342. Teresa Perret

    1. You drop stuff all of the time
    2. You’re excited to find a cute pair of shoes that your orthotics stay in.

  343. Ashley

    When you have to tell your students that they must give you soft high fives…or when your students tell you your wrist splints make you look like a superhero in order to make you feel better…or when you have to wake up your spouse in the middle of the night to ask him to pull up the covers because it’s too painful to do it yourself…or when you ride the elevator instead of walking DOWN a very short flight of stairs…or when your spouse has to help you pull your pants up every morning before you go to work…or when someone asks you what happened to your foot when they see you limping around and you think “Oh if only it was just my foot! I would give anything for JUST a foot injury…

  344. Mary

    When you had to answer the phone, couldn’t get up, rolled to the floor, and answered it. Finally managed to get up, needed to pee…got to the bathroom, couldn’t get off the toilet, rolled off, got up, and then stayed propped up against the wall until your husband came home and could help you! At the time, not so funny….now I laugh every time I think about it!

  345. Susan

    When you finally realize that you haven’t been ‘crazy’ for the last 15 years, that your mental illness and laziness has a name: RA

  346. Amy

    when your 4 yr old has to open a jar or a bottle for you.
    and when your 90 yr old grandmother can do more than you can.

  347. Kelley

    Your husband wants to know why every top, cap or spout is half-ass opened.

    You leave your meds half open because you can’t open them, and then you jerk and spill pills everywhere.

    You take time to soak your hands in the hot dishwater.

  348. Lori

    When you’ve been stuck in a restroom stall because your fingers wouldn’t open the latch to get out.

  349. Jodi

    You go grocery shopping, then stop at a drive-thru on the way home because shopping made you too exhausted to cook dinner.

  350. Susan

    Although we are alone in our homes, and maybe within our circle of friends, we here share a common thread. RA. This is a journey without an end. I feel so alone most of the time. I don’t have the energy to have a social life, and go to work, then back home to bed. It’s just me and my dogs. I can’t even cry anymore.

  351. Erin

    … when you need your 5 year old to bring in the groceries with her wagon because Momma’s hands are locked up again.

    …. when your daughter tells her preK teacher she’s such a good helper because she holds Momma’s hair when she throws up and opens jars whe her hands are too shakey. And you’re NOT an alcoholic, lol!

    … when your 3 year old puts his head in the toilet & makes vomiting sounds to show that he’s “just like Momma” the day after mtx.

  352. Kim

    When you nicely have to ask the man next to you at the gas station to twist your gas cap off for you because it hurts to grasp it.

    Blow-drying your hair !!!

    Gatorade bottles.

    Stairs !!!!

  353. Lindsay Barrett

    When everytime I go for a run, I wish I had a sign on my back saying, “I have RA, and a run because I can, I do not take the strength of my body for granted. Please don’t ever take the human body for granted. If you have the ability to run, run with passion and run for those who cannot.”

  354. Dannaliz

    When you carry multiple eye drops in your purse because you don’t know how dry your eyes will be on a daily basis. Natural Tears, Itch Relief, or Eye Dryness Gel.

  355. Don W

    I don’t buy anything on the bottom shelf at the store. Can’t get down that far. If I do I can’t get back up again.

  356. Sharon

    You know you have RA when you need your husband to help you change your colostomy bag, because you cant “snap it on”
    When going for a ride pray that its not longer than five minutes beacuse the pain from sitting gets so bad, you have to ask your husband to pull over so you can get out, and he has to help you get out of the car
    Having to have my husband open everything for me because the pain is so bad you just sit and cry.

  357. Christina

    …you have a nightmare and jolt up in bed, but can’t make it all the way to sitting position because of your hips, so you just flop right back down.

  358. Christina

    August 14, 2012 at 10:01 pm
    Although we are alone in our homes, and maybe within our circle of friends, we here share a common thread. RA. This is a journey without an end. I feel so alone most of the time. I don’t have the energy to have a social life, and go to work, then back home to bed. It’s just me and my dogs. I can’t even cry anymore.”

    Susan, I will be your friend! Email me sometime at: Silly email I know but…I’ve had it since I was 13. I’m 27 now. 🙂

  359. Zaufy

    > When everybody stares at you in a mall wondering if you’ve had an accident injury.
    > When you never leave home without a cutter incase you need to open a chips bag. Mine is plastic encased and undetectable at airport Xrays 😉
    > When you would love to scuba dive but have difficulty adjusting the several belts on your BCD.
    > When all the pretty clothes and shoes are not ‘RA Friendly’ and you end up buying ugly but comfortable clothes/shoes

  360. Kristina

    When you have to ask a stranger in the restroom to unbutton your pants.
    When a manicure and pedicure is painful…..
    When you park in a handicap spot using your handicap plaqured and you get dirty looks or hateful remarks.

  361. Gloria

    You see someone running down the street and you are so jealous just because they can. When people in your family make fun of you ‘cuz you sleep til 9:00 a.m. on your day off.

  362. Sabrina

    You have become so well known at the pharmacy you don’t have to speak.

    Your husband lists off your meds with out hesitation.

    Simple grunt grips the attention of the house.

    Docs appointments are a weekly occurrence.

    You must ask strangers to open your child’s milk when eating out.

    Your mother waits for you to catch up.

    Sex takes multiple medications and precise planning.

  363. Lisa

    @Sabrina My mother waits for me to catch up too! She’s 54 and I’m 33. I have laughed and cried while reading this list. My own husband started questioning my sanity at one point because my tests keep coming back normal despite my symptoms. I was only diagnosed with seronegative RA after my rheumy ruled out every other possibility. While it is sad to know that so many people are suffering, it is also a comfort to know that so many people know exactly how I feel on a daily basis and I’m not nuts.

  364. Jennifer Coleman

    You make most of your meals in a crock pot, because 10 minutes of cooking is all you can handle.

  365. Becki

    You’re constantly arching you’re neck and shoulders, trying to relieve stiffness/pain, it’s now complete habit and people think it’s a nervous tick.

  366. Socalgirl

    When your husbands friend calls, complaining about his recent ingrown toenail surgery and how he’s been on painkillers for 2 weeks straight and unable to work… you’ve just had your 18th surgery in 6 years, two days ago with no painkillers and wish I had a job to go to. The pain from RA far surpasses the pain from surgery. But, he still thinks my “fibromyalgia” isn’t a big deal…. Umm, for the last 14 years I’ve known him, he still doesn’t remember I have RA?

    When you check-in for your surgery and the doctors and nurses see your name on the surgery roster and all come by to say hi and wish me good luck….and tease me that I chose one surgeon over another. 🙂

    When the anesthesiologist asks you if you were a nurse, because you’ve become allergic to everything!

    When the well-meaning strangers and so-called friends insult you constantly with their dietary and exercise and meditation techniques that they swear cure everything….if only I wanted to be better. How I react has become my lit mans test as to whether my prednisone dose is too high or just right. Lol

    When you’ve had so many surgeries, the phone calls have stopped and the concern of how I’m doing has been gone for so long…you just wonder how people can say they’re such good, caring people but ignore the people who need a phone call to show support.

    When you wonder if your kids would be better off with a healthy mom who doesn’t get 3-4 surgeries a year, with no end in sight.

    You record everything that looks remotely interesting on tv.

    Life is so lonely. Isolated. Painful. Frustrating. Depressing. You don’t even recognize the once vibrant, energetic and pretty girl you once were (neither does anyone else).

  367. Penny

    When you decide what to cook by what is in the kitchen, and not the basement. also what you can get open or can wait until people get home.
    have to think of another way to entertain the dog, can’t walk today.
    i Feel like crap today and don’t have a clue why.

    If methotrexate makes you sick, inject it, it doesn’t even burn, and still cheap.

  368. Mark

    you know you have RA when you smile and relate to almost everything on this site… thank you for making me smile.


  369. Laryssa

    When you convince yourself that your disabled license plate is “princess” parking

    When you feel violently ill at hearing “but you are too young for that ”

    When you buy a messenger bag to shoulder all your pills so that you don’t have to carry them

    When your friends call you for a prediction of weather instead of watching the news

  370. Haywire0831

    You know you have RA when you go from working out at the gym to working out at physical therapy.

  371. Veronica

    When you have to explain to your 15 year old that it’s rude to walk faster than me and expect me to keep up because “she’s walking at a normal pace.”

    When you get accused of being flakey because you can’t commit to social events because your RA is NOT on a schedule!

    When your standard answer to kids wanting you to play with them is “I’ve got to wait for my medicine to kick in.”

    When you honestly would rather have some kind of disfigurement or visible injury because NOBODY takes you seriously when you tell them you’re in chronic pain.

    Thanks for all the posts! Helps confirm that I’m not crazy!

  372. "artysane"

    You know you have RA when:
    You buy bras and worry that you won’t be able to hook ’em up!
    You’re thankful for every morning that you can manage to do your own hair.
    You panic if you drop something, because how on earth am I going to get down there AND back up again…
    You worry about your future
    Your father tells you that you’re lazy when you end up in bed until lunchtime on your day off
    You’re not able to turn over in bed without waking yourself up.. stupid hips and knees..
    You could just sit and sob when you’re trying to compose this sort of list.

  373. Karen

    When you experience the freedom of letting go of family members who constantly criticize and say that RA is not a real disease. You’ve been trying to keep the family together for years but find the guts to let them go—and mean it.

    When you appreciate those who really care and realize your life is much fuller because they are in it.

  374. Barbara

    I thought I was ‘new’ to RA until I found out I have had it for years – thanks to a doctor who thought my levels weren’t high enough? Every comment here felt like home – I am so happy to have found this site and inspiration.

  375. JoyG

    When at the urgent care for a cut finger and the nurse asks “Any medical concerns?” and you reply “No” and then her next question is for you to list your current meds and you reply “Clonazepam, Elevil, Celebrex, and 25 mg Morphine patch.” My doctor and I both know I have Rheumatoid Arthritis…why doesn’t the Rheumatologist?

  376. Alex Dreamz

    You know you have Psoriatic Arthritis when…
    Every comment above makes you eternally grateful for remission (and reminds you to call the Rheumy, because if you don’t get back on mtx you’re going to sleep through Christmas morning again)
    You spend 15 minutes hunting down RA Guy’s blog that you saw on a friend’s FB page but couldn’t open, knowing that here was someone who “gets it”.
    You carry around copies of “The Spoon Theory” in your purse to hand out to anyone that doesn’t “get it” – even though you’ve been like this for 7 years (hey, my bad luck should be up by now!)
    Owning 4 pairs of Skecher Shape-Ups, because they are the ONLY shoe that allows you to walk more than 10 feet without looking like your greatgrandma. Wearing said Skechers in public with a formal dress, because you really don’t have anything else to put on your feet.
    Telling the Rheumy you do NOT have fibro, because you just can’t handle the thought of another crappy dx after your name. {no joke – told her I refused to have fibro, there was enough on my plate already ;-)}
    Wondering if applying for disability means you’ll have to make an attempt to return to work, and deciding you don’t need the extra income badly enough to find out 🙁

  377. radha

    when you listen comments like lazy, sleepihead, you gotta work hard to make money rather than sitting idle, you fake RA, you have no disease… have disease in you minds. aaghhhh!! tired of listening to all these comments.
    i wish RA is visible so that i can show them this is RA……….i bet people dont get it even after seeing it.

  378. Ashley

    When you realize all the shoes you bought in the last couple of years are too big now that you’ve finally gone into remission and your feet are back to their normal size. 🙂

  379. Melanie Hoover

    You know you have RA when….. You wake up in the morning and bargain with yourself if you really need to use the little energy you have to shower…. it may be able to wait just one more day!

  380. caroline

    when you give up your nights on the town with friends for nights in front of the tv cos u cringe at the thought of wearing heals and standing and dancing all night!!

  381. Shai

    When ‘can you rub my butt’ isn’t a sign of foreplay.

    When you are using a paint roller and you have to ask someone to pry it out of your hand

    When you fall down and laugh

    Gimpin’ ain’t easy

    When you’re too sore to sit, stand or lay so you dream of a device to just hold you in the air

    When your hands fall asleep so bad you punch yourself in the face without meaning to

  382. Laurel Alexander

    Taking 15 minutes to get out of your car so you can go into a coffee shop and read a paper, just because you want to feel like a normal person. People offering to help but you so want to be able to do this yourself.

