When you have rheumatoid arthritis (RA), life is much different than it is for other people. You deal with chronic pain and fatigue, joint stiffness, and other symptoms that can be very challenging to explain to others. But luckily, there are some memes out there that help us laugh at RA and make the whole experience a little more bearable! From explaining what RA really feels like to share the struggles of living with a chronic illness, here are our favorite memes on rheumatoid arthritis:
When you’re trying to explain RA to someone who doesn’t get it.
RA is not contagious; it’s an autoimmune disease. It’s not a lifestyle choice or a mental health issue. And it’s certainly not caused by stress!
When someone asks “What did you do?” after they hear about the new flare-up of your RA symptoms, and you want to punch them in the face but can’t because that would be super rude and also bad for your hands right now because punching takes so much energy out of them that they’re already hurting like hell today thanks to this stupidly-sore flare-up of my stupidly-sore joints from all the stupidly-stiff muscles from yesterday when I tried doing something physical again after being off work for almost three weeks with this stupid flare up which means I can’t pay rent on time AGAIN even though my paycheck should’ve been deposited yesterday.”
When your body aches so much, you can’t even…
You know you are having a bad day when it is impossible to:
- Make it through a meal.
- Make it through a shower.
- Make it through a workday.
- Make it through a conversation with your barista at Starbucks (who always asks how your day is going and then looks at you like they want to cry when they see the response).
- Make it through one night of sleep!
When people suggest that exercise is the only key to a healthy life and don’t understand why you’re not up for it.
Exercise is important but isn’t the only key to a healthy life. It’s also important to understand how RA impacts your life and what you can do about it. Sometimes exercise will be the best option for you; sometimes, it won’t be.
Many people with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) have tried or are currently trying to incorporate more physical activity into their lives. We know that exercise has many benefits, including reducing joint inflammation and pain caused by RA; however, there are also some limitations when it comes to exercising with an autoimmune condition like RA:
- You may not be able to tolerate certain types of exercise due to current symptoms or medication side effects
- Your joints might not be strong enough for certain types of movements yet (such as running). As a result, your muscles might compensate for this weakness by working harder than usual during the activity which could lead to them being overworked themselves! This can lead down an unfortunate cycle where each subsequent workout gets harder than before because fatigue accumulates faster than recovery time between activities allows – resulting in less motivation overall until eventually quitting altogether becomes easier than continuing on despite exhaustion or injury risks (think injured athletes who sabotage themselves onto disabled lists).
When people tell you your pain is all in your head (not true!) and you have the clinical symptoms to prove it.
- When people tell you your pain is all in your head (not true!) and you have the clinical symptoms to prove it.
- When people tell you that RA is just a “mind-over-matter” disease and it’s not serious, even though you’ve had major surgeries and need to take steroids every day.
- When someone asks how long ago you were diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis, then looks at their watch after hearing that answer.
When you’re explaining fatigue to someone who just doesn’t get it (but really wants you to take more walks with them)
Fatigue is a huge symptom of RA. It’s the energy level you need to get out of bed, the ability to stay awake during a movie, or how quickly you can complete simple tasks like laundry. For example:
- A conversation with a friend about their upcoming trip might be something like, “Hey! I’m so excited about your vacation! Is there anything I can do for you before you leave?” In this case, fatigue would be an explanation of how much more difficult it is for me to plan ahead than most people because my body doesn’t recover as quickly from activities that would normally be no big deal (i.e., taking care of things while they’re gone).
- Explaining fatigue when someone asks why they haven’t seen me in forever could go something like, “Well…you know how I love spending time with friends and family. But lately, it’s been hard because my health has been really poor; my joints hurt all day long.” (Note: You don’t have to share details unless they ask.)
It’s helpful to laugh at RA sometimes!
You’re not alone.
You are not your illness.
It is okay to laugh at RA sometimes.
We hope these memes will help you feel a little less alone and maybe even help you get through a bad day. RA is a serious disease, but it doesn’t have to end your life. You have options, and many people understand what you’re going through and want to support you in any way they can. If this post has been helpful for you, please let us know!