People ask me all the time how I am feeling. It used to be something that didn’t bother me. Then I became sick.
Smiling through Rheumatoid Arthritis Pain
When I first became sick people would always want to know how I was feeling. At first I would just smile through the pain and reply, “I feel okay.” After all, that is the polite response isn’t it? No one asked me if I was in pain or how I was coping. No one asked if I was tired or if I needed help. No one asked me anything. They didn’t question that I was feeling okay. I started to suspect that either no one cared, or they felt awkward and didn’t know how to react to me feeling sick.
The awkward silence
The awkward silence soon followed. You have probably experienced this yourself. It’s the silence that comes when you enter a room full of friends and family. It’s the silence that is terrifying to me. People would stop conversations when I entered the room. It was almost like they couldn’t continue a normal conversation with a “sick” person. I don’t think they ever realized they were doing it, but I noticed it everywhere I went.
One day I had one of my friends as me how I was feeling. I normally would tell her that I felt okay, but this time I couldn’t pretend that I was. I replied, “I am in so much pain that I dread going to sleep at night because I know that I will eventually have to wake up in severe pain. I can’t open my own bottles of medication, and I will have to spend a week watching the disappointed looks on my boys faces when I tell them that I can’t play with them.”
She didn’t say anything after that. Not one word, just pure silence. This silence was more comforting though. I felt relieved. I decided from then on, not to hold back my feelings. I was no longer going to allow people to think that I was just fine. Why should I when everyday is a constant fight?
I want to know
So today I want to know. I don’t want any false “Okay’s”. How are you really feeling? Are you in pain? Do you need help? We are all here for support. Let’s support each other!
Published On: April 07, 2008