  383. Sally

    When you have to buy a pill tray to sort out the truck loads of medication

    When you carry a wheat bag around the office

    When you are falling asleep at your desk by 1pm

    When you hand the reigns of the knives and dangerous kitchen work over to your partner

    when you smile after talking to a fellow RA superhero knowing you are not alone

  384. Dmikele

    You know you have RA when,

    Your 4 year old niece gives you a “you did it” sticker when you get off the couch.

    When the 2 year old you watch starts singing “Dont stop! Dont give up! Keep trying, keep trying dont give up!” from her favorite tv show when your trying to open her sippy cup.

    Your husband comes home to find you on the couch instead of the bed and says “hey you must be having a good day, to make it out here” lol

    When your 65 year old grandma calls for a list of your orthopedic doctors.

    When you idea of a great way to spend your 21st bday is at home on the couch watching your favorite movies, with your husband on the other couch because it hurts to much to have him sit next to you.

    I have had some really bad flares this summer, and finding this blog and reading all these comments has finally given me a little glimmer of hope. Thank you all! and Thank you RA guy!!!

  385. BethB

    You know you have RA when the Enbrel quits working as well as it had, but you are in denial, cuz next comes infusions.

  386. Katrina

    You use your TEETH to open soda or water bottles. Lol.

    You eat your lunch IN the bathtub. HAHA. It’s true…

    You’ve almost cut your hair super short ’cause it’s a pain to take care of!

    You eat a lot of sweets to stay happy.

    You have a permanent disabled parking pass. Yay to the WOOT. Sometimes you have to give it to what makes things easier!

  387. Oriole

    …when you’re on immune-suppressing infusions and your GP still thinks you’re imagining it. (Thank GOD for my rheumy!)

  388. Laurel

    When the whole world is trying to boost their immune system, and you’re spending thousands of dollars to suppress yours!

  389. MissyB

    …when you can read all these and understand the laugh/cry.
    …when you buy a bottle of water on a 100 degree day, then have to drive all the way home to get a drink of water because you can’t open the darn bottle and your too embarrassed to ask a stranger for help (i’m not anymore).
    …when you buy bras that only unhook in the front becasue reaching around the back is too painfull and cannot get the stupid hooks!
    …when you’re flaring and you give up on the bra completely becasue the sheer weight of the bra itself hurts, so you layer your clothes instead.
    …when your 9 year old son has to literally do everything for you during a flare, like open the milk, pour the milk, open the door, reach for the mail, etc.
    …when you debate how bad you have to go the bathroom becasue it hurts to get up.
    … when you look at the high heeled shoes you own, think how much pain it would be to wear them, and toss them in the donate pile knowing wearing them would be like waking on glass.
    …when someone shakes your hand and they think you are smiling when you’re really grining through the pain!
    …when you are always looking at your joints to see if they are getting worse. And i mean i look at my joints several times daily!
    …when you are noticing other peoples joints!
    …when people complain about being tired, and you want to tell them to “f” off, even though you’re generally the nicest person ever!
    …when you say i have RA, and the person(s)go silent. But then you add, and i’m anemic too, and they give you sympathy. really? sympathy for the anemia? I dont’ even want your sympathy, just some patience.
    …when you have favorite sex positions, but secretely you know it’s becasue those positions hurt your joints less.

  390. Steven

    When reading this is heartbreaking an illusion of yourself
    When you read other comments and realize a majority are woman, ..and you are a man.
    When being a man and realizing you had this since you were 15 then realizing you are only 17.

  391. Alana

    You know you have RA when your friends/family tell you how much fun you used to be and wish you were still that way. They think I don’t miss my fun self? I try to pretend I am still fun but I eventually get too tired to try anymore! I guess I just need new friends who appreciate me for who I am now. I am still fun but in a different way! Stay strong and never give up!

  392. Peg

    When you drop your debit card on the floor and seriously consider calling your banks so they can send you a new one.

  393. Dwight

    When you ride your harley to work even on flare up days because it hurts less to lean then it does to turn a steering wheel.

  394. Brandi

    When you drop stuff in public and in private. And your embrassed or when you have stiffness in your hands and can’t type. Or when your feet are inflamed and can’t sleep.

  395. Marlyce

    You know you have RA when… you have to use your pointer finger to left AND right click the mouse because the other digits are so inflammed that they hover above the buttons rather than rest upon them. (noticed this one TODAY) I type with only two fingers at a time, too, and not the same two. They take turns with functionality!

  396. Sara

    When it hurts to wipe ur ass..
    When you need someone to open a can for you..
    When you wake up stiff in the morning…
    When you have to ask your partner to unclip your bra..
    When it’s a colder day and a hot shower makes you feel less stiff..
    When it hurst to chop veggies..
    When no one understands why your so tired..
    When people underestimate the pain you are in..
    When you fracture your finger but your RA pains hurt more..
    When you are 23 and your doctor tells you have RA lol…
    When you find a website like this and it makes you feel so much better cause you are not the only one that needs scissors to open a chip packet 🙂

  397. chrisitne

    When you drop something on the ground, and figure it is easier to replace it than it is to try to pick it up.

  398. PAM

    When reading all of these and knowing you aren’t the only one makes you sad for the others.
    I understand the embarasment that I feel when I am out in public! I’m 50 and look and feel 90.

  399. Karina Al Muls

    When putting on socks in the morning becomes a battle that leaves you out of breath.
    When you wear sandals in preference to closed shoes because closed shoes are too painful to wear and wear soft boots when it’s too cold for the open sandals
    Writing an e mail is easier than holding a pen and writing a letter
    When you put anything you could possibly need during the day in a bag to take downstairs with you because you don’t want to tackle the stairs again before it’s time to go to bed
    When you need a wheel chair for the mall because you can’t walk that far
    When you need a bar stool to sit on to wash dishes and cook
    When the computer chair becomes your best friend because it has wheels so you can use it to get around when you’re in too much pain to walk

  400. Socalgirl

    When taking a Epsom salt bath in your jacuzzi tub seems so inviting and relaxing, you just can’t pass it up! Getting stuck in the tub for 45 min after because you cannot stand up, fall twice and hurt your knee and wrist (both had recent surgeries), however…made it a one time experience. Sadly, the good feeling from the bath only lasted as long as the first fall. Thank goodness I was able to use a stand mirror to grab towels to leverage myself out.

  401. Kathy

    You know you have RA when……one day you’re feeling “on top of the world” because you don’t hurt and the next day you’re “knocked off your feet” from pain, inflammation, and flu-like symptoms. It makes you thankful for the good days!

    You know you have RA when… give away all your heels in exchange for orthotics and flats!

    You know you have RA when… can relate to everyone’s comments on this site! Thank goodness for the RA superhero, you’re all a great support!

  402. Kathi jones

    You know you have RAD when

    The bowling shoes you had for 10 years are suddenly too small, somehow your feet have grown, from June to September of the same year…not a problem since you cannot bowl anymore anyway.

    Your bare feet haven’t touched the ground without shoes in 10 years. Bone on floor hurts so bad !

    You have mastered the ability to swallow a handful of meds and vitamins with a sip of lukewarm water.

    You use the coffee holders for iced tea, cause cold drinks hurt too.

    You are over 50 and wearing mittens, and if they have strings holding them together, even better.

    You will buy any sweatshirt that has thumb holes a size or two too big, and wear it in air-conditioning to cover your hands, from the Raynaurd’s, which can act up in 100 degree weather, while eating grapes, or watermelon.

    You can identify your best vein of the day!

    You have instructed your daughters that you must be BURIED in 5 inch spiked heels.please.

    You thank God everyday for the RA guy,the RAWarrior, the RAchicks and so many more folks in pain that help the rest of us everyday.

    I work as an ICU nurse, and I want to cry when my really sick patients see me wince, and they ask ME if I am okay..

  403. Kika

    Makes me break down when it hurts so bad, my baby is crying and I can’t pick him up…. When it takes me At least 5 minutes to have the courage to get out of bed…. 5 minutes limping to the bathroom… And I just turned 26 I’ve had it for 3 years… I’m getting stronger day by day mentally….

  404. Yebam

    .. when you have to carry a second handbag for your multitude of splints, incase you need them throughout the day.

    ..when your elbow has a man made scar in it that the nurses use as a target for the blood test needle.

    ..when everything everyone else has written rings true.

    ..when you put a splint on even if it’s not needed because you know you are going to have to shake hands with someone during the day.

    ..when you have to ask your friend to put the petrol in your car for you.

  405. Rhian

    ….the comment from a colleague about “just taking a supplement cured her mum’s RA” would justify you giving her a slap, but getting out of the chair is too painful!

  406. char

    When your a bank teller and your arms are wrapped in ace bandages do to the severe pain they are in, and someone ask whats wrong you tell them you have RA and they saw well at least it will heal.(Lol). As for the gluten free diet I wish that helped. I have been gluten free for 6 months due to a gluten allergy thanks to the RA, I still have flares everyday.

    Thanks RA guy for this site we all to be there for each other. Most people don’t realize what RA is and what most of us go through daily.

  407. SteelToad

    … when only eat the already opened cereal, because it seems like the bag in the cereal boxes are sealed with space aged epoxy – you put the spoon in the bowl first because if you drop it, you’re going to have to bend over to pick it up – and you have to use both hands to take the milk out of the fridge.

  408. Audrey

    When your husband has to put a damp cloth soaked in hot water in your neck and wrist because they are so swollen

    When going to university, 2 hours away, feels like a major achievement each day

    When you contemplate having a hot shower but can’t actually do it because it hurts too much to move and stand

    When you can’t wear your wedding ring because your fingers are badly swollen

    When you are hoping against hope that the doctor has made a mistake, that its not RA, but know in your heart it is

    When you cry because you can’t accept it…

  409. Post
  410. Lucy Leon

    …When you get out of the car and your inmediate thought is when you´re gonna reach your destination so you can sit down again.

  411. Lucy Leon

    …when after so many years of walking like a penguin, you just agree with everyone´s guess.. “Did you just get surgery done?” -“YES”, “Did you fall?” -“YES!” , “Does your knee hurt? Why are you walking like that?” and you´re just there like “Oh you know, I just love walking as if I were in pain for the fun of it”.

  412. Lucy Leon

    …when you visit a place where you have to make a line, and even though there are many chairs available, you rather wait standing up because you don´t wanna put on a show as you struggle to sit down and moan like a dying whale as you stand back up.

  413. Lucy Leon

    …when you stop drinking water at 8pm so you stop yourself from getting up in the middle of the night to use the bathroom ( and when you do, you pee standing up like a man but backwards ) lol 🙂

  414. Michele

    When you can’t put the brake on, on your Dad’s wheelchair, so your 74 year old mother has to do it. You try to push the chair with Dad in it for a while, but can’t.

    When you can’t get bread from the lowest shelf at Sainsbury’s, so you either buy the type you don’t really want, or wait for someone to get it for you!

    When you’re spending time looking at walking sticks while your sister is looking at lipsticks!!

  415. Kris

    When you look at your friends and realize that at 18 you have already taken more pills and shots than they will ever take in their entire life…

  416. Post
    RA Guy

    …when *every* time you play tug-of-war, the dog wins. (Give yourself bonus points if the dog is a Pug, or any other small breed!)

  417. Andrea Anderberg

    When you wear pants with elastic waist band because it is murder on your hands to work the button and zipper.

  418. char

    When you wear caprees when its cold outside they are easier to put on instead of fighting to button and zip jeans.
    When you wish the toilet would raise up a inches because it hurts your knees to much to sit down so far.

  419. Leisel

    …when the smartphone app that you are most excited about is a virtual pillbox that helps you manage all your meds.

  420. Ruca

    … when you look at all your pain meds waiting for the one you just took to kick in and seriously consider taking one more even if you know it really wont make the process any faster.

    … when you eat some nasty minimuffins stored at your desk because it just hurts too much to get something real from the kitchen.

    … when you are so glad you found this site!

    greetings from germany 🙂

  421. Nicole

    You know you have RA when:

    – you and your husband/partner spend hours looking through the Karma Sutra looking for positions that might not hurt as much.

    – after 25+ years with RA and FM you consider smoking weed to get a good nights sleep.

    – you want to punch your mother-in-law when she tells you that she can’t invite you for dinner any more because she has tendinitis in her thumb and it’s too painful to cook with. Meanwhile, she is sitting down to a beautiful meal that you made with one hand because you just had surgery to repair the torn extensor tendons on 4 fingers of your right hand.

    – You realize that you are more capable with one hand than most people are with 2.

    -you look at your OB/GYN after giving birth and say,”That’s it? That’s what people think is the worst pain you can have?”

