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Importance of Normal Conversations

Importance of Normal Conversations

One of the things that I was reminded of lately is how important normal conversations are for coping with rheumatoid arthritis. During my recent medication change, I had a lot of pain and stiffness. It was a really hard time and hard for me to think about anything else other than my RA. Normal conversations (or preserving some normalcy) have helped me get through some of these tough times.

Not dwelling on RA during the darkness

When you’re in the worst pit of RA hell, what you really need is to not think about it all the time! The dwelling on the awfulness just seems to make it worse.

Although I was not excited about working when I felt so terrible, my job was a good distraction because I like it and it keeps me busy. I didn’t tell people at work much about my difficulties because I wanted to continue being able to have normal conversations about anything other than my RA. I didn’t want how awful I was feeling to become the focus, especially when we have work to do.

An RA flare doesn’t go with socializing

Socializing was more difficult and rare because of my lack of energy and not feeling up to going out. But it was good therapy when I was able. Just to be able to laugh or talk about other things was a good distraction from my RA struggles.

I really value my husband, Richard, for being able to help me with keeping things as normal as possible. He asks me how I am doing, but we don’t dwell on it. We talk about our days, the antics of the cat, current events, TV shows, books, and many other things. While my RA doldrums were always there, it wasn’t the only thing in our lives.

The importance of non-RA conversations

Don’t get me wrong—I think it’s valuable and important to talk about our RA experiences, especially with our loved ones. This is how we work through challenges and get much-needed support.

But there’s a huge and important place for normal conversations as well. I don’t want to feel like just an RA patient. I want to be a person! I need to be able to talk about other things.
Sometimes it is the frivolous topics that are the best for distracting myself from RA, like TV shows and movies. Or silly celebrity gossip. It’s the stuff that I don’t need to stress or worry about, that doesn’t impact me personally that feels most fruitful for entertaining chats.

With normal conversations, I can put a little distance between myself and my RA. I can have a breather from the worries about when my medications will start working, if I’m doing enough exercise, if I’m getting enough rest, and so on. I’m not pretending it’s not there, but the RA can fade into the background for a few minutes and let other aspects of life take center stage.

Sometimes, with RA, a little bit of normalcy feels so foreign or far away. But if we can snag a little normal conversation then it feels slightly closer, slightly more possible to achieve. I think sometimes others may be surprised at how little I may talk about my RA, but in having normal conversations I’m just taking a break and letting life happen.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.


  • emakyne
    2 years ago

    Really like your positivity. Thank you ( newly diagnosed and in denial) ish.

  • Kelly Mack moderator author
    2 years ago

    Thanks emakyne! Sending hugs and healing thoughts. Best, Kelly ( Team)

  • rockcandi
    2 years ago

    I too find that when the RA is flared up or I’m having a really bad (painful, weak, stiff) day during “remission” (I hate that word!) it’s harder to focus most of the time on the RA and difficult to have normal conversations. But most of the time I don’t talk about it much at all. I have a small group of women with whom I do a Bible study group and the topic of me being in pain and/or feeling weak and/or whatever med I’m on at the time, inevitably comes up bc we usually talk about things were dealing with in our daily lives and how it impacts our relationships with God and the way we may or may not be living daily for God instead of self. Other than that, me having RA is rarely a topic of conversation and I’m so happy about that. Mainly bc when I was first rediagnosed with JRA with a new Lupus diagnosis, that was ALL I talked about. Since I’m going through a pretty big flare and changing meds along doing a Prednisone taper right now, it was a good reminder to read your article that I don’t want all my conversation to be focused on JRA. Thanks for the reminder Kelly!

  • Kelly Mack moderator author
    2 years ago

    Happy to help rockcandi! Glad that you have a good group to talk with. 🙂 Best, Kelly ( Team)

  • Lawrence 'rick' Phillips moderator
    2 years ago

    I also like normal conversation, even if I am not very good about doing it when RA is flaring. I tend to like conversation that is,up until I hear about the latest diabetes or RA cure.

    Oh yeah I do know that seaweed, garlic, potato, sesame seed oil with a chaser of Tabasco sauce can cure RA. But my response is always the same. I tell them I only use Sriracha Sauce and my wife will not let me get Tabasco Sauce until all of the Sriracha Sauce I bought five years ago runs out. 🙂

  • Kelly Mack moderator author
    2 years ago

    Hahaha! 🙂 Best, Kelly ( Team)

  • Richard Faust moderator
    2 years ago

    Rick, Can’t speak to the curative properties, but I think I would try that recipe. Best, Richard ( Team)

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