We Say…

We asked our members: If you could tell your family and friends just one thing about you and your arthritis, what would it be? Here are some of the responses we received:

“I pick and choose my activities very carefully. I have only so much energy and joint activity in my body on any given day. Just because I choose to do something one day, or one hour, does not mean I can do something else similar. If an activity is pleasurable for me, I am more willing to put up with the pain and still do it, however if I get little or nothing out of the activity I will say no to doing it because I am not feeling well. This is not an excuse when I say this – it is a choice made by me to save my energy for something else.”

“Just because I “don’t look sick” doesn’t mean that I am not. What does “look sick” mean?”

“That it’s hard to live with. A little understanding is all I want, not sympathy.”

“I am a lot more tired than I let you know.”

“I am doing my best. I don’t use this condition as a convenience. When I say I hurt, I hurt. When I say I can’t, I can’t. The days I feel great are a gift – I use them fully. That doesn’t mean that I will feel that great tomorrow, or that the rest of the time I am just making a big deal out of things. I know it is hard for them too, but I’m doing my best to be my best each and every day.”

“I might look okay on the outside but from my perspective it’s a very different story.”

“Don’t pity me. No reason to. I have more joy in my life than most so I don’t need pity because I have some pain.”

“Let me decide what activities I can and can?t do. I am not a child, I can make my own decisions. I am the one that will pay for my actions.”

“The hurt is CONSTANT. ”

“It is very depressing to have to depend on someone, when you have been VERY independent all your life.”

“Even when the pain is tolerable, I am tired. I am not resting because I am lazy, I am resting because my body has used all it?s energy to attack my joints.”

“Don?t say ?I know how you feel.? You DON?T know how I feel.”

“Just be there for me when I need you.”