  422. Nae

    Grrr. people that think its not that bad. RA for 27 years now prob longer, P.E. thought I was lazy.. I thank you all… i know i am not alone now.. i cried, laughed, and reread I Couldn’t belive I was reading things I felt, go through.. I am so glad i found this site.

  423. Lynnette

    You know you have RA when you listen to Whitney Houston’s “Step By Step” for motivation and you start to wonder how many literal steps you could actually take before wearing yourself out….

  424. Tea

    When you can’t wring out the face towel to wash your face. You just use the soaking wet towel and let your face air dry.

  425. Christine

    When you write a shopping list and it is ranked in order of who has electric scooters or not and which ones do not so you can hit them first and depend on riding the scooters once your worn out 😀

  426. Paula

    When I pick up my first prescription of methotrexate and knowing you can’t have cortisone shots or prednisone due to being a brittle diabetic. Knowing that any movement at all makes my neuropathic pain makes you contemplate suicide..When my rheumatologist takes a looks at your hangs and says..oh dear..

    I am not strong enough to endure this type of pain.

  427. Angie

    Now I’m crying!!!!
    Been 6 years and still not diagnosed, but I KNOW I have RA in my knees, (this is the crippling bit) hips and neck and I’m only 32.

    You know you have RA, when you scream at your kids for the slightest thing…….and it’s because you’re in pain. Then you cry, because you we’re horrible, and it’s not their fault even though your RA only started suddenly within weeks of them being born!

  428. Angie

    When you admit that your mum isn’t crazy after all and her bones really can predict the weather. Well now mine can too

  429. Angie

    When you sit down, cos your knees hurt, but have to get up because RLS kicks in, so you can’t sit or lay, but can’t stand either.

    When your hubby uses it as an excuse to walk upstairs behind you with his hand on ur bum.

    When you leave piles of laundry on the stairs cos, it’s too painfull to take them up.

    When you don’t want anymore kids, but think about getting pregnant cos, for some reason pregnancy stops the knee pain for 9 months.

    When your knees hurt from the second you’re awake, but are ok, but the time you get the the docs for another blood test. (Maybe I should sleep at the doctors)

    When the knee supports are uncomfortable, so you cut the feet off long so k, or leggings, fold them over your knees and put heat pads in them, hoping they might help……but they don’t and now you have ruined clothes too.

    When your knees are on fire, but they feel fine to everyone else.

    When your husband says “maybe it’s in your head……no not like that there are conditions where your body believes it has something wrong, so the symptoms manifest”…………………so you mean it’s in my head then!!!!!!!!!! ARRRRRRGH

    When you know the blood tests, x-rays, rheumatologist, podiatrist, physiotherapist and countless doctors are wrong. (Especially when one doctor said he has no doubt that its both RA and OA, without physical evidence) yet all the others rely heavily on the evidence (or rather their budget)

    When you consider paying for diagnostic insurance, only to find it doesn’t cover pre-existing conditions.

    When you have to repeatedly advise doctors that your mum is registered disabled with SERO-negAtive RA.

  430. Angie

    Oh ….and when you’re being LAZY cos you drove your kids to school today. And it winds you up cos you know they’re actually jealous cos they can’t drive, but you’d walk if you could.

  431. Angie

    And lastly…..yo
    U can’t stop thinking if things to write on here, but are currently unable to see the lighter side of it……..cos of the damn pain.

  432. Linda

    When packaging is the enemy…

    When suddenly Tupperware doesn’t seem like such a great product after all … B….y tight sealing lids!!!!

  433. Trish

    When someone asks how you feel your answer is “like I had a car accident and then someone beat the crap out of me after they threw me down the stairs”

  434. Annie

    All of these comments are great. My RA is better controlled than some of you but when it flares it is ugly.

    -When your in-laws ask you what you do all day with disdain in their voices.
    -When you wear slippers out in public because it hurts to put on shoes.

  435. Kay

    you have to go part time your second year into teaching and it takes serious willpower to refrain from hitting people say to you. “Just fancied longer weekends?” or “Your always tired, you should have loads of energy at your age!”

  436. Holly

    When you turn 40 and you aren’t depressed because of your age, but because you have now had RA for 20 years-officially half of your life. And you can’t remember what life was like before RA.

  437. Daina

    When someone buys you leather gloves for Christmas and you break down into sobs because you can’t get them over your crooked fingers.

  438. Lisa

    When your mammogram comes back abnormal and your main worry is “if I have cancer I will have to stop my biologic for RA”.

  439. Ruth

    When the constant pain has become your new ‘normal’.
    When you wonder when the drugs are going to kick in, if they are going to work at all, if you do not have another allergic reaction to them and then have to wait another 3 months for the next combination to possibly work and knowing they may not.
    When your Rheumatologist says he is sorry for how much pain you are in but wont give you biologics because you havent been diagnosed long enough or tried enough combinations of ‘cheaper’ drugs and they have to follow guidelines.
    When you know your next car has to be an automatic!
    When you want to go to the gym to get all the anger and frustration out but know in reality that will only make things worse.
    When some close friends fall away and you feel so alone.
    When those friends that are left ask how you are and you just say ok because you are scared that they will leave too if you say how you really feel.
    When you worry about supporting your child and self in the future because you have no partner, you don’t know how the RA will progress and are cuurently off work but know you will have to go back to work but have no idea how if the meds dont work.
    When even steroid injections, pain meds and anti inflammatorys dont seem to make any difference whilst waiting for the RA meds to kick in.
    When you are so scared about your future you think that sometimes it would be better not to face it.
    When you thank God for all that you have, including RA, because it will make you a stronger person and keep repeating it because you need to believe it.
    When reading all of above makes you happy and sad.

  440. Melissa B

    You see commercials for the biologics for people with moderate to severe RA and wonder who are the lucky folks that only have a “mild” case??

  441. RiCeey

    You know you have RA when you name your leg dragging toddle your “sexy” walk. You tend to do this walk while wearing your favorite perfume ho.t.

  442. Clare

    I have only suffered for 6 weeks and I am 27 and honestly havent laughed about my condition until now!! Thanks

    When your partner is eventually learning not to get pissed off that you keep dropping EVERYTHING and that my nightstand is so cluttered with pills, water etc so I dont have to move too far in the morning!!

  443. Melissa

    You only wear stretchy knit pants because anything w/o lots of stretch is too painful on your knees. And also only wear diabetic socks, when wearing socks at all, because the elastic at the tops of regular socks is too painful on swollen RA ankles.

    My 4 and 6 yr old daughters needs strangers to push them on the swings at the playground because it hurts my hands, wrists and shoulders too much, and it’s too hard to do and hold a cane at the same time.

  444. Melanie

    When you keep a nut cracker just for opening water bottles and soda bottles….Works like a charm though…and just that gives me the pick me up to know I DID IT !!!

  445. Cheryl

    When a typing job is exhausting. When you will gladly drink a cup of cold coffee because the coffee pot is too far from your desk. When you don’t want to take your shoes off because you can walk better with them on. When anything on the bottom shelf of the fridge is as good as gone because you can’t reach it. When you step in and out of your shoes because you can’t bare to tie them. When your 2 year old is carrying your purse because you can’t carry it or her. When you don’t park in the garage because the remote button is too hard to push. When you won’t get gas unless the full service station is open. When you get a shopping cart when all you need is 1 jug of milk because you can’t carry it that far. When you can’t wait for the age when velcro shoes are ok to wear again.
    Not anymore!!! I am super happy to say these issues don’t bother me anymore!!!!

  446. CG

    You know you have RA when you have to head to the bathroom before you really have to go because if you wait til you must go. You are likely not t o make it in time

  447. G

    When your 91 yo grandma gets out of the car faster than you and then walks around the car and asks if you need help, since you are still trying to get out! 31, RA for a year! Geez! I’m supposed to be helping her lol!

  448. Carla

    Every time you go to bed and put out the light – reaching for the switch on the cable at a good height but it hurts anyway – you hope that this time you won’t wake up in the morning… and when you do your first thought is ‘Oh s*$%t’!

  449. Kate Leonard

    when you are crying reading these posts, and for the first time since my diagnosis they are tears of laughter.

  450. Post
    RA Guy

    …when you start having to actually sit through the Justin Bieber videos because you don’t have the strength to pick up the remote control.

  451. Carolyn A.

    When both you and your 87 year old grandmother say simultaneously “My hands don’t work in the morning,” but for different reasons.

  452. Nancy

    Ok, I DON’T have RA, I have PsA, but I really do understand and have had most of the things on this list.

    I would add-
    When you can’t wear a ring on your finger or even something as small and seemingly harmless as a scrunchy on your wrist because it hurts too much.

    When you are grocery shopping nauseated and thinking this is a really bad MTX hangover, but realize only after you have diarrhea that you actually have a stomach flu instead.

    When you are the only person under 50 in your water exercise class.

    when you check the aches and pains index on the weather channel site so you can plan which day of the week (if any) you might get something done instead of sleeping and popping copious amounts of pain pills and cuddling with your heating pad.
    When you used to love the snow, but now dread going out in the cold, but love the way that walking through the white stuff cushions your knees.
    – and those handshales at church!

  453. Christine

    When stepping over a rumple in the bath mat in the bathroom takes over 5 minutes and leaves you feeling like you climbed a mountain.

  454. Sandy C.

    Being so excited that you broke the six minute record of putting on socks. Making the decision of which fingers you can use today to use the computer.

  455. Kristen

    Once you sit down in the driver seat and exhale, trying not to think about every effort in leaning forward and turning the key

  456. Post
    RA Guy

    …when you no longer mind extra-long commercial breaks, because they actually give you the time that is needed to walk to the kitchen and back for a drink of water!

  457. Jenna

    You must gracefully drop all the groceries in your arms so you can then straighten your arms, elbows to put them away. On those days the elbows are not straightening out.

    I will be 25 next month
    And god bless everyone you are all in my prayers.

  458. amy

    1. When you are in so much pain that you wish you could actually just cut off the body part that hurts so much.

    2. When your flare is calming down so you no longer need to pray for death just to stop the pain.

    3. When your family wonders why you are so “lazy.”

    4. When your toddler says, it’s okay, mommy, I love you anyways!”

  459. Raquel

    When your family says stupid things like “think positively” regarding your illness and you want to smack the $#@^& out of them but don’t because they mean well… and it will hurt your hands..LOL

    Someone posted this already but:
    when you worry about what will happen to you when you can’t work anymore and you are single living in New York(high cost of living).

    When your body feels like a wet rag being squeezed and tossed into a bin.

  460. Raquel

    oh and when you are into a mental fog forget the word for the particular language you are in(if you speak more than one, you know EXACTLY what I am talking about)…and you work in linguistic! yay!!(not really) :/

  461. Barbara

    My doctor didn’t tell me four years ago when I had elevated RA levels and then prescribed Levaquin with prednisone. They are black boxed , but particularly contraindicated for RA. I have ruptured tendons in my wrists, hands, knees, both shoulders, a bicep tendon and many in my feet. In addition, I ignored 4 years of progressive RA pain and damage believing it was solely from the Levaquin. These blogs have helped me so much. I see myself and many who are in similar pain, mental fog, depression, sleeplessness combined with exhaustion. I don’t feel so alone.

  462. Julie Rose

    When being able to clean your house is cause for celebration.

    When you can’t go and visit your own sister because you can’t climb the stairs to her 3rd floor walk up.

    When you choose what groceries you need based on whether you’ll have help to get them in the house.

    When you realize that spending time with the people you love and the ones who love you is more important than the dishes, the laundry or even your outside job.

    When you hope for a cure.

  463. Ladi8ug

    OMG i use my cat too!

    but you know you have RA when your medication list is longer than you contacts list on your phone!

  464. Clare

    You know you have RA when the cortisone injection they give you while they are waiting on a treatment plan works so well and you feel the best you have in months that you put your appointment back so you dont have to miss a business trip that is cruical to your career and then a week after the missed appointment – BAM a flair up and you are regretting your decision massively!!

  465. Cinthia

    When you have to have someone else open your medicine bottles.
    When you have to have someone else open your toothpaste.
    When playing on your smart phone makes your hands hurt and grow tired.

  466. Christine

    When you finally get to see a Rheumatologist and the first thing he does is put you on prednisone:

    Day 1 you can make a fist for the first time in months,
    Day 7 you can walk around Wal-Mart with a cane instead of needing a mobile cart,
    Day 14 you no longer need the cane, and
    Day 21 you start thinking it just might be worth weighing 500 pounds to keep feeling this good.

