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Readers Respond: Arthritis Does Not Mean Lazy!

Responses: 8

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Updated January 25, 2011

People who don't understand arthritis mistakenly think those who live with the disease are lazy. It's a sensitive issue for people who try to overcome physical limitations, who want to do more but can't, and who know they are not lazy.

Sometimes, family and close friends are bold enough to tell you they think you are lazy and that you use arthritis as an excuse. They don't understand, for example, why you don't clean house as thoroughly as you used to, cook grand meals like you used to, need to take naps. They just think you're lazy.

Does it bug you when people think you're lazy? What do you wish you could say to them?

Share Your Thoughts

Not lazy, it hurts

Osteoarthritis. A frustrating condition. Lazy? No, I just hurt or ache. People and articles say exercise. That hurts too. Even supposed experts don't fathom it. When you have some good days, you are so happy to be out of pain you try to do even some minimal things like prepare a meal, do dishes, walk a bit but the hurt keeps roaring back just when you think your medication has gotten it under control. I take 300 Mg Lyrica per day. It gives me some good days but pain and aching always comes back. Wonder if Cymbalta is better.
—Guest Gloria tucci

I'm not lazy!

I was diagnosed when I was 20. Finally, I had proof I was not making things up in my head or being lazy. The eye rolls still occur, which really hurts. If only they knew. I wish they would try to understand at least.
—Guest Jennifer

Caring for the caregiver

I am an RN in a busy cardiothoracic ICU. I've been an RN for 19 years, and throughout those 19 years, I have often carried more than one job at a time in order to support my family. Now, 6 years after being diagnosed with RA, and though I thought I was handling it well, I experienced my first flare at my new job (of 1.25 yrs). I was in remission for a year, but came back with a vengeance. I continued to do my job, but was unable to hide my condition. I was shocked when my manager told me that colleagues on the opposite shift were concerned about my ability to perform my job. When I asked if there was something that I had left undone, I was told "no" you do a beautiful job, you are an excellent nurse. I was steered toward jobs that I was not qualified for, and at first thought I had no choices. I am hoping there are other alternatives. I am worth more than being discarded. My boss is not very understanding and apparently neither are the colleagues on the other shift.
—MelroseBelle

You were fine yesterday.....

No...actually I wasn't fine yesterday I just chose not to complain. I too have been accused of faking. My family doesn't even speak to me. It's just so sad that people are so shallow. Walk a mile in my shoes? Hell I can't.
—Guest steph

They don't want to know

I find that people got tired of thinking about me being in pain after a few weeks post-diagnoses. Instead of saying how are you doing...they say, "you're doing well, pain seems under control, please pass the bread". It's how they feel better about not being able to help.
—Guest Lori

People can be cruel

I went undiagnosed for many years. I was accused of not just being lazy , but of being a faker. How do you even respond to that when you are in agony and can barely walk? I still don't hear those people saying that they were wrong to treat me like it was all in my head. I want to be able to do the things others take for granted, I just can't. I wish there was more awareness of how crippling R.A. and related diseases are. Perhaps then we would get help and respect instead of put downs.
—Hollygator

I know what you are talking about

I am one who suffering with osteoarthritis, and know that when you want to get up from setting down in a chair just for a minute, its hurts so bad, and chronic pain.
—Guest Anita

I AM NOT LAZY OR JUST CAN'T BE BOTHERED

People who think this of me obviously do not know me very well!!!!!! Just because you look well on the outside doesn't mean to say you are the same on the inside. I have had years of practice pretending that I am ok when I am NOT!!!! My husband is the only person in the world that really knows how RA is crippling my life.
—Guest Jayne Richards

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Arthritis Does Not Mean Lazy!

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