You know you have RA when…


– You roll your eyes at “Look Ma, no hands” because you have to do several one handed tasks with both hands. Unplugging the hair dryer, opening the dryer door, using the pepper grinder.

-You wake up when you roll over onto the TENS machine that you didn’t feel like putting up.  You also share your bed with any number of heating packs, tennis balls (to work out knotted muscles), and a tube of Biofreeze.

-Your photo library on your computer looks like a hand fetish gallery because you photograph them when they really swell.

-The phlebotomist at your doctor’s office knows how you like your Starbucks and which pants are your fat pants.

-You don’t blink an eye when you have to give said phlebotomist 10 vials of your tiger’s blood. (Thank you Charlie Sheen- until recently, I liked to refer to my blood as a nice, full bodied red wine.)

-You’ve been annoyed with someone being a know it all about medical stuff so you start throwing around words like DMARD, rheumatoid factor, sed rate, CRP, TNF blocker, IL-9 inhibitor and then inwardly gloat when they shut up already!

-You really do know what the above words mean and can explain the basics of most of the mechanisms.

– You get annoyed at the pharma reps who come to your doctor’s office in the freaking awesome 4 inch patent leather heels that look like saddle shoes that you obsessed over at Nordstrom the other day.  So annoyed that when you hear her talking about the merits of a drug you failed that you contemplate using your medical sales background to “detail” against her because not only did the drug not work but you had all the crappy side effects.

-When a coworker asks you which you’d rather do- joint aspiration or pap smear- you don’t skip a beat and enthusiastically respond PAP SMEAR! Awkward….

How do you “know” you have RA?

13 responses »

  1. You know you have RA/secondary OA when you don’t own ANY shoes with shoelaces because you don’t have the hip flexion to tie them up!

  2. -You salivate when the power scooter commercial is on TV.

    -You’ve purchased geriatric elastic waistband dress pants so you can actually dress yourself when your joints flare.

    -You’ve watched more movies since being diagnosed with RA than you have in your entire life time.

    -You’ve sold your designer mega-stillettos on craigslist.

      • Uh, When do you know it is time to part with the shoes? I have not had the heart yet…”maybe one day I’ll be able to wear…” Where? When? Why do I have a disease that affects, of all things, my freakin’ shoe obsession!?! Guess I’ll save some bucks.
        Anyone out there a size 10 (11 in Manolo’s) that needs some “gently used” shoes?
        Ready to spend $250 on what looks like an attempt (a very bad one) at cute mj’s? Did I think 6 months ago I would look at ads for “Dr Comfort” and think “I bet they feel amazing!”
        I am so glad to see I am not the only one sad about shoes. When all of this is so new, I guess there are goofy, meaningless things you grieve about.

  3. I know I’ve got RA when I go on holiday, and the space in the suitcase that used to be taken up with ‘pretty’ shoes, is now filled with a TENS machine, a neck brace and meds! (Hmm, not sure if this says much about RA or more about the fact that I didn’t have many pretty shoes … )

  4. You know you have RA when Velcro becomes your best friend. When you know that you’ll need an extra hour at the airport due to getting the “TSA Massage” because you can’t walk without your clunky sneakers and the fat orthotic supports in them. When outpatient surgery is just taking yourself into the repair shop for maintenance. When you spend the money you save on shoes on prescription copayments instead.

  5. * You know you have RA when you meet your insurance deductible in the first month of the year.

    *…it doesn’t bother you anymore that your OXO utensils take up so much room in the kitchen drawer.

    *…you’re younger than 50, but are thinking about retiring.

  6. Ha, I’m so with you on the finger photos. I obsessively take them on my phone. And then once the flare is over I look at them and go ‘wow, that’s gross, were these really mine?!’

    You know you have RA when you realise you have developed the ability to hold your pen in five separate ways, depending on which finger joint is malfunctioning at the time.

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