Communication: An Important RA Skill

Communication is actually an important skill, not only for those with RA, but for everyone to have. What you say. How you say it. What you heard. What you think you heard. How you interpret it. So many ways to plug in the wires of communication. Add in some stress and it's not a surprise that they do get crossed from time to time.

People who live with a chronic illness, such as rheumatoid arthritis (RA), may face challenges from “outside perceptions”. How others perceive your conditions may leave you feeling isolated, irritated, angry, sad, or misunderstood.

Outside Perceptions

I developed RA when I was 19 years old. When people learned that rheumatoid arthritis was the reason for my slow, shuffling gait, and my inability to do everyday things such as turn a door knob, or sit down easily on the floor, I often heard, “But, you're too young!” A number of people I encountered had the perception that RA is an old person's disease, probably reinforced by the word arthritis, which is often understood to be osteoarthritis – a condition that usually strikes folks who have more mileage on their joints.

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One Reply to “Communication: An Important RA Skill”

  1. A very thoughtful and interesting post. The research you did for this one sheds light on so many aspects of living–how we communicate to others and how we present ourselves. Chronic illness can change how the world looks, but again those who are interacting with that person might hopefully not perceive any difference. I think one thing we all hope for is to be treated equally. Thanks again.

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