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I Make no Apology for having Rheumatoid Arthritis

With so many appointments or places we find ourselves going in our day to day, “Pardon me,” has become my word of choice. Yes, when I’m standing in the line preparing to check out, I apologetically have to say, “Pardon Me.” The reason is because with my RA/lupus, it might take me a little extra time to get my money out of my wallet. Yes, I see the ugly looks, the stares that if looks could kill. This is when I find myself almost hating that I have a disability that won’t allow me to be a speed racer.

Then the worse case scenerio happened….

You would be so amazed at the rudeness of people these days. My worse case scenario is quite scary. I was Christmas shopping at a mall. It was not even the peak of the Christmas Season rush. I had a real trying week, so I made my way to pick up a few gifts to shift that feeling. Unbelievable, what would take place next. I was proceeding to the checkout counter. Before getting there, I dropped my entire purse. I stopped to pick it up. It was somewhat of a challenge for me as I was in a squat position rushing to put my items in my purse. A very rude gentleman walked past me and yelled, “Get out of the way you idiot!!!” I was totally shocked, hurt and in utter disbelief.
I managed to get my painful knees and make my way off the floor. All I could say was, “Pardon me sir.”

Apologizing for your Rheumatoid Arthritis

When we are living in days of fast paced people, rush here and rush there. I’ve had to apologize so many times for moving slow, not walking fast enough, not getting out of someones way quick enough. Where is the compassion? For me this is really serious. Pardon me is not even enough these days. We live our lives in pain due to no fault of our own and some people just don’t get it. They rather chew you out, than show a little kindness. I feel that I shouldn’t have to make an apology for my illness. RA has many symptoms that manifest themselves wherever your at. There are many people who have all types of Arthritis and if they drop a purse, fall down, can’t get out of the way quick enough. Please don’t be rude and ugly. Just know they may be having a heck of a time standing to their feet. Pardon me should suffice. Apologizing for having this disease is not necessary or acceptable because its like apologizing because your short, or tall. It just is what it is and “Pardon me” will work when you may be having a day when your body may have stiffened up, pain shooting in those fingers which won’t allow you a good grip on things.
When we realize that some people will never change, I think it doesn’t hurt us pain patients as much. We say pardon me and keep it moving.


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.


  • Kathy Costelloe
    4 months ago

    I love this… appreciate your honesty. Go Well.
    Go Gently.

  • DianeeB
    1 year ago

    Celia123 – so sorry you had to endure that – many thanks for writing about the experience, it is an all too common one. I cringe when I go to a store and have to try
    and hurry to do anything since people are “waiting”.
    I will try to retrain myself and use your phrase “pardon me” from now on 🙂
    Though we can all agree there seems to be extra rudeness out there now, we can
    decide how to react to it. Thanks Celia!

  • Erin Rush moderator
    1 year ago

    I am so sorry someone was so rude to you, celia123! That was really uncalled for. But you bring up a very good point — no one should have to apologize for having a chronic condition like RA! You should be allowed to move at the speed that best suits your body and your energy levels at any given time. Sometimes having an “invisible illness” can make it very hard because people can’t see what you are going through.

    I wish you and every member of this community were treated with the compassion you deserve.

    You are very kind to say, “pardon me” and I can only hope that your polite example will motivate others to be a little kinder and a little more patient.

    Thank you for sharing!

    Best, Erin, Team member.

  • raymack
    1 year ago

    Yeah I am realizing life goes on and coping with this terrible condition is what we need to do as part of our daily routine.
    As long as your heart and mind reach for joy your hands and legs will follow no matter what pain we endure

  • CaseyH moderator
    1 year ago

    Wow, I love this quote, Ray. Thank you for sharing with our community!! We so appreciate your positive spirit and kindness. -Casey, Team

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