Here and there, I’ve been reading posts about why people prefer Rheumatoid Disease or Rheumatoid Autoimmune Disease to Rheumatoid Arthritis, such as this one on It’s Totally Rad.
Osteoarthritis (OA), or as it’s commonly called, “wear and tear” arthritis, is a very different condition from Rheumatoid Arthritis. Often, way too often, good-meaning folk—yes, they really do want to help—have gone on to suggest an A to Z of home remedies, treatments and supplements, many of which I’m sure probably help those suffering from osteoarthritis. But, since RA is an auto-immune condition it does not respond to those simple remedies. Darn it!
It gets exhausting when you have to explain for the nth time why such and such doesn’t work for Rheumatoid Disease. Speaking of work, I wouldn’t have to if I had a dollar each time someone presented yet another “solution”.
Then there is the matter of relativity. Decades ago, I was in the full throes of a flare-up. Not only did every joint hurt, but so did my muscles, tendons and ligaments. Sleep was next to impossible because I couldn’t find a position that was comfortable, and once I did, I couldn’t turn over because I was trapped – I couldn’t even pull up the blankets. So, yes, you get a bit “testy”.
I remember someone asked about my robot-like walk, or as Andrew’s wife says, “Frankenstein walk ,”—a Frankenwalk. I provided a brief explanation, because that’s all I had the energy for. The response was, “Oh, I know what that’s like, I have arthritis in my pinky finger.” Looking back with the wisdom of age, I assume that they may have been trying to find common-ground, to empathize. The only thing is that it came out all wrong, and that innocent comment served to divide, rather than unite.
The other thing I now tell myself is that if that is all the pain they know, it is hard for them to relate to the teeth-clenching pain that many RA/RD/RAD patients know all too well.
To the powers that be, you have my vote for a name change. RD or RAD, or perhaps RID might be an even better acronym (Rheumatoid Inflammatory Disease).
Speaking of voting, may I ask for your vote to move A Rheumful of Tips to the 1st page of Healthline.com’s Best Health Blog of 2012 contest. I appreciate your voting as frequently as you do. The contest ends on Feb. 15th. Thankfully!