One of the most frustrating comments to having RA is “but you don’t look sick”. For me that comment is a double edge sword. I don’t look my age. I have amazing genetics and I’m mulatto. My dad is black, my mom is white sooo the saying ” black don’t crack” … kinda true.
I’m 43. I look 33 (so I’m told) and my body in RA years is 83. “Old … is all that echoes through my veins.. I’m well preserved on the outside while I’m slowly rotting on the inside”… “I’m slowly losing my independent existence and becoming disabled before I’m ready”
It all started when I went to pump gas. I get out of my car and undue my gas cap … the twisting usually stings a little .. no biggie. I lift the gas pump to insert it into my tank and OUCH. It fucking kills. I can barely press the leaver down. So now I can’t pump gas ? I’m gonna have to get help for this too? Being an independent individual all your life to now depending on others is very habilitating mentally. It’s not easy to swallow..
Mrs. RA is rapidly taking normal everyday functions away from me…and the kicker ?? You don’t even realize until you try to complete a task and that simple everyday task causes you excruciating pain.
I might not able to complete all tasks without help now but what can I still do independently?
* I can’t do buttons but I can do up zippers.
* I can’t braid my daughter’s hair but I can still brush it.
* I can’t lift a full cartoon of eggs but I can still cook them (even though I LOATH cooking).
* I can’t twist a cap off anything but I can still hold a bottle or glass.
* I can’t lift more than 5lbs with my hands but I can’t lift 70lbs with my forearms.
* I can’t do creative makeup with a stroke of a brush but I can still put it on.
* I can’t run or power walk but I can walk slow with minimal pain for several hours (and then die the next day).
* I can’t lift weights but I can swim for 500 meters in 18 minutes.
* I can’t lift someone to safety from the ground but I can perform CPR and First Aid.
* I can’t do my hair in fun styles but I can complete simple ones.
* I can’t wear 5 inch heels anymore but I make flats look DAMN good…
* I can’t cure these autoimmune diseases but I can gather all the positives that surround me to help me fight another day.
All in all… a chronic illness has stopped you from doing “that “but are YOU gonna allow it to stop you from doing “this thing called Life?” …