I'm a day past the deadline for this, with everything going on I pulled bits and pieces from other posts I have written.
People either out of their own ignorance, or maybe they just don't care make comments like "oh it's just arthritis" "it could be worse, you could have a fatal disease." Really? Living in pain everyday barely able to function, so tired you can't think, you can't sleep due to the pain. You lose the ability to concentrate, people begin to think you are crazy, maybe it's all in your head! Taking a shower takes all the strength you might have had.
Let's not forget heart involvement, kidney involvement, eye damage, joints replacements, drugs used for Chemotherapy. Autoimmune Arthritis can be fatal due to all of the organ involvement or due to medication side effects or risk of infection.
Family and friends, don't understand, they hear the word "Arthritis" it's suddenly not a big deal. I have heard over and over "I have a bit of "Arthritis" in my finger, knee, etc. "I know so and so he takes "Tylenol Arthritis" he is feeling great! "Why aren't you running around now that you're on Humira? Thanks to the commercials! I can barely get out of bed each day I can't run, swim, garden, play any sport, dance, play golf I have been on a 25 year road to finding the right medication for me. Every patient is different and requires a specific treatment what works for one person may not work for me.
"Just Arthritis? No. you don't have the arthritis I have. You likely have Osteoarthritis which affects the joints primarily. This is the one they call the old people's disease. The one you can "just take an aspirin" for. It is a painful disease and I'm sorry you have to deal with it, it is not the same as what I have.
It is my hope we will get treated and recognized as individuals. If we can't find a cure we should be able to find a way to better educate people and not feel so alone. My dream would be that this disease gets the recognition that is overdue and is deserved and will finally not be known as "just arthritis"