The “Joys” of RA.

Can I just ask…is anyone else really tired of the way manufacturers are making caps for bottles these days?  I’m talking about water bottles, milk bottles, pill bottles, tube caps, makeup caps, shampoo bottles, spice and condiment caps, etc. I spend half my time swearing and leaning over (because I can’t squat down, which really bums me out: it’s funny what you miss when you don’t have it anymore and squatting is on my Miss List), chasing after a top that has popped out of my fingers and scuttled away under the counter or across the floor – not when I’m taking it off, which has its own set of problems, but when I’m putting it back on!

Trying to put something that small on another thing that small is difficult, at best. I have good eyes for close work but the threading is tiny, as is the cap, and never the twain shall meet. Is it just my arthritic little fingers or are these things impossible to deal with? I like to think it is cheap materials and poor manufacturing that are the problem, it could also be that I’m often in a hurry or thinking about other things and not focused on the task at hand, but come on! Make bigger threads!

I also get frustrated sometimes at the constant need for efficiency: efficiency with your time, activities, energy, medications – gestures! You really have to be careful and plan your days so that you can get the maximum amount of productivity out of the window of time that your body doesn’t feel AS tired or sore or run down. Like any good eco-conscious consumer, I plan my car trips to use less gas; combining trips to certain parts of town on different days instead of driving North, South, East and West. But even my own husband doesn’t know that I have to be efficient moving around my own house! And it’s a small house.

I plan trips to the kitchen, making sure I’m carrying my water glass and anything else I want to bring or leave in that area, and I make sure I pick up in the kitchen whatever I might want to have on the couch or my office or wherever else I’m going. Forget about trips to the basement; I always make sure I have at least two different reasons and/or a basket of stuff before going downstairs so I don’t waste too much energy.

Not to mention how hard it can be just to walk through my own house. Unconsciously, I don’t want to pick up my feet because my knees are stiff, so my feet end up barely clearing the ground. I am constantly tripping over the tiniest carpet wrinkles, or electric cords – or dirt. My husband knows I’m coming or where I am in the house by the “dammit’s” and “ouch’s” that he hears. I also can’t manage to navigate through a room full of furniture and other items placed on the floor without snagging a foot; even if the object is at least six inches away. My feet are magnets. (Maybe because they are shuffling along the floor, picking up static energy.)

This is all part of the “fun” of having a chronic illness – I know they probably aren’t specific to RA. Maybe it’s also just part of getting older, with which I am also dealing. At 45, I’m not a spring chicken anymore; I might have some of these issues anyway. So this is commiseration for anyone who is finding their body isn’t doing what they want it to anymore; or is doing something they decidedly didn’t want it too. What are some of your “joys”?



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