  467. Chelle

    When you go to take college finals and you are the only one who strolls in with a walker and they have to make special accommodations for your seat… with everyone staring at you.

    When you are prepping to have your very first cap and gown graduation ceremony (from college at that)… and you have to plan who is going to help walk you up the stairs of the stage… bring your walker up to you… having to stroll across this platform and ultimately “roll” through the graduation process of receiving your degrees… and then have some one meet you on the other side to assist you down the stairs and bring your walker back to you… Or some one has to walk you across the entire stage so you do not have to use your walker. (total memorable moment killer)

  468. Jeannie

    When your heating pad is your best friend.

    Also when you look like Robo Cop!

    Or when you are so fatigued just getting dressed in the morning!

  469. Pirre

    When you feel like something is off, and after a few hours you find out that you are having a good day, and the strange feeling is having no pain at all.

    When the arrow up key on your keyboard has a groove caused by your permanently downward pointing fingernail pressing down on it while gaming.

    When you dismiss most consoles because the controller doesn’t fit in your hand (yay for Nintendo!)

    When people automatically know that if you hand em a bottle, they need to open it for you.

    When you need silly looking workarounds for simple daily tasks.

  470. Kim

    You buy those expensive soap dispensers that automatically pour out the soap so you don’t have to pump a regular dispenser.

    You buy an e-reader so you can prop it up and not have to hold an actual book.

    It’s amazing how many yep, yep, yeps I agreed to on these comments. It’s nice just to know you aren’t alone sometimes.

  471. Teresa

    You have to lift your left foot to get it in the car, and your right one gets tired from working the gas and brake pedal driving across your small town.

  472. Rose

    When you want to get up and go….but can’t. You forgot that your get up and go…got up and went!

  473. Miss Me

    You know you have RA when: Your mom has to help you out of the bath tub, and you made her promise not to call the fire department for help, because the guys are really good looking.

    When taking a shower makes you exhausted and brushing your teeth is a great day..

  474. Becky

    When you are absolutely giddy over the purchase of an electric can opener!

    When your 8 year old son has to help fasten your bra because you don’t have the strength and it hurts too much to pull the ends together.

    When you use a butter knife to pop the plastic ring off the milk jug so you can get the cap off.

    When using a screwdriver becomes a form of torture.

  475. pen

    When you have to spend hours per week ordering medications and checking on delivery of these medications. Every week you have at least one doctors appointment.
    you no longer work because you are never healthy for more than a day at a time.
    you can’t enjoy all these great posts without changing fingers all the time on the computer mouse

  476. Kime

    When you think: I want a day to just be a day… At age 28. But a day is a battle that leaves me feeling broken and I can’t even get myself out of my car when I get home.

  477. Kat C

    You know you have RA … When you’re excited because you actually have a week on the calendar when you DON’T have a doctor appointment.
    When a family member accuses you of being a “flake” because you say you’ll attend a social function, but at the last minute you have to cancel — and it’s not the first (second, or third) time.
    When getting ready requires extra time to rest after you “get ready” to leave the house.
    I felt so alone until I read all the posts and identified with almost all of them!!!

  478. Tiffani B

    When you have to nap after a shower.

    When you try to push yourself out of bed with your arms and your wrists give in.

    When you accidentally sit on one leg cause you think your still “young” and can’t get back up off the couch.

    When you feel guilty because you’re so tired all the time and don’t want to do anything.

  479. Pammi

    When you have to take your bra off over your head instead reaching round back because it hurts so much! UGH!

  480. Linda

    When your Rheumatologist tells you your hands look like the Michelin Man and oh, how the toes are on fire!

  481. Linda

    Just had this conversation with my husband last night **…he tries but doesn’t understand, quite yet…**When your family says stupid things like “think positively” regarding your illness and you want to smack the $#@^& out of them but don’t because they mean well… and it will hurt your hands..LOL

  482. Robin

    when you have to ride the beep beep buggies at WalMart and the older people think your just to lazy to walk. UGGGGG!!!!

  483. Jenna

    You know you have RA when . . . you have to eat, not when you are hungry but because you are in pain and you need to take your anti-inflammatories!

  484. Amy

    …you are always on the look-out for the nearest seat – standing is so painful, but with knees like these, sitting on the floor means getting as low as possible and falling the rest of the way, and even then getting up is a exercise in creativity! (‘hmmmm, how to do this without putting any weight on my wrists or knees?’)

  485. Warren Luttrell

    I am glad I found this site. RA is very bad for any of us. I laugh and cried at all the comments. We need to stay strong and hopeful in the days to come. Not one of us uses the same treatment or eats the same foods. I have not had RA but a short time (October 2011) but I have had all the things you folks have had. It is not easy to carry this burden.
    Prayers, hope and faith, will play a big role for all of us in this fight. If I can help you e-mail me. I am 64 years old. Amen

  486. Dee Reuvers

    When you cant half keep up with your 72 year old husband (15 years older) on a daily “walk the dog” exercise.
    When as you look forward to a retirement village with benefits at 56

  487. cathy kay

    I was just diagnosed a few weeks ago. My journey is only the beginning. But I have one.

    I know I have RA when the thought of picking up a pen in front of people is the biggest hurdle. And now I’m supposed to sign my name??

  488. Susanne

    You know you have Rheumatoid Arthritis when:
    a) your Medicine Cabinet looks like an in-house pharmacy,
    b) your sexy stiletto heels have been replaced with granny shoes that are slip-on only,
    c) you no longer wear earrings, bracelets or necklaces with tiny openings,
    d) you no longer apply make-up because your hands hurt too much,
    e) you spend hours in warm baths to soothe painful joints, only to find that you can’t get out of the bath by yourself,
    f) you closely resemble the Hunchback of Notre Dame when you get out of your chair,
    g) you have to get help to cook & clean,
    h) shopping isn’t fun anymore,
    i) you only buy groceries that you can open easily,
    j) your dog takes himself for a walk,
    k) your idea of a great night is just being able to sleep without pain,
    l) sex is something from another lifetime, as is dancing, holidays & dinner parties …

  489. ScubaSteve

    When you are convinced that the princess and the pea is a story about a lady with RA, because you know how uncomfortable it is to have anything in your bed.

  490. Steve-o

    You sit on the toilet for an extra ten minutes for no other reason than you know how its gonna feel when you stand up…

  491. Steve-o

    Oh Yeah, when sit sit reading RA Guy responses for an extra ten minutes for no other reason than….. come on that was a little funny…

  492. Joan

    You put your laptop on your lap to read these comments and start to cry because it hurts your legs so bad. The other comments don’t help you stop crying either. Joan

  493. Cherie Kasper

    I read about a third of these and never saw a duplicate, couldn’t read anymore because my neck hurt from sitting in one place to long.

    when I remember how long I’ve had RA by the number of years reunion of my high school graduating class

    when you get so there’s no more joints to be replaced

    when after 35 years you surprise your Rheumy by being able to bend your wrist, just a tiny bit(after starting Remicade)

    when after 40 years you finally find out there are others out there going through exactly what you’ve gone through

  494. Nicole

    When you read through every one of these posts and realize…Oh My God, I’m not crazy and I’m not alone!! 🙂 These all made me laugh and cry!

  495. Post
  496. Barbara

    I agree with you about the scissors, I make sure I have them available all the time.

  497. Barbara

    Oh my gosh, I thought I was the only one that did this, when I am at the store looking for pants to buy, I have to look for the ones that has the elastic on them, NO Buttons For Me!!!!

  498. Barbara

    I sometimes wonder how in the world can fingers turn in so many directions, fingers that look like they are broken all the time

  499. Diane

    In my case it’s P/A (psoriatic), and everything said in these comments applies, to a greater or lesser degree. I thrive on humor, and this site is a huge boost! You know you have P/A when you use a serrated bread knife to draw the kitchen curtains; your 87-year-old mother loosens the lid on a jar for you; you clip your keys to the outside of the pocket because your hands no longer work inside of a pocket; you cook things whole; flossing your teeth is an extreme sport. Love you all.

  500. Ana

    … you can no longer remember what your legs look like without your knees, ankles, and toes being swollen.

    Or, being able to fold your hands together (like a prayer) and have your fingers touch in the middle is the happiest accomplishment you’ve had in months.

    It’s so good to not feel alone with this, to be able to laugh about it!

  501. Eric

    …when you have to keep reminding yourself to take it easy physically…but you are only brushing your teeth!

  502. Legal user

    You set off the security alarm in the airport every time you go through the metal detector because you are full of titanium prosthesis.

  503. ScubaSteve

    When you you feel giddy about the enbrel support program that makes your copay $10 or less a month

  504. natchralli

    Have another shopper call a manager or cart clerk to the parking lot for assistance. I still hate to ask for help, but the alternative is to lock yourself out of living.

  505. natchralli

    When you have to begin to end your best friendship because she gives you a Christmas gift–a book called “Lifebuilders” which says you are sick with arthritis because of your attitude.

    We are not alone. We did not bring this on ourselves. Even if we did bring it on through some ‘fictional bad attitude’, we deserve the compassion and milk of human kindness of anyone suffering for any cause: cancer, AIDS, car wreck, heart disease, mental illness.

  506. natchralli

    You’ve progressed to a power wheelchair which you’ve driven into the side of the electric-powered hi lo bed and somehow wedged the arm rest into the beds hook and are completely stuck–unable to even crawl out of the chair onto the bed or floor. So you dial the police non-emergency number (with your on-board cellular) and 4 firefighters show up and dislodge you and then you start to cry from humiliation and shame (though they are kind their eyes say you are a bit too young for an “I’ve fallen & I can’t get up” call.

  507. natchralli

    After 20 years of this, I have found the voices of a mass of people who understand the experience of being lifted out of your life and being set down in a place where nothing is recognizable: no part of your body, brain, soul or spirit is left untouched by this condition. I thank you so much RA Guy and all the Supers out there who keep “reaching for a handle on the moment” (Agent J from MIB)

    I am Naturally yours

  508. Jessi

    You are a nurse and have to wear extra large gloves when you use to wear size small because your knuckles are so large that no other gloves will fit over your knuckles (true story)

    You got a new job but were ‘let go’ in the first 3 month probation period bc they found out you had RA and were afraid how this disease would affect your performance (also a true story)

    Are 27 and envious of your 85 year old grandma who can do more than you 😉

  509. Anne-Marie

    You know you have RA when shopping in the christmas rush and the only place to take a seat is Santa’s knee and it looks soooo tempting.

  510. Anita

    You read these posts and cry the entire time because you realize you could have written any one of them…Sorry for all of you that have to endure this torment, but, also thankful that I am not in this alone…Praying for a cure for ALL of us!!!

  511. CIndy L

    I can so relate to so many of these…almost all of them. I feel so sad for those of you who are still so young though. Till I read this, I was feeling bad because I’m “only” 57 LOL Thanks so much everyone, I laughed and cried reading all these but it did make me feel better!

    When you desperately want to go to church still and can’t because it starts at 10:30 and you can’t do mornings anymore.

    When you have a fantastic opportunity to do something with your grandchildren and at the last minute realize that you’re simply too sick and too sore to go, even though you’ve done everything you can for the last week to make sure you could.

    When you are sick, know you need antibiotics, and are so fatigued/tired/exhausted that you can’t even dress, and get in a car for someone to take you to a doctor, so you don’t even bother to make an appointment, and you really just don’t care anymore.

    When you can no longer wear any kind of shoes except flip flops…even in the snow.

    When it seems like you’re allergic to every single medication there is, or if not allergic to it, have such bad side effects that you can’t take it.

    When all you’ve eaten for who knows how long is cereal or instant breakfast because it’s just too painful to make anything else after making something simple for your husband that you can’t eat because your stomach is too messed up anyway -but wish you could.

    You know you have RA when you’ve had to go to the bathroom for the last half hour but didn’t want to stop reading what everyone said LOL

  512. Linda Dousay

    When you ask your doctor for pain meds and he/she writes the prescription for 3 times the amount you asked.

  513. Gwen B.

    the old people in the pool can do water aerobics better than you-especially the stretch where you grab your foot from behind your back.It is VERY attractive. LOL! (Three years ago, I ran a ten mile race.)

  514. The Doctor is In Pain

    …when you are a doctor and your hands freeze in the middle of a surgical procedure, or when writing a prescription.

    … when you need to quit being a doctor and practice being a patient because of severe pain and fatigue

  515. Susan

    When you think you might have the energy for sex and the condoms have expired!

