What I wish people knew and could understand

I have had RA for 13 years, probably 5 more before I was diagnosed. When you ask me if I can go all day shopping with you next Saturday, and I say, I will have to wait and see. Understand that isn't me putting you off. I will truly have to wait and see how I feel that day.

If I cancel on plans at the last minute, understand that it upsets me probably more than it upsets you. I want to go places and do things, but sometimes I can't.

When you see me park in the handicap parking and get out of my car, don't judge me because you don't think that I look sick. If you could feel my knees, feet and shoulders as I walk to the door maybe you wouldn't look down your nose at me.

I am a private person and don't talk about my RA or complain, when friends ask me in passing, how are you. I smile and say I am fine. They really don't want to hear my list of what is hurting at the moment.

The biggest thing is, I have to plan my activities and rest time. If I am with a group of friends and we have been out shopping or visiting a place that requires a lot of walking. Don't be upset when I decline going to dinner with you, or on another outing the next day. I am not being rude; I just have to have time to recover

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