But there are times when the awkward situation is verbal. Someone may comment on how you look. They may tell you what you need to do to be cured. They may repeatedly tell you they know how you feel. Things people say can be irritating, annoying, and uncomfortable. It can be awkward not knowing how to respond.
Share your story - describe an awkward situation you have had because of arthritis.Share Your Story
I have FMF
- I have. FMF since 4years old and I'm 37, now the attack come almost weeks very painful I can't go my work. Really. So bad I'm taking colchicine. Twice a day what I do so I can go to my work. Or delayed the attacks please. Help I very disappointed from my life. Thanks twice Assyrian (FMF=familial mediterranean fever)
- —Guest AMIR
I Can Feel It In Mah Bones!
- Alright kids, let's try to liven things up a bit. I'm nineteen. I have Arthritis. (gasp) It sucks. (double gasp) I was diagnosed at about nine. That sucked. My shiny, brand new specialist/Rheumatologist sat me down and said: "Hey, kid...guess what? Familial Mediterranean Fever." Arthritis; with a super special side of near-constant fevers and sometimes...chills! That sucked. And was confusing, scary, and incomprehensible. Only about a small handful of kids within my age group have FMF. A "rare" disease in Lehman's terms. A "Rare" disease. Of COURSE it would be me! So lucky. One of my first "awkward" moments with Arthritis took place (ironically) at a grocery store. It had been cold and rainy and this was my first day out of my arthritis dungeon; I couldn't really walk and was hobbling along so my mom suggested that I use one of those scoot-around-er thingy majiggs. If you've ever used one of these bastards, you know how temperamental they can be. So, there I was...
- —Guest @HelloClaireese
- I can relate to the scenario. I put off shopping as long as I can. There are days walking, lifting, and reaching is painful. I always shop at the same store and the employees know that I sometimes need help and are always willing to assist. I use the reusable cloth bags which are easier to handle and the bagger knows to not make the bags heavy. When I get home I get my wagon to unload the groceries from the car and leave the bags in the wagon while unloading so I don't have to bend. Before I put groceries away I lay down for about 15 minutes then complete the task. Adaptation is our key word.
- —Guest tiddledum
- I am in a wheelchair with multiple surgeries & joint replacements. My RA makes it extremely difficult to get around in stores a lot of the time. I usually explain that I have severe arthritis when I am fumbling with something. I really get upset when I am trying to pay for something & the clerk or another shopper says to me - "I have a little arthritis in my hand but I take XYZ for it." I want to tell them - "Good. I take 30 pills a day & still can't walk."
- —Guest FusedKnee
Mighty Awkward Moment
- My husband was buying a bar w/ his father. So all of the husbands & wives had to be fingerprinted at the police station. Since my fingers, esp the right hand are crippled from many yrs of RA, that was a daunting task for me. The officer in charge was rough w/ me + he was frustrated trying to get an exact image. When I came home, I broke down & sobbed. What a humiliating experience & the only good news was, I've never had to do it again. Maybe it pays to be a straight arrow after all, wink.
- —Guest Jolene Bruce
They should hope they never really know!
- After multiple dislocated knees, and shoulders, my cane is my most constant companion, especially on bad days. Going down the hall at work people say things like, I bet if you get out and walk in the sunshine it would help, or - my mom had arthritis, but we found out she just needed more exercise. I just tell them to go out and walk in the sunshine for me, and as for the later - that's great but I'm not your mom and I bet she didn't jog every day until she was 45 either, did she. They shut up.
- The hardest thing to learn is saying, "I can't do that today." But you must use the term 'today' because tomorrow you may be able to. For me, my hands are obviously messed up, so cashiers and customers behind me have visible proof. As to parking in handicapped spaces, my comment is, you take my disease, I will gladly give you my placard. After 27 years, I respond based on the comment from the un-knowing, ignorant person who makes the rude comment or look. However, it has made me more aware of other disabilities that can seem 'invisible' to the average person.
- Not really a story but couple of instances. My daughters love the beach, we live in S E FL near coast. Beach is one of my favorite places. So I often push myself even when body has other plans. Walking up inclines really hurts knees and they feel very unstable. I often have trouble getting out of ocean between waves and little chanels. I have landed on my face or knees more than once. One time I just fell on sand going up sand dune path. I must have looked like I was drunk. One minute I'm looking at my beach towel the next I'm staring at the sky, so embarrassed. Another time I was at new neurologist, I went to get up and he said "Do you really have that much pain?" That seems to happen a lot. I was at the library and was trying to get book on bottom shelf. Getting there was no problem however, getting back up was. A women saw me and joked "I didn't think you were going to make it". People have also said your too young to have RA. I've had elderly people ask for help and I do it, not good.
- —Guest planetlucy
- Just like the article says, people can really be rude and hurt the feelings of "us" who have physical limitations. I think that one of the first times someone did that, I was just silent because I didn't know what to say. It was a family member, and another family member was going to need help and rides to the doctor. The first family member turned and said "Well, Karen can do it....she doesn't work"....This was shortly after I was finally allowed my disability for my arthritis. Then people are always saying "Your back STILL hurts"??? Geeze...why do they think I DON'T work??? Another awkward situation was when my son got married this past autumn. We mothers had to go up 3 steps to light the unity candle. Since there is no way I can go up steps without help, I had to have one of the ushers hold on to me while we maneuvered up and then back down the steps. I wondered what the guests were thinking... I was embarrassed, and really shouldn't have been.
- —Guest Karen5552