In this week’s blog post we’d like to discuss how to talk to your loved ones about your Rheumatoid Arthritis. Often times no one around you will understand what you are going through until they hear it from you and experts on Rheumatoid Arthritis. Many patients will take out their frustration on their loved ones, especially their spouses. To prevent this everyone around you needs to be aware of what your symptoms consist of and what would help you most.
It is important that your spouse comes to your doctor visits with you so they can hear from an expert what you are going through and understand. The doctor can be there to answer any questions your loved ones may have that you might not be able to answer. The more your loved ones understand what you are dealing with the more they will be able to help.
If you have children it is important that you make them aware of your condition. They will wonder what is going on and hiding it from them will make the situation worse. Sitting them down and discussing what will change around the house will help them and you. Let them know what they can do around the house, whether it is keeping the house clean or helping with dinner. Explain what symptoms you have and what it is like to have this disease with your family. Let them know how you usually feel at different parts of the day so they can understand why mornings might be tough for you due to morning stiffness.
After explaining how you feel to your loved ones they may understand more, but still don’t know exactly what they can do to help. It is important that you give them specific tasks that they can do to help to ease your pain. Make sure you don’t assume they know what to do and they won’t assume they know how you are feeling in that moment. Your friends may wonder how they can help, so don’t be afraid to give them a grocery list and send them to the store when you feel like you just can’t make it to the store that day.
Always remember to keep talking about what you are going through and keep your loved ones informed of ways they can help. Being able to talk about how you are feeling will help you lower your stress and frustration levels. Your symptoms may come and go so it is important to keep your loved ones updated.