    When dinner is better served on a plastic plate instead of glass one, Just in case you drop it

  516. Joy Daniels

    This is my first time reading this blog, I too laughed and cried! Mostly laughed & was lifted up to know I’m not alone. Here’s mine:
    When I sweep & mop from the 4 wheel walker, while sitting in it. Having all tile floors it gets pretty grimey with 2 shedding dogs and all their muck, even though I know doing that chore will have me in bed for a day or 2.
    Or like this morning: clean up a spill on the kitchen floor only to make a wretched clean spot,grrr. time to bite the bullet & clean the whole thing…
    Thanks everyone, I really appreciate the support & encouragement!

  517. Jody

    …when you have had your shoes tied by almost everyone in your office.

    …when you ask strangers to open up your gas cap for you.

    …when you hope your boyfriend will put your bra ON!

  518. Jody

    …if you’ve ever worn copper bracelets, eaten kelp tablets, or had every god-awful smelling salve thrust upon you by well-meaning relatives and friends.

  519. Adrian Prophet

    To all RA authors on this website, your comments are so true. I have experienced my first episode of “RA…or because my rheumatologist is note quite certain “Reactive inflammatory joint…” But I can relate to everything that is written here. Before treatment started I would go to bed, then find my shoulders so painful, I would get up, soak my painful hands and wrists especially in a hot sink of water, and sit on our lounge setee for the night, almost in tears.
    I also got to the stage where I couldn’t get out of bed, except after trying to rock back and forth and hoping momentum would do the rest.
    Yes, I have also found passing hands over the toaster while waiting for toast to cook, a help. Prednisolone brought dramatic relief within 24 hours, and after two weeks I was prescribed methotrexate.
    Wonderul, pain free. Because I am diabetic, my BGLs went up to 21mmol, etc, and I have gradually reduced prednisolone to 2.5mg, only to find that tonight (one week later) my aches are starting to ‘kick in’.
    Thank you for sharing all your issues, as it is important to be able to share, care and enjoy a smile, even through adversity, with people from all over the world. Your determination is wonderful.

  520. Eilu

    -When the rheumatologist has interns come and look at how funny your thumb moves because the joint is so jacked up it looks like it’s rubber
    -When you pass out in random places but everyone’s so used to it they quietly try to cover you in a blanket to keep you warm
    -When it’s 80+ degrees outside and everyone else is dying of heat exhaustion but you’re sitting happily in jeans and a hoodie
    -When you’re in your 20’s and realize as you struggle to put a bra on for 15 min that you might have to ask your mother to help dress you and start crying
    -When you feel like a kitten in an internet video because you hit that “wall” when you least expect it and start nodding off
    -When you get panic attacks because “winter is coming” and it’s not going to be anywhere as cool as a Game of Thrones episode
    -When you’re struggling to keep up with work or falling asleep in your chair and your boss, that you’ve explained your condition to, and even given information articles to, asks “what’s wrong” for the 5 millionth time and you suppress the urge to strangle them
    -When the little sister that you once changed the diapers of now helps you carry things
    -When you going “swimming” is actually you going to water therapy 2x a week with your grandmother (and being the youngest one there by 40years)
    -When you’re excited to get a shot (Simponi)
    -When you wonder why people get the flu for a few days and expect sympathy but you’re sick your whole life and they don’t get why it’s so bad
    -When you try to wash your hair with one arm
    -When you try to dry your hair and can’t, and everyday becomes “awkward I had to bend like a contortionist” to do this ponytail day
    -When you have to take a deep breath and brace yourself to get in and out of a car
    -When you started using a rolling luggage bag for a backpack in college because you couldn’t carry things anymore
    -Your grandmother gets around better than you do–and helps you
    -When you think of how hard life can be when you’re healthy, and wonder how you’re going to deal with it now that you’re not
    -When you get used to how people will react – 1) Lack empathy for your situation because they don’t understand the breadth of it or 2) Give you pitying looks that make you wonder if you’re worse than you are
    -When your told over and over “you’re too young to have that” and try to force a smile because if you don’t you’ll cry
    -When getting a spinal tap to check for infection is a walk in the park as long as you can take your medicine again and don’t have to face the RA pain
    -When you’ve felt like you were 90 since you were 20
    -When you go to sleep and wake up asking, “Why can’t I just be normal?”
    -When you wouldn’t wish it on your worst enemy
    -When you’ve been at work and the pain’s gotten so bad you had to have someone there drive you home

  521. karla

    when you are getting out of the car and you need help. Or when you sit and and you cannot get up.It is painful!!! Opening up a jar of spaghetti sauce you need to go to your neighbor for help. Simple steps that you were able to do and now it is almost traumatic at times.I do carry scissors in my purse, if i get hungry and buy a bag of chips.You are not alone…

  522. Camille

    You stop trying to open your favourite Terra chips bag with your hands, you just grab the scissors and keep going without any hesitation

  523. Hails

    * When the pharmacist doesn’t ask your name any more when you collect your meds
    * When you are so tired you can’t sleep
    * When most people in the office at work have helped with anything from putting staples in the stapler to opening a bottle of water
    * When you wake and your partner just looks at you and says ‘You ain’t going to work today, and you ain’t arguing’ (as happened to me this week)
    * Even watching the tv is exhausting

  524. Shannon

    When you’ve been told you will eventually have to have both shoulders, both hips and both knees replaced but due to your age (43) and the fact you don’t heal well (after having 2 surgeries to fix tears) you will have to wait until you are around 50 (or something is so horribly disfigured there’s no choice) because “replacement joints only last around 20 years”!
    Although I cried throughout reading these posts, I also feel so much better knowing I’m not alone (& not crazy! Lol). Thank you so much for this blog!!

  525. Katie

    When your friends are talking about a hypothetical zombie apocalypse, and all you can think is “that’s me screwed, then”.

  526. Karina al Muls

    – when you have three sizes of shoes – all flatties and slip ons for different days
    -when you keep your hair short as it’s too painful to brush, blow dry etc
    – you set your alarm an hour earlier than anyone else in the house because it takes that long to get up, get dressed and sort out your meds for the day
    – you keep a bag filled with anything you might possibly need for the day so you only have to go upstairs the once to go to bed
    – you need crutches to walk around the house and a wheelchair for outside if it’s more than 5yards as your back will go into agonising spasms and your leg will cave in
    – car journeys have to be spaced out if it’s any distance as you seize up sitting straight for any length of time
    – you are seriously considering asking your daughters to transfer the olives you love to eat into a plastic container as you keep on dropping the jar
    -you count four to five hours of sleep a good night’s rest
    -you’re looking forward to knee replacement surgery and spinal fusion because it means, hopefully, you will be able to walk properly again and be able to come off the heavy duty painkillers

  527. Stephanie

    When I read all your comments and every one that is listed applies to me some more than others. All I can do is keep reading and with my eyes getting teary….sigh ~ and my heart heavy. My love goes out to all of you.

  528. Tabatha Loving-Yager

    When each and everyone of these makes sense!!! But you have no one to help you when you can’t unfasten your bra, can’t get out of bed to go to the bathroom, no one to help you walk when your hips aren’t working, no one to help you turn over in bed when it hurts too much to move, or just to hold you (however tenderly) when you have that occasional breakdown, because you know that this isn’t ever going to go away, may get a little better, but will most likely only get worse. Being as positive as possible every day is great, but every once in awhile we all have a breakdown, as this is something that we all deal with everyday…the inevitabilities of our disease.

  529. chrissy

    when you scrub the entire kitchen floor with a sponge, cause after doing the dishes you couldn’t put it down

  530. Eilu

    -When you sit there struggling for god knows how long to open the new Aleve bottle and you finally realize your husband is staring at you and holding his hand out to do it for you. Then he does it in 2 seconds and you want to hiss at him because you used to open things for him.

    -When you offer to get a drink for someone then engage in an epic battle with the 2liter pop bottle that may or may not end with teeth marks on the cap.

    -When your elbows hurt just from driving and holding onto the steering wheel leaves you swearing you can feel ever muscle strand and tendon along the back of your hands like violin stings wound three times too tight.

  531. Liz

    – you’ve become that white lady who asks for a fork at Asian restaurants
    – your rheumatologist has banned you from any exercise more strenuous than walking around a heated swimming pool…
    – …and your hands are swollen and red the next day because you were using handheld floatation devices
    – you’re the office expert on recognising and managing RSI and related injuries
    – you sprained your ankle two years ago and it’s still in bad shape
    – you haven’t actually worn high heels since you were 16, but you buy them anyway “just in case”

  532. Christina

    *When you’re 27 and told you have a 80% chance of being in a wheel chair
    *When you have to be rolled to the bathroom by your mother in a desk chair b/c you can’t walk
    *When you have to have someone cut up your food and if no one is around you actually eat it with your hands
    *When you can’t hold a pen, you’re hand writing looks like chicken scratch and people stare at your “sausage fingers”
    *When at 33 you’re still living at home b/c you can’t live alone and your poor Mother that’s 68 yrs old has to open and cut everything for you, she has to do your hair, she has to make your bed. 🙁 Thank God for my Mother!!! I couldn’t live w/o her!!

  533. Christina

    As terrible as it is that we all can relate to all these posts, it’s also a blessing to me to see that I’m not alone. That there are others that go through it too. I couldn’t read them all at once, my shoulders and fingers are killing me, but to each of you that shared, thank you. It really does help. So thankful I stumbled upon this website while researching Humira side effects as I just switched to that and took my fist injection. I pray that we all find some treatment that works, with no side effects, that we can live pain free and stop the damage to our bodies. We need a CURE!! 🙂

  534. Sonya

    …when you’re always the last person to leave the movie after the credits, so that you can limp & lurch along without enduring the pitying stares. Also, when you’re explaining to the new cafeteria staff at work that you can’t eat certain foods because of your medical condition, and the nursing students behind you quietly ask if you mind telling them which autoimmune you have.

  535. Vicki K

    When you have to use your hands to physically bend your knees to kick-start them for the first few steps…

    When you truly appreciate a non-flare up day and are thankful for the ability to be able to walk the dog again. But, unfortunately, you know it won’t last. 🙁

    When the swelling and thickness in your joints is best described as congealed jello or “molasses in January”.

    When you can relate to way too many of these comments. Thanks for the reassurances that I am not alone! 🙂

  536. Renee

    When you find yourself Praying every minute for some relief any kind of relief,
    A hospital bed is now in the place your couch was, and the shower is up the stairs
    Driving is barely tolerable. Kids need to be picked up?….?
    God is listening , let us all get through our up and coming surgeries
    and just how do we get clean enough out of a basin?

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  542. kedomi

    When you’re in compression gloves, a wrist brace and an elbow wrap from helping carve the pumpkin.

  543. Debra Thorpe

    You know you have RA when “medically induced coma” is ahead of Disneyland on your list of dream vacations.

  544. Sissy

    You know you have RA when you fall asleep hard core on a flight overseas on a business trip from fatigue and the flight attendant thinks your dead!!!
    When you use Lamaze breathing to get through painful flares!
    When you ask the grand kids to hold on to your sleeves and not your hands when you cross the street
    When brain fog makes your assistant at work finish all your sentences for you…gratefully there is someone there to do it!!!

  545. Christine

    When you wait to watch the new Superman movie at home with your husband, because you can;t make it out to the theatre. Then you fall asleep during the big fight seen, missing the end of the movie.

  546. Holly

    …when the best Mother’s Day gift you have ever received from your children…is paddle style door handles installed on every door in the house and an electronic lock on the front door so you never have to fumble with the key again. (yes, I cried)
    …when you take the elevator for a single floor change.
    …when you cringe at the thought of going to a gathering where there will be new people who will want to shake hands when introduced.

  547. Andi C.

    A trick I use when “shaking hands”: enclose your hands around the person’s outstretched hand and say “don’t squeeze, don’t squeeze”! Sometimes people, especially men, may be taken aback by this.
    Another thing to non RA’ers: please don’t ask me write or sign anything first thing in the morning. I get sad sometimes when I write; I did the place cards for my sister’s wedding in Italic script, also award certificates at a local school, now I do good not to have totally illegible hand writing. Also, Peapod, an on-line shopping site run by the local Stop & Shop, is wonderful. I do my grocery shopping over the internet; The way it is delivered and packaged is such that each bag is fairly and easy to put on the kitchen counters. (yes, they even carry it to the kitchen!)

