A Day in the Life of an RA Patient
6:20 AM – The radio goes off and starts trying to tell me the breaking news of the day. My ever-patient husband (Richard) who has already been up for about a half hour comes into the bedroom to turn it off and let me sleep a few more minutes.
6:30 AM – Richard returns to the bedroom and coaxes me into starting my warm-up exercises to get my joints moving. First step, flexing and rolling my ankles.
6:35 AM – Richard wakes me up again and convinces me to start on more active exercises, include leg bends and lifts.
6:50 AM – With exercises complete, I turn over to sleep a few more minutes.
7:05 AM – I get up and get ready for the day. After my shower, I sit in my motorized wheelchair for getting around the entire day.
7:30 AM – Time for breakfast and reading the newspaper. I usually don’t have much of an appetite so I start with tea, a little fruit, yogurt, and cereal.
7:55 AM – Say goodbye to Richard and head out to take the bus to work.
8:20 AM – Arrive at the office and begin booting up my computer for the day. For the next several hours I tap away at my computer—responding to emails, writing and reviewing work. My morning may include meetings and calls.
Noon – My tummy has been grumbling for a while, so I get my lunch from the refrigerator. Richard usually packs me a delicious homemade salad that I devour in a few minutes while listening to an online radio program. Some days I grab lunch with a friend or coworker and take a break from the office for an hour, but my usual habit is to eat quickly and get back to work.
12:30 PM – I dive back into work for the afternoon. Sometimes I grab a snack that I brought, like a piece of fruit or hummus and carrots around 3:00 PM.
6:00 PM – Richard texts me to see if I’m wrapping up work so that we can meet up and go swimming. I tell him I need a few minutes, which likely turns into 20-30 minutes of trying to close out.
6:30 PM – I pack up, leave the office, and call Richard as I hit the street to let him know I’m on my way. This time I take the DC Metro train to the station where we use a community pool. Richard meets me and we spend about an hour at the pool where I do my aqua-therapy exercises and then relax a few minutes in the whirlpool.
8:20 PM – We arrive back at home and have some dinner before watching some TV together. I often will check work email, possibly do a little more work or get online to check out the RheumatoidArthritis.net website or Facebook page.
10:00 PM – We move into the bedroom and I’ll read or watch some TV a few more minutes before falling asleep around 11:00 PM.
Somehow it always feels like the day goes by lightning fast—like I’m always trying to catch up or grab more sleep. When I wake up I feel tired. Even on the weekend I rarely ever wake up feeling rested. I chalk this up to my RA, to always feeling like I’m fighting off aches and exhaustion.
However, when I am not feeling busy and engaged I often have a harder time getting through the day. I like to feel like I’m contributing in some way, that I’m being productive and helping the world to move forward.
On a scale of 1(low) to 5(high), how difficult is it for you to talk about having RA?