This is a venting moment. There are 2.1 million Americans who have been diagnosed with rheumatoid and sometimes – okay, always – I wish I wasn’t one of them.
I hate RA because:
I try to maintain a positive attitude but there are days where I have a lot of anger and resent. RA has changed my whole life. The pain never ends and I am always tired. I guess I wish I knew what “normal” was. There are activities I have had to limit or stop doing all together. I worry about the future and I hate the grim future of this disease. I hate that it affects those I love, and I hate the disappointment I see in their eyes when they see me hurting.
I have had to bow out of many family activities because either I am just too tired or I am in too much pain. I have found a lot of resentment from people who just do not get that I am not the same person I was a year or two ago. I cannot win with RA; I guess none of us can.
RA sucks out my energy, my concentration, my patience, the problem solving skills I need to use on the job, and it has taken away my time and my dreams for the future. I feel guilty that I will not always be able to provide for my family or that I do not have time for old friends, or time to make new ones. RA takes all of that away from you. All I do is work and attend to my home life. Sometimes, I wonder whether I should bother finishing up my master’s degree with RA as a part of my future.
On some level, I try to make the best of the changes that RA has brought to my life, and I try to look at the positives in my life, but there really isn’t a day that goes by that I wonder what my life would be like if I wasn’t sick all the time. It is also hard when no one understands – your family, your friends, co-workers, etc. They look at you as if you are imagining the fatigue and the pain. If the pain is bad at night, you wake up worse in the morning and you know it.
I also feel guilty that my husband does not have a pleasant wife. I hate that I am always too tired to work on our marriage. I hate that he does not always understand that I feel sick all the time.
However, I accept Rheumatoid Arthritis in my life because:
It is a part of my life, and I accept it. I work hard to deal with it and to go on with my life. I struggle, but everyone struggles with something, and for me, its RA. I do not let the disease define me, and I am not alone. I have met many great people in my journey who really get what I am doing through. I accept RA because I cannot change it. I accept RA because I have people that depend on me, and despite RA, they need me.
If anything, I learn every day to accept my life with RA, and to live the best I can with this disease.