Friday, February 3, 2012

Rheumatoid Arthritis Fears

My relationship with rheumatoid arthritis has been extremely good this last year.  I have a few reminders here and there that it is still a part of my life, but for the most part it isn't a daily concern.  I haven't experienced a flare in a really long time and I no longer wake up stiff and sore. In fact, I can't think of any physical restrictions I have these days due to rheumatoid arthritis.

Due to this good relationship with rheumatoid arthritis, I have been working out regularly for the last year.  It feels good to have weights in my hands again and it feels awesome to feel muscles returning to my body.  Some mornings I wake up and think, "Maybe I will skip my workout today and sleep in instead."  This is when my mind remembers the relationship I have had with rheumatoid arthritis and the fears resurface.  My  brain sharply tells me, "Cathy, you have limited time before RA comes back and snatches you away.  You need to get strong NOW."

It is true, rheumatoid arthritis may come back to get me at any time.  I do acknowledge that and honestly, it scares the pants off me. Sometimes I need to cry, as I did this morning, and let those feelings of fear exist.  Other mornings I am able to push the fears aside and visualize myself healthy forever.  I like those days better.  


  1. Oh Cathy, I have the exact same fears. I think it's only normal once you start to feel better. Sometimes I think positive too and then other times I feel depressed that I have this horrible thing hanging over my head. It's not an easy burden but we are all very brave to bear it!

  2. I know how you feel. Some days, I forget what it was like when my RA was bad. I am not pain free but I am in a lot better place than I was last year and the year I was diagnosed. All any of us can do is keep going to keep RA from winning.

  3. Cathy,
    Thank you for being brave enough to tell the rest of us that you have those fears, it makes space for us to say, "me to" - this is a scary journey we are on and although it is helpful to be positive there are times when I, for one, am very afraid. Knowing that others feel that to, somehow makes it easier.
    Thank you for being an inspiration.

  4. Congratulations on keeping RA at bay (maybe the new treatments are working???) and congratulations on keeping your workout goals intact. Thank you for reminding us how important it is to be strong when we can. Hugs.

  5. And now I have even a bigger fear...what I have passed on to my children. It has been so hard for me to deal with this drat disease and now I see it sneaking into their lives and I get really frightened. I was diagnosed with ra years after my children were born, no one had it in my family and this ra came on unannounced and unknown to me. Yes, I have often feared ra but now I am getting angry once again. And angry that no cure is being looked at or for and angry that these autoimmune illnesses are not at the forefront of research dollars.

  6. Your fear is real and reasonable, Cathy, even as you live day by day without the RA pain and disability. That you acknowledge your fear is the very heart of courage. You are an incredible inspiration to me (and to many, many others, I think). Reading about your walks and workouts and rides over the last year is one of the things that encouraged me to try resistance training. It's early days, but so far it has been a very positive experience. Thanks, Cathy.

  7. Thanks for all the positive feedback. It makes me so happy to know I have friends supporting me and encouraging me but also understand why the fears are still there.

    Squirrel - I read your post. It sounds like we are in very similar frames of mind.

    Lana - I am so glad things are better for you right now. Even if the pain still exists, I think being happy with progress is a good thing.

    Thanks to you too for being my inspiration. When I read about your hiking plans, it makes me want to get out and move!

    Yes, I think the meds are working. Still keeping to a diet of mainly meats and veggies, keeping stress to a limit (as much as possible anyhow) and it seems to be paying off.

    My diagnosis came after kids too. They were both young which made it hard. And like you, I worry almost daily that this will be a part of my children's lives. Each time they mention a pain in their joints I panic. But I have also come to believe that we all have hardships in life to deal with and whatever comes their way they will be able to handle.

    Your comment absolutely made my day. I am so happy you are doing some strength training and if my posts helped in any way, that makes it even better. I hope the positive results keep coming your way Wren.

  8. I have a fear on RA too. I think everyone of us don't want it or any kind of disease. Hope you are better and just keep on striving my friend.