Whewwwww where do I begin. I wanted this to be my first blog post to give you a glimpse of my daily frustration when living with an invisible disability like rheumatoid arthritis. This will give you a blueprint of my daily thoughts and experiences, which will help you understand better. Because when I tell you I am tired..I’m TIED!!!
So what is an invisible disability you might ask?r
- Simply put: It is a condition that is not obvious to the human eye. They usually look totally fine. Or they don’t look to sick to make it class. They don’t look to sick to run daily errands. They don’t look to sick to have to park in a handicap spot. I can go on for days. But the core of most of my frustration is the lack of understanding from others.
Oh! Lack of understanding you might ask? Elaborate please!
Between the time of my initial symptoms to the time of diagnosis I was a junior in college who finally was becoming more active on campus and was living the ultimate college life. I was going through the unknown where I had this unexplainable pain, fatigue and these crazy emotional periods where I would be antisocial. With no answers, just speculation and Doctor Google. I didn’t know what was happening to me so how could I answer the constant judgement coming at me daily.
- Why didn’t you attend this event?
- You were out yesterday, what’s different today?
- Why did you call off work?
- Why can’t you eat that?
These questions drained me and still do 6 years later. It can be exhausting having to put in effort over and over again to prove our illness to others. It’s very frustrating explaining to others that this is more than just joint pain and frankly most people don’t try to understand.
Talk about draining!
When it comes to rheumatoid arthritis, when there is pain comes fatigue. There would be times where people would think I was being lazy or “acting funny” because one day I had this extreme energy and the next I can barely get out of bed because I had no energy to move or function. I’ve learned over the years that balance is key and sometimes “cutting corners” is okay. But cutting corners may look like someone perfectly able to park in a regular spot but parks in handicap, just so we can spare some energy to go grocery shopping. We are not cutting corner more so switching to energy-saving mode.
The average person on the street does not know we have RA and that is fine. But once you know all we ask is for your kindness, support, and your willingness to learn and understand. For all my RA warrior this is to tell you, you are not alone. This is a platform to voice your frustrations and connect with others who are going through something similar. Let’s all come together to provide support for each other, it only makes us stronger.