Does RA Affect ‘Simple Tasks’ For You?

September is Rheumatic Disease Awareness Month. The first-ever Rheumatic Disease Awareness Month was started in 2016 by the American College of Rheumatology (ACR). The goal has been to raise awareness and increase public knowledge about rheumatic conditions such as RA, gout, lupus through the Simple Tasks campaign.

Rheumatoid arthritis impacts everyday, simple tasks

One way our community has participated in this initiative is through asking you, our community members, to find out how RA affects your ability to complete simple, everyday tasks. Your responses were so awesome, we wanted to share a few of them as we round out the month—even though every day should be dedicated to teaching those around you about RA and its impacts!

Simple tasks that are now battles

  • “Touch screens, gripping bank card when taking it out of cash machine, picking money off of the floor. Coughing and sneezing hurt too, cutting up food, tying laces and putting on socks”
  • “Using a can opener, knife, scissors, picking up a saucepan that’s full, using anything that vibrates, doing up buttons, squeezing tubes, opening medication, using keys, the list is endless”
  • “Do I have enough space to write everything? Putting my hair up, putting on a bra, tying my shoes, picking up things, opening objects, walking, stretching my arms…the list goes on and on”
  • “On a bad day, even holding a cup is difficult”

Maintaining positivity during challenging moments

  • “I’m dealing with these cards that I’m dealt with, and others may have it worse, so I count my blessings. It’s not easy, but I got to keep going!”
  • “How are murderers and evil people able to walk, run, and do things at ease, while I’m here who gives and loves so much and am dealing with this…But I can’t answer that so I just live every day with a smile, well…I try at least”
  • “Yes, every day is a struggle, some days worse than others. But what gets me through a lot of days is my two beautiful young adult sons, and people that are terminally ill, like my own father, that just keep fighting!”
  • “I can’t think of anything that has not changed! The task now is to find a new way to do so many things”

Finding humor in the struggles

  • “I broke all our glassware in a 2-week period this summer. Brought me to tears. But my fiancé bought all plastic…a good chuckle!”
  • “It varies day to day. I’m just glad my 5-year-old can tie my shoes too! Lol!”
  • “Writing, cutting food, opening jars, opening anything wrapped in plastic, squeezing bottles, reaching, squatting, bending, walking…I’ll just say everything and be done with it!!”
  • “Holding a book…and I am a teacher!”

How has RA affected simple tasks for you?

Do you feel like RA has affected your ability to carry out everyday tasks that once were simple? It’s clear to see that many of our community members feel this way, and are not alone in their daily battles.

The conversation about the impact of RA on daily life continues outside of Rheumatic Disease Awareness Month. Let us know what simple tasks you wish people knew you were struggling with, or how you manage to stay positive in the face of frustration!

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