  548. Barb

    You go shopping and spend more time ‘resting’ outside the shops than inside because it hurts too much to stand for a long time!
    When you go to the pharmacy and the girl tells you that it’s time to put all your pills in one big pack called a webster pack ( they use them in nursing homes). Hang on, how old do you think I am!
    You count your pills everyday before you take them, just in case you’ve forgotten one, even though they have already been doled out into a seven day pill container.
    When your wonderful husband books dinner for 2 and all you can think about is sleeping.
    When you’re so frustrated about one small thing and all you can do is cry and then you realise that there are people that feel the same way because of the same thing.

  549. natchralli

    when you look for a new hairstylist because your current, ornery one arrives 2 hours late with no explanation or apology, only to have the new stylist take 3 hours to do the same half hour style. Then you sleep 15 hours straight from the stress and fatigue of sitting so long and gelling. You realize that becoming bald is the next step

  550. natchralli

    when you still drive, but only with excruciating pains in your shoulders from turning the steering wheel and terrible finger pain trying to grasp the unbuilt-up rental van steering wheel. You consider handicapped modifications but are hard-pressed to decide how long before the costly new modification would be obsolete due to progression of disease.

  551. Annette

    When you are just simply sitting, standing, walking, or stretching and all of a suuden you get the most excruciating Charlie Horse that won’t go away. The worst was having one while getting on a roller coaster at a amusement park in front of everyone. Trying to hide the pain and not screaming out loud before the ride takes off! Explaining to the kids and family what happened, so awkward.

  552. LittleBit

    When you’re told that your pain whinging “isn’t for Facebook”.

    And the tears of joy reading every single one of these posts… After more than 10 years, at 22, I may have found the RA in-crowd!

  553. DIann

    when helping your 6 year old grand-daughter with homework and she corrects the “wrong way” you now hold the pencil!

  554. Deirdre

    When you have to ask your co worker to help you out of your scurb top before you go home, because you live alone and don’t want to be stuck in work clothes for two days.

    When you have to take food over to your parents house for them to prep by cutting up/chopping so you can cook later in the week.

    When buying things at the grocery store means what is easiest to reach/pick up, not what is cheaper.

  555. lizz

    I have spent all day reading the posts all I can say is been there got the T-shirt and wearing it this makes you feel not so alone it is about time the public were educated about RA but dont think it will ever happen I have had RA for over 35 years but I was one of the lucky ones as it was fairly silent for 30 of them but did a bit of damage now waiting for 2nd knee replacment but when it did kick in it knocked me flat could not even brush my teeth thank goodness for mouth wash

  556. Valerie

    When you can’t wear flip flops anymore or any open-toe shoes in public because you catch people staring at your deformed toes

  557. Valerie

    When your BFF complains about tired she is and you ask her what she could possibly be so tired from when you know she can’t ever be as tired as you are or even understand what it means to be truly exhausted

  558. Mnoone

    … people think your drunk in the party even though you’re really just expressing your truely happy self!

  559. Heather C.

    when you actually look FORWARD to jabbing yourself with the Humira pen so you can have some pain relief!

    when you make excuses that your kids were sick, when it was actually you…

    when you have to bribe a member of your family to cut your toenails

  560. Ashley

    ….when you jam the staplers at work because it hurts to press it all the way down!,,this just happened. LOL

  561. Vanessa

    When you realize you can’t hold your toddler anymore then go down hard on your knees instead of dropping her!

  562. Rita

    when you buy shoes for comfort and not style…no more heels

    when your 83 year old mom walks faster than you do and can open bottles and jars for you.

    when someone asks you what RA pain feels like and does it really hurt that much?
    when someone says that they think they have RA too, it their little finger.
    you want to smash their knee but cannot because you don’t have the strength and are in too much pain.

  563. Josie

    When you have to tell your best friend you can’t wear the same hooker style heels as the rest of the bridesmaids because your toes won’t bend at that angle even though your only 22.

    And when you’re wanting to get tone and in shape for your own upcoming wedding, but it hurts to even get out of bed.

  564. Colleen

    Although I wouldn’t wish this disease in anyone, I’m thankful to know I’m not alone. Some of these posts had me laughing out loud and thinking it’s not just me.

    You know you have RA when you book an appointment for a pedicure in January because you don’t have the strength in your hands to cut your own toenails.

  565. joni johnston

    When the women who used to call you dirty names in jealousy over how pretty your hands were, cringe as if looking at your hands hurts them.

  566. Stephanie

    When you have to order finger foods when dining out with friends because you can’t use knives to cut steak anymore.

  567. Kassandra

    When your 17 and cant take notes in class because it just hurts to much.
    When you ask people if they can help pull your hair out of your jacket for you when you put it on.
    When you can even walk from your house to the bus stop to get to school /And you rather wait for a bus with a seat than stand on a full bus in winter.
    When your that person who loves art but hasnt drawn or painted a picture in a year because it makes you sad to know that you cant even finish it.
    When you have to give up your dream job because its not something suitable for someone with RA.
    -For me I wanted to be a pastry chef but now I find it to hard to stir things so I get my 9 year old sister to do it for me.

  568. Sherrie Cain

    You know you have RA when you feel guilty because you have the most wonderul husband in the entire world and even though he is 5 years older than you and has COPD,he is left with all of his regular chores, your housework, and taking care of the dogs. On top of this he helps you bathe and get dressed .He cuts up any food that requires that and pre-opens your Boost bottles and puts the lids back on so that you can open them when he is not here. You feel that you don’t desrve him, but don’t know what you’d do without him. I sometimes wonder why he puts up with me when i really can’t do anything for him. I worry that he may begin to feel that he is taken for granted, though he is always kind and thoughtful.

  569. Sherrie Cain

    When your long slender fingers went to sausage fingers and then progressed to pretzel fingers. When “hunt and peck ” keyboarding has become “search and destroy”.
    When you try to proofread it you wonder what in the world were you trying to say.

  570. Kat

    When no one understands you but others living with RA, and you dread falling asleep because you know waking up in the morning is going to feel like you have been hit by a train.

  571. Jamie

    You tell your husband,”In case of a fire/earthquake/tsunami/zombie invasion, and I’m flaring and can’t run (who am I kidding, I mean walk), save yourself. Just leave me behind.” and seriously mean it.

  572. Sherri

    You know you have RA when,,,You sleep in your bra, because it will make things easier the next morning….

  573. MelissaRN

    When you’re in agony but your labs are “normal” and your husband says “see, nothing to complain about.”

    When you send your kids to daycare in pajamas because it’s too painful to dress them.

    I developed RA 6 months after starting a job as an RN in a rheumatology clinic. When patients tell me their symptoms I so want to say “me too!” But can’t – professional boundaries.

    I wonder how much longer I will be able to pump up a blood pressure cuff.

  574. wendy

    When you catch a minor cold and it wipes you out for weeks because its a major cold for you…. (cold on the horizon for me… Boooooo)

  575. Ekmeet

    I have RA and I know how it feels like when I can’t even open the bottle cap myself…. I have to take help from others just to so even small things of daily routine

  576. Ekmeet

    I know how it feels like to go to school and can’t carry heavy books by myself like others…. I dont think people with RA can live a normal life.. Like I can’t wear heels, can’t open a bottle cap, can’t stand myself if I m sitting with my legs crossed, can’t write notes in class without taking break after every minute, can’t walk long distances, can’t climb up stairs without pain in knees….

  577. Ekmeet

    Your friends and family say that you are lazy but no one understands how much pain we suffer and how helpless we feel just to do the simplest things…

  578. Kelly

    When you swear your kids teachers are wondering if you are a drug addict because you show up every morning looking like a disoriented hobo with puffy red and irritated eyes!

  579. Nancy

    When sitting on the hopper hurts your hip/butt bones and feels good at the same time because it is cold; you can’t wear high heels but u do anyway and cry as u crawl into bed at the end if the day; and you finally lose the love of your life because he can’t stand your angry complaining anymore and he just doesn’t love u anymore especially since the RA got in the way of his perfect life.
    And after all that you find out who your real friends r and you know no matter what U R BLESSED.
    Blessings to all out there. You are all valuable people who understand suffering and still bring grace and dignity to the world. Peace! Keep moving. It helps!!

  580. Becci

    When you are for dinner and your friend/boyfriend/parents have to cut your dinner up for you like a child and the waitress looks at you like your odd.

  581. Grouchy

    Thank you for all of the humor in the midst of the pain. Knowing that I am not alone is some comfort. This has been a 14-year treatment, diagnosed after 10 years of symptoms.

    RA means finding innovative ways to put on socks; zip your pants (pliers work, no sharp edges); using a grappler to pick up what fell onto the floor or is just too deep in the cabinet; making a to-do list BEFORE the stairs are climbed; using the stairs as a temporary storage for items that must eventually be brought upstairs; making a list of meds , scheduling them to avoid conflicts with each other; deciding which activity is worth the pain and which can be delayed or eliminated.

    RA means consideration of which med is the least poison to the system, and which risks are worth the benefit.

    I took the risk with methotrexate, developed lung disease.

    All of you (or Y’all as said in Texas) are in my prayers!

  582. louisa

    When you try on those skinny jeans you’ve yearned for but they won’t go over your swollen knees …and you need a chair to sit on while doing it

  583. louisa

    When you put your mobile phone down after chatting for ten minutes and your hand is stuck in the same position!

  584. Vickie

    .when like me all of the above comments apply to you and you haven’t even commented ..thanks guy for such a wonderful placer to come to and know someone truly understands …Love Vickie

  585. ramya

    When you put your debit card in the ATM and you realize your fingers don’t have the grip anymore to pull it out…

  586. ramya

    +1 to almost all the comments..
    +1 to Sherrie Cain’s comment about having the most beautiful partner ..and to all those loved ones who really motivate you to live. without them I don’t know how my life would be. Maybe I wouldn’t want to live..

  587. Leslie

    When you are happy and grateful because you’re just a mere human instead of vampire. At least the pain won’t last for eternity

  588. Karen

    When you wear boxing hand wraps to school to support your wrists and hands. Looking bad ass is a bonus.

  589. Karen

    When you’re 17 and 80+ year olds with walkers pass you on the sidewalk as you’re walking to school.

  590. Ruby9

    when you go out to lunch with all your friends who you thought understood only to have them spend the entire time planning a bunch of fun nature hikes together (even though they know full well your feet are so screwed up you’ll never walk without pain again) while you sit there, trying not to cry. You come home, type F**K RA into Google, come across this site, read the entire thing in one go and manage, even though you’re sad and miserable and angy as hell, to smile. Thanks everyone.

  591. Erin

    When you do a little happy dance at the gas station because the pump handle has the metal flap that holds it for you. Also, you’re willing to hold your breath that extra mile to the further gas station because you know it has them.

  592. Jozie mck

    When you can mow the lawn one week and can’t lift a teacup the next ….
    When my little girls runs to greet me after school and I brace myself for the gorgeous cuddle that is too painful to mention…
    When on the outside everything looks normal …

  593. Scarlyt

    When you don’t have your teaching contract renewed because of your “physical issues”.

  594. Sarah Mack

    …..when little children stare at you because they can’t understand why you walk with a stick when you are in your twenties.

    …..when going out in public, you are constantly asked ‘what have you been doing to yourself?’ by complete strangers due to the aforementioned stick and limp like your health is their business and like you’ve somehow brought on this horrendous pain yourself.

    …..when your GP keeps mis-diagnosing you with depression because you complain of severe exhaustion and pain all over your body.

    ….when you are told ‘but your too young to have arthritis/a hip replacement’ etc

    Great blog, great page!

  595. Sarah Mack

    ….when you get out of making a round of tea at work because everyone knows you find it tough enough to hold one mug let alone several!

    …..when turning over in bed feels like you have just run a marathon!

  596. Sarah

    When your “Dance like no-ones watching moves ” is really you trying to dislodge cramp in you feet and toes….

  597. Ali

    When your stuck in the bathroom at work because you cant zip your pants. And wish it was as simple as they dont fit.

  598. Toni

    When you have to drink from a plastic cup with both hands like a child just learning to drink and also when your side of the bed looks like you need a new matress because of the dent that looks like the shape of your body : (

  599. TheWino

    When you see the irony of a cane because you can’t utilize it on this day because of the pain in your hands and wrists.

    When you own a very expensive leg brace from so many knee surgeries, a back brace, and multiple canes. Some days you need all three at the same time.

    When you always, always have a cane in your car ‘just in case.’

    When you are in your 40’s which makes you the youngest person participating in your local gym’s warm water pool arthritis therapy classes by twenty to thirty years; forty years in one case.

