RA Daydreams: Shock-Absorption Suit
Having a condition that causes pain throughout my body, I’m often jarred by the impact that something as simple as the weight of a blanket or the jolt of going over a speedbump can have on me. Rheumatoid arthritis is referred to as an “invisible disability,” meaning that the symptoms of this disease are often not readily apparent to the naked eye. I like to daydream that I have an invisible shock-absorption suit to go along with my invisible disability, protecting me from all the painful bumps and squeezes that a typical day entails.
Shock-absorption: to protect me from pain-causing movements
My shock-absorption suit would be made of a newly-created, state of the art material that would be incredibly thin and lightweight. Considering that sometimes the weight of a wool coat can be too heavy on my body, my invisible, full-body suit would have to feel light on my tender joints. This space age fabric would also shield against extreme heat, cold, and humidity, cocooning my body from the elements. Further, it would be flexible and stretch with my joints whenever they swell, resizing to accommodate the inflammation.
In spite of being so lightweight, my shock-absorption suit is able to take the impact of all sorts of pressures and bumps. Knocking a swollen elbow into a doorjamb or an inflamed hip on a doorknob would no longer cause a streak of pain to shoot through me. If someone steps on my toe, it no longer feels as if they stomped on my foot. Having one of my kids jump onto my back or unexpectedly hop into my lap wouldn’t send a surge of pain into my body. Rather, I would just feel the slight pressure of a gentle touch while my suit absorbed each jolt.
Riding in a car, a train, or even a turbulent airplane would be a breeze thanks to my shock-absorption suit, which smoothes each bump along the way. Knick a curb? No problem. Sharp turn? No sweat. Gravel road? Bring it. My suit protects my body from all the jarring movements transportation can involve, allowing me to sit back and enjoy the ride.
My shock-absorption suit is so sophisticated that it can even handle the pressure of a tight embrace. Meeting someone with a vise-grip handshake would no longer require a poker face. Well-intentioned bear hugs would no longer make me want to shrink away from loved ones. With my shock-absorption suit, I can encounter the most enthusiastic greeters without trepidation.
While my imaginary shock-absorption suit doesn’t cure RA, it does protect me from all the bumps and movements that are inconsequential for most people, yet are intense for me. It erases the upticks in pain that the literal pressures of the world create for a person with rheumatoid arthritis. Oh, and since this is a daydream, my shock-absorption suit is covered 100% by my health insurance plan.
On a scale of 1(low) to 5(high), how difficult is it for you to talk about having RA?