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Fine/gross motor skills, and handling people

Hello. I have RA in my hands/feet and find that fine motor skills are a lot harder for me than gross motor skills. Doing things like drying dishes is harder for me than carrying heavy boxes.

Does anybody else experience this? Are there any things that I can do to help with fine motor activities?

Relating with others who don't have RA



People often assume what I am capable of doing and therefore push me into a certain role/job which isn't necessarily what is best for me to do. They take over when I am carrying boxes, but hand me a towel when there are dishes to be dried.

Being misunderstood is too common with RA



It is really frustrating because people can't seem to comprehend this, but I feel really bad telling them otherwise. I don't like telling people about my RA and nobody asks, so I keep it in, which I know isn't really a good thing. I try to keep my pain hidden because I don't want to be a bother or a burden. Does anybody have any tips or suggestions for handling situations like this? I'd love to hear your thoughts.

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  1. Hi charlie27. Know that you are not alone in finding fine motor skills to be particularly impacted by RA. We have quite a few articles from our contributors on the topic. One of my favorites is this one from Daniel on how his hands often seem to betray and fight him: https://rheumatoidarthritis.net/living/hand-weakness/.

    Educating people about RA is, in many ways, a much more difficult issue. It is important to be one's own advocate, but it is also true that this is easier said than done - and many in the community note that often educating others can become exhausting.

    On your particular issue, my wife, Kelly (who is a contributor here), thought that maybe a direct medical explanation might be of use. She explained it to others by noting that RA impacts the joints and the areas needed for fine motor skills, like the hands, actually utilize many more joints. Thus, there are a lot more points where, in any given moment, RA can cause a problem. Of course, I don't know if this explanation will work for you, but I can tell you that people here understand and that this community is here for you. Best, Richard (RheumatoidArthritis.net Team)

    1. Hi . Thank you for all the suggestions and information! I really enjoyed the article, and I'm feeling very well understood and supported in this community in the small time I've been here.

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