    When you are a male and you purchase a Parrafin wax machine for home use.

    When you use a pillow at night to sleep but under your ankle area so your heels don’t touch the bed because it hurts too much.

    When you have thought about buying a urinal so you don’t have to physically get out of bed in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom.

  600. Emma

    …when you know exercise is meant to be good for you, but just thinking about the pain convinces you a nap would be much better.

  601. Emma

    …when exercise is meant to be good for you, but just the thought of it convinces you a nap would be loads better.

  602. Emma

    …when you constantly wear trousers even in summer because it hurts too much to shave your legs!

  603. Luann

    I can relate to so many of these..the scissors…the getting out of the booth…the unhooking AND hooking of the bra…the pain at night but sleeping in my office chair…the pills…the stairs. I also shrink from shaking hands with anyone and plan ahead if I want a jar opened or something lifted. On the plus side..I am on this side of the dirt so I will go on learning new ways to live with my RA! Thank you for the laughs and support!

  604. Christine

    When you explain to the waiter during restaurant trips you are “not a fussy eater its cos Im on a specialist diet,” after asking about various GF options and then when he mentions everything has tomatoes and then lemon you continue to say “can’t have that wither, and then feel the need to further explain when he looks strangely at you and your slim frame thinking ur body conscious. You explain with a laugh about living off lettuce when obviously you do eat more than that.. You try and make a joke to cover the uncomfortable moment.

  605. Mello

    …..when you ask the staff member at the chemist (who is much older than you) to undo the lids of your meds before you take them home and you wish you could wear ugg boots and pyjamas to work.

  606. Rubydew

    When door latches hurt too,
    When the electric blanket is used all year round,
    When the vibration of electric toothbrush hurts my hand,
    When socks hurt and don’t fit over swollen ankles

  607. Josie

    When you get really excited about the new tiny circle band aids you bought for when you take your Enbrel shots!

    When suddenly you’re diagnosed with Fibromyalgia, as well, because of all the initial stress from the RA. Vicious cycle.

    When you’re the manager of a coffee shop and have to explain to your boss why you can’t be the one there at 6am every morning because you can’t think straight until you’ve been awake for at least 2 hours. And had a couple of cups of coffee.

    When your doctor orders you to drink less coffee. 🙁

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  610. Zoe

    When you remember the things you used to do – aerobics, tennis, feeling energised – like they were someone else

  611. Pam

    Your husband knows that he has to walk slower at the grocery store or you’ll be left behind.

    You fall asleep during every movie you watch.

  612. Dulsy

    When you have to stand around waiting for somone to come out of the gas station so you can ask for help unscrewing your gas cap.

  613. Brenda

    Each and every comment I can relate to. Jars and bottle caps. Cutting up of food, getting dressed, getting out of bed, all of your comments are so true.
    But we are a strong bunch. Diagnosed 15 years ago, but sure I had ra much longer. One wrist fusion.
    Sometimes I get sad because my ex husband would call me lazy before being diagnosed, but he left before then. And to this day still calls me lazy. Some people just really don’t get it.
    As I live alone, I am extremely fortunate to have a wonderful and supportive daughter, mother and friends.
    Cheers to all of the families and friends that support us and try to understand.

  614. Marion

    When you see 3 huge green bags of dirty laundry on your living room floor because procrastination is less painful than a visit to the apartment laundry room.

  615. Amber

    My heart goes out to all of you!
    I am 28, My doctor said I’m positive for an autoimmune disorder (pos ANA titers) but not enough inflammation markers for a diagnosis, or something, I’m not sure, by the time I actually got into see the dr and have bloodwork done I had been feeling pretty good for about 3 weeks but prior to that was having swollen hot joint pain for 2 months solid. He told me I am “pre RA” and to just “wait and see what happens, I may stay mild forever or it may progress”

    You know you have RA when.. you swear something in your body is trying to literally pry your knuckles apart with a burning hot screwdriver! your friends/husband looks at you like your absolutely insane when you say your elbows hurt one day, then the next day your knuckles, next day your toes or your knuckles hurt for a few hours then the pain disappears and then comes back then goes away then comes back. Some days nothing hurts at all. My eyes are so dry, burning and red that people think I am sick or didn’t get any sleep.
    And every time someone notices I’m hurting they blow me off and say “your too young for arthritis” or they piss me off by saying “oh yea, I have bad ankles that hurt sometimes from basketball in highschool”
    um ok, yea, not the same thing but thanks.

  616. Tim

    …when as a newly diagnosed 49 year old you find this site and don’t know whether to laugh or cry and end up doing both because finally you realise someone else understands.

    … You wonder why all the pills you have to take are so small that you can’t pick
    them up…

    … You’re grateful for the autocorrect and word suggestion features of your computer…

    … You’re not religious but catch yourself praying that the MTX works …

  617. Will

    When you’re at work (in a cubicle, aka cubeville), and during a break you gather yourself into the “non-visible” corner of your cube, with your back to the populous – so you can gnaw the foil lid off of a yogurt container because your hands cannot get the job done.

  618. Anna

    …When you purchase new bedroom furniture so it’s high enough so you can slide off to stand upright without as much pain.

  619. Marie

    When the pain of doing a Ctrl-C Ctrl-V makes you swear out loud in the office (and you end up using the right click in your mouse to avoid it)

    And then you keep switching hands to use your mouse so your fingers can take turns with the pain lol

  620. Rod

    You look into the laughing eyes of your 3-year old and pray, harder than you have ever prayed in your life, that you have not passed on the susceptibility …

  621. Janet

    When you decide you can’t go to your favorite vacation destination because it requires too much walking.

  622. Shannon

    When you’re reading this instead of sleeping at 1230 am because your knees hurt so much it’s impossible to sleep

    When your 90 year old patients put their hand on your shoulder and ask if your “ok” because your limping and they beet you down the hallway to the exam room

    When your 9 year old has learned to make scrambled eggs, toast and coffee for you for your bad days

  623. Elissa

    – the rings you wear become a measure of how swollen your hands are.

    – you can’t decide between running your hands under cold water or wrapping them in a heat pack.

  624. Sarah Hodson Grady

    when you are walking into work (at a hospital) and the volunteer offers you a wheelchair like you are a patient.

  625. Judy

    You don’t get your car fixed because you know you can’t drive anymore.

    You watch movies over and over because you are too tired to get off the couch.

    You donate all your clothes that are too difficult to put on.

  626. Susie

    When you used to type 120 words per minute with no errors but now have to drag your curled and gnarly fingers all over the keyboard trying to correct all the mistakes.

  627. Rita Matthews

    when your hands are so deformed that your friends ask if they hurt. I have had RA for 50 years, diagnosed when I was 34. But I am improved and off methotrexate! Don’t give up! Keep trying! I have a houseful of scissors and my daughter changed my life when she bought me an electric jar opener. It takes me forever but I am back into my pantyhose! Don’t give up! Try to have some sort of fun every single day. I learned to play the ukulele. . Don’t give up! I am in better shape than I was 10 years ago. Keep trying! Don’t overdo! Lessen your stress as much as possible. Keep trying!

  628. Leslie Lee

    So here’s one for you – sad and funny. My husband was away on a fishing trip and my son was at work. I had a particularly bad flare up in every joint in my body. It took me 15 minutes to get out of bed. My biggest hurdle was still ahead of me – going to the bathroom. I had to plunk/fall down on to the toilet seat because I was so inflamed I could not lower myself and I really had to go. Then I could not get off the toilet. My poor dog could hear me moaning and groaning and sat outside the bathroom door crying – I would like to think in sympathy. So after about 15 minutes of gently rocking myself back and forth I gained enough momentum to catapult myself off the toilet and into the wall. I’m shocked my head didn’t go right through the plaster. Oh the trials and tribulations of having RA. Keep on laughing at yourselves folks. Humour is good for the soul and helps keep you going. 🙂

  629. Mels

    You know you have RA when you wake in the middle of the night and you have to make a fast trip to sink..not to get a drink but to hold your wrist and arm underneath steaming hot water because you can’t get yourself in the shower.

  630. Amanda

    When your joints have more snap crackle and pop than a bowl of rice krispies.

    When climbing a flight of stairs is like climbing mount everest

    When you push a grocery cart through the store for support even though you only need a few items.

    When you have to do a systems check before getting out of bed in the morning

    When the thought of putting your feet on the floor makes you cringe

    When you can’t tell where your calves end and your ankles begin

    When if you can’t wear your comfy shoes with your outfit the occasion is simply too fancy and why bother going anyway.

  631. Marion

    Six months later, RA is progressing nicely thank you. I know it because the right leg I have been depending upon to lift me up is beginning to feel as painful as the left one. My son has removed me from his friend list on Facebook because he thinks I am just stubborn for not being able to use public toilets any more. I forgive him because a man couldn’t understand my position (pun intended). I have had active RA for 7 years now with no remissions and tried natural remedies with limited results so thought it about time to donate most of my creatively inspired supplies to those who can use them….sewing, crafts, painting, drawing, wood carving, etc. —-hoping of course that the extra karma may allow me to participate in these activities again before I die I know I have RA because I had to ask my busy daughter to physically help me do this. (I finally found a way to get her to visit with me LOL)

    I know I have RA because one day as I was hobbling sideways down a flight of stairs frantically grabbing the railing, I quipped to the man behind me, “I was born under the sign of Cancer the crab you understand” and he replied “That’s Ok, at least you are keeping active” and that is what I am trying to do as long as I can. I come to this forum to commiserate and to laugh at myself. I cannot fault anyone for trying to find a cure or relief from pain..I’ve been there. Now I try to find something every day to give me a fuzzy warm feeling – a laugh, a photo of favourite great grandchild, a scoop of mint chocolate chip ice cream, an old movie, a digital paint brush or an Old Master painting – whatever does the trick. I cry for all the young people here with RA – and think how is it possible?

  632. Ali

    When you HAVE to go down the stairs in the morning without “warming” up , you are on all fours and backwards like a 2 yr old does it!

  633. Aria

    when you have end of semester assignments to do but you cant even type on your laptop!
    when you cannot seat in the same spot for more than an hour!
    when you look at the prescription pills like you are looking at the red and blue pills in the MATRIX!

  634. Tam

    When your blanket is too heavy to move around in your bed and you have to start sleeping with just a top sheet.

  635. Scott

    You know you have RA when pouring a cup of coffee involves wearing an oven mitt on one hand to stabilize the bottom of carafe while pouring with the other!

    You know you have RA when you can’t open your Celebrex!

  636. Don

    Most of your thoughts are about all of the fun you had as a kid and trying to figure out which injury will hurt the most today. Then you say hey I never got hurt there, what’s up with that.

  637. Monica

    When you’ve been in such a flare up that all you can do is concentrate on existing each day and when you finally start to come out of it, you realize you barely remember the past few days. And when you tell this to your husband, he just walks away.

  638. Dhairya

    When you feel you can’t share it with anyone cos hardly anyone would understand what you are going through actually!

  639. Karen

    When you have people asking if you are ok because you are walking so stiffly and a) that is your “normal” walk and b) you know you are actually feeling less stiff than usual.

  640. michael

    When your wife has to button your pants. When you learn to wipe your butt with either hand

  641. IZZ-RA

    You know you have arthritis when people say the following;

    * Have you got a limp or something….
    * You don’t LOOK ill…..(the classic)
    * People suddenly notice as I have a wrist support on and say “what did you do”….

    Handing bottles, tins to my 11 year old daughter to open.
    Pointing with my middle finger (not in a rude way) because my index finger is all bent and ugly.
    The next set of medications being prescribed with another long list of side effect as the last lot are not working anymore.

    Discovering mindfulness meditation is the single best thing to have happened to me through RA, and makes a huge difference daily to my life and those around me. So feeling blessed despite the pain and ongoing life adjustments. Can’t recommend it enough!

  642. IZZ-RA

    Oh and having to pull up the blankets in the night with my feet as I can’t grab it with my hands….

  643. Tegan

    When you can read this thread and identify with too many of these, and are convinced even though you’re awaiting your rheumatologist appointment.

    When you’ve been staying in bed reading this, to avoid the pain of getting up, so long your hands now hate you for scrolling.

    When you study, eat, sleep and everything else possible from your bed because chairs just aren’t comfortable.

    When you only realised nausea from pain is a real thing since the joint pain has rared it’s ugly head

    When you’ve wasted the last 2 years thinking you had chronic fatigue syndrome but now you can understand it was RA

    When you sit in radiography lectures on RA questioning if you’ll be able to perform the job with limited dexterity and physical ability, and being on immunosuppressants.

    When you consider you probably won’t be able to demonstrate to patients how you need them positioned for X-rays because you can’t move your own body that way

    When the future scares you, not because of the unknown, but because of the known inabilities and dependence on other people

    When you’re 21 and people tell you how you look good and you could cry because you feel terrible

    When your friends don’t understand what it even means to have joint pain…

  644. Lisa Haakma

    when you have to use both hands to move the shift change from reverse to drive in your car

  645. Lembe

    when you’re forced to buy an iPad because you cannot bring your laptop to the lecture because it’s too heavy.
    when the other 300 students and the professor all look at you disapprovingly because in the middle of the lecture your stiff joints start to ache so much and the blister pack of your paracetamol+codeine makes too much noise.
    when your doctor thinks you’re faking it because when you visit them, you’re feeling alright, your blood analysis doesn’t show anything, but most of the time your joints are stiff, swollen and aching.
    when a resident doctor at your local rheumatology ward says that ‘people with rheumatic diseases complain too much’ and you’re too shocked to tell them to go f themselves.

    (I’m 19 and I’ve had JIA for 13 years)

  646. v.k.sethi

    Can some one tell me why the toilets & bedrooms in U,K, are on 1st floor, where the acess for older population is so difficult.
    Earlier ages no one reached the age of joint pains, no one thought about it.

  647. Stacey

    When you learn to open almost every type of door with your elbows.
    When you run outside into the cold in a tshirt, jeans…and mittens.
    When you’ve broken a pill bottle by smashing it against something because you can’t get the child safe lid open.
    When you wish you were older so you could move into seniors’ housing, with all those handy grip-bars.

    And best: You have to rock yourself off your seat, because without that rocking momentum, you just can’t do it.

    Diag @ 26, with Felty Syndrome at 29.

  648. Virginia Justice

    When petting your comfort animal hurts and the dog realizes it and locks where you hurt ????

  649. Vanessa R

    When you can’t hold your baby or anything else for that matter.
    When you become a ninja researcher. When you tell the doc what is actually going on after they know absolutely nothing.

  650. Kime

    1.When you can’t breast feed your hungry, crying baby

    2. When getting a Total Knee Replacement at 32 means you can take your son to the park without supervision

    3. Setting the alarm for 4am to take pain killers so you can get out of bed at 6am to go to work

    4. Crying whilst getting out of bed, undressed, showered, dressed again, getting in and out of the car

    5. Feeling happy because you have finally found the best medication for you and it’s finally starting to work.

    Thanks everyone for your posts! I’ve laughed and cried

  651. Piret

    …..having to choose between going out to dinner with friends or being able to go to work the next day because to do both would wear me out.
    ……when carrying one grocery bag feels so heavy that you feel you can’t make it to the door. On better days I can carry several with one hand.
    ……feeling frustrated that I live alone and have no one to help with the small things.

    I was diagnosed a year ago and am still adjusting and mourning the person I used to be. But at the same time it explains physical symptoms I’ve had for at least 20 years and never knew what was going on. On good days I tend to do too much and end up paying for it. But I am able to recognize when a flare is starting because the first symptoms I get are nausea and diarrhea. Then comes the feeling of being cold all of the time, the pain and the fatigue. When I feel it starting, I slow down and rest, and fortunately is lasts just a day as opposed to the 4 days I used to have to spend in bed. I feel very fortunate that mine is considered mild. Thank you RA Guy for doing what you do and for sharing information.

  652. Suzie

    When those lilac velvety house slippers with the sturdy sole and velcro fastening look reeeaaalllly comfy (even though last year pre-diagnosis you would only have considered buying them for your 90 year old Great Aunt).

    My RA kicked off just a few months ago in the same week as my 40th birthday. I’m still waiting for my first DMARD to take effect and I’m glad I have found your site for support and information.

    I was initially relieved to get a diagnosis and treatment plan after months of extreme pain, but now the relief has turned to realisation, frustration and tears. But I’m thankful for my supportive husband and am determined to stay strong and hopefully I won’t be sat in pyjamas with messy hair every day for too much longer!

  653. Ramerna

    You know you have RA when you have a favorite phlebotomist, know their work schedule, know their full name, and know their family.

  654. lammy

    I’m a different kind of ”crip”~ not a player, pimp…..
    ain’t been hit with a few shells….. but i walk with a limp.

  655. lammy

    my grandpa used to say, ”that’s the Ritis brothers, and Arther is the worst one!”

  656. Dale

    You know you have Rheumatoid Arthritis when you struggle to open sweetener packets, so you give up and use your teeth.

  657. Annie

    You know you have RA when you find yourself Googling ” How to get cat hair from orthopedic wrist braces “, and ” Why are all orthopedic braces so God blessed ugly ” and writing emails to companies on both topics. So far no answers. Can you believe it? Hey, we’ve all given up our God given chick rights to Cute Shoes. Where in blazes are our cute orthopedic braces and no, that is not an oxymoron.

  658. Shano

    When you need a nap after reading all these comments and exhaust yourself from laughing.

    When your friends learn to read your “unique typo language” in texts and your autocorrect has now learned words with typos because you type them wrong so often.

    When your teen asks you why you have such a big phone but have your text on tiny and your response is…. I can see just fine, thank you! I just need a bigger target for my fingers.

    When your hubby comes home several times and excitely tells you about the cane/walker/wheelchair he saw in the window of the thrift store and asks you of you want him to go buy it for you. Lol

    When you’re jealous of the people who look like they’re SUPPOSED to be using the courtesy electric scooter cart at WalMart/Target.

    When an elderly relative passes away and you get excited when you “score” things from their house like back scratchers, claw extenders/grabbers, shoe horns, heating pads, canes, etc..

    When you have . 100lb service dog and explain that he helps you stand up and/ walk and is your handrail/cane and they look at you like you’ve got to be making that up.

    When your hubby/teens automatically ask you what you need from the store before they come home because they kmow you dont have the energy to stop anywhere after work every day.

    When you’ve redone every single form at work so that you never have to handwrite and almost everything is in a drop down menu or template so you dont have to type as much.

    When your boss congratulates you on your initiative, helping out your coworkers by making things more “efficient” and considers you some sort of tech genius for doing the above and you explain it was totally selfish and a survival skill.

    When you seriously consider making an ADA request to your employer for a stamp of your signature instead of having to actually sign thing but keep putting it off because you’re too tired to argue with the medical records person at your office or go get a note from your doctor.

    When your boss just clocks you in and out on a sick day because he knows you just changed medications AGAIN and youve used up all your sick time AGAIN and he doesnt have the heart to doc your pay AGAIN. 😀

    When you can just use half hearted hand gestures and your family knows that you mean “open this for me”, “I dont have the energy to turn off the light”, “Im too tired to speak”, “turn on netflix for me”, “Come from across the house and hand me that thing thats 4 feet away away from me”, “Nope. Too tired to ____”,

    When you call in to work with “I cant walk today” and then show up the next day perfectly fine.

    When your wardrobe slowly morphs into loose fitting dresses and anything resembling pajamas and your shoe collection becomes padded flip flops and slip on boots.

    When you tell your husband that you may have to cancel date night because fixing your hair just seems like a little too much to ask today.

    When you have a coffee pot within 10 feet of everywhere you spend time so you can stay awake.

    When your kids cook for you more than you cook for them and you justify with yoursellf that their wives will thank you someday.

    When every electronic device you own is touchscreen or voice activated because a mouse is a torture device.

    When you truly believe that people who run for enjoyment or go to the gym are mentally ill masochists.

    When you’ve named your Dr. Grip pen at work “My Precious” and get really anxious if anyone uses it.

    When you have had entire conversations with your bottle of prednisone trying to work out your relationship issues.

    When your doctor makes you take prednisone injections so you don’t stop taking it AGAIN after you weigh yourself AGAIN.

    When you throw your scale in the trash only to go fish it back out again because you think you’ve maybe lost 5 of the 25 prednisone pounds.

    When you seriously contemplate the idea of wigs because fixing your hair is just too much. When you opt to just stop fixing your hair instead.

    When you get hair extenaioms because you’ve cut your hair to make it easier to fix, but now you cant put it in a ponytail. :-\

    When you get jealous of your cat because they can sleep in any position and as much as they want.

    When you want to punch people who tell you all you REALLY NEED is marijuana. :-[

    When you have to struggle not to assault anyone that uses the words essentials oils, herbal supplements, wtfever free diets, or my whotfever used ___ and is now cured.

    When you either want to hug or punch anywho who says I know how you feel depending on their diagnosis.

    You know you have Sjogrens:

    When you treat having something to drink like having an oxygen tank and panic if you get stuck without it or forget to take it in the car.

    When you have to excuse yourself from a meeting to get more water because you can no longer open your mouth and talk because its too dry.

    When have to explain that you didnt get hit in the face, your tear ducts are just inflamed.

    When you’re certain everyone believes that you’re high because of your cotton mouth and red eyes and you actually start to get paranoid.

    When youv single handedly bought your dentist a new car with your billing.

    When you have to explain that youve actually never used methamphetamine or crack and it’s a disease that has made you lose so many teeth.

    When you get tired of it and just tell your dentist to PULL THE TOOTH ALREADY.

    When your dentist tells you its almost denture time before you’re 30.

    When you stop even attempting to name your diseases and just say, “Ive got some diseases youve never heard of.”

    When you need another nap after typing all this. Zzzzzz

  659. Dale

    You know you have RA when you have to ask a senior citizen to open your water/juice bottle at the mall food court.

  660. Rhianydd

    Your dress sense depends on what’s easiest to put on… and take off after a bad day.

    You have to use two hands to flush the toilet.

  661. Karenality

    You know you have RA when…:

    You feel like a prisoner in your own home because you can’t climb the 9 stairs it takes to get out of your “ground” level apartment and then walk across the parking lot to get to your car! Forget it! Have b/f run errands for you! ????

    I’ve seen comments that say when you’re 20 and feel like you’re 80!
    I can relate! I tell people I’m 50 y.o. that feels like I’m 70 but I wish I was 25 again! Close enough. It’s sad there are those out there younger than me with this crap! ????

  662. Edward B.

    When a good old fashioned manly handshake with old friends instantly turns you into the “Barney P. Fife” in the group of old friends.

  663. Kim

    When you are trapped in an unlocked room simply because you cannot turn the knob.

    When you are unable to take your RA meds because you are stymied by the lid to your unopened beverage.

    When using the handrail in a stairwell seems more risky due to the possibility not of getting sick from germs, but of incurring excruciating pain when your thumb accidentally bumps a rail support and your wrist/ thumb gets pushed back a smidge.

  664. Bridget

    When you’re only sixteen and all of your friends treat you as if you’re the ‘grandma’ of the group.

    When you tell someone (*cough*my sister*cough*) about the pain and they claim their legs hurt sooo much from soccer practice. 😑 you don’t understand my pain and you never will.

    When you get a bottle of water and your friend automatically takes it from you so they can open it for you because they’re so used to it.

    I was just diagnosed with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis a year ago and it’s pretty sad that I can relate to all of these comments. They most certainly made my day 😂

  665. Linda

    You’re starving but it’s not worth the effort or pain to try and eat

    You wake up at 6 am but lay in bed until 9 am because you know it’s going to hurt like crazy when you put your feet on the floor

    You want to read the newspaper but you can’t hold your arms out to turn the pages

    You want a drink of water but your arms hurt to bad to reach up in the cabinet to get a glass

    You forget what you were saying before you can get out a complete sentence

    Your fingers hurt so bad you can’t pull the blanket up over you

    You get up at 5 am to be somewhere by 9 am & it’s only 5 miles away

  666. Ailora

    When your 74 year old mother opens jars for you.

    When you’ve become an amateur sleuth to find natural cures for RA.

    When one of the scariest things you can imagine is falling down and having to catch yourself with your hands… and wonder if it’d just be better to face plant instead.

    When the idea of scratching any itches on your back is a pipe dream.

    When you cringe when someone puts their hand up for a ‘high five!’.

  667. Lisa

    When your symptom-free cuz the meds are “finally working!” But wake up on a random day two months later and its like “those two months meant nothing!!”
    But also my own fault cuz….
    When you miss just one pill or one day of meds its like starting from scratch allover again…..grrrrrrrrr!!

  668. Lisa

    Those evil pharmacists and their child lock on pill bottles. If my daughter can open them for me whats the point of having the childlock in the first place.

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