Me and my illness

I'm thinking about how to respond to the question 'how are you'?  when I go to the preop on Friday. Its made me think that there is a distinction in my mind between my general health and the RA. RA has a dynamic of its own and although I have additional problems which arent helped by the restrictions on my mobility caused by the RA, they are different. I feel that I'm basically OK, its just the RA really.

12 Replies

  • Tell them how it is really is then they will be able to help you better.xxxx

  • It's funny sometimes.  If people ask how I am I usually say "I'm fine" as that's the instinctive thing to do.   And basically I am fine,  apart from the bloody RA of course!  So I somehow gloss over the fact that my feet hurt, my knuckles are swollen, and at the moment I'm waking up at 5am every morning from pain from fuzzy hands & feet. (I'm in a non-remission phase right now, thanks to getting a Norovirus a week or so back....)

    But then your hospital should hopefully be used to the great British understatement....

  • Fellow feeling! (literally)

  • I'd respond in a RA-specific way.  If they want to know about your general help, they can ask you.  Obviously, if you have anything that might be relevant for the anaesthetist, you should definitely include that.  I always have to tell them that my blood pressure drops dangerously low after a general.     I hope it's a Good Friday for you, though not in the biblical sense!   Jo xx

  • Goodness the idea of them crucifying me - which is what they would be doing if they put it off! I'm sure you know about this Jo! I wasnt really thinking about what to say on Friday so much as what this possible question made me think about.

    My last knee was done under a spinal, not a general aesthetic so m expectng them to do that agan. Sorry my keyoard has sddenly gone ananas 

  • I know exactly what you mean. Saw the rheumy last week and he asked. I said I was ok tho I'm in pain most of the time. I said I was disappointed in the treatment results do far as if I was talking about a naughty child.  Ridiculous.  Anyway he's done a CRP blood which I've never had before, arranged neck X-rays and prescribed NSAIDS which my doctor refused.  Mind you it was meloxicam which crucified my stomach so I won't be taking any more of that! 

  • Yes, I know what you mean. I have often felt like my body has been invaded by an alien - I have a strong sense that the inflammatory arthritis is NOT ME. 

    I am fairly recently diagnosed, and had 4-5 years of feeling ill and knowing there was something wrong with me, but not being able to 'prove' it (I'm sero-neg) until an ultrasound showed synovitis and small erosions in my hands. For me, that has made the "How are you?" question really difficult, because I felt so much like a hypochondriac, and couldn't prove there was anything wrong, and *looked* pretty well... I very often wondered if it WAS all in my head. :( "Fine thanks" very often seemed like the easiest answer...

  • Interesting, this alien presence of inflammation and pain

  • I also say 'I'm fine'. I did say about feeling low and in a lot of pain with the RA one day and was told 'you look ok' well obviously my looks don't pity me. Have a good Easter everyone xx


  • My Aunt's response to being asked how are you is "still above ground ". I found this quite amusing so use it whenever I can. I'm not sure what my rheumy team would think though! 

  • I use "as well as can be expected" as a reply to "How are you?". If people are interested then they ask more specific questions, if not then they just look at me as if I'm odd (which I am). 

    But you are asking more about a specific query when you go for the pre-op? Then you need to say how much pain you have, how you are managing it currently and any other symptoms you have like not being able to be in one position for long, turning over in bed, etc. The anaesthetist can be enormously helpful in making sure that you are comfortable afterwards, in fact the only times I have been painfree for short periods is just after operations! 

  • I wasn't really asking but thanks for the advice. I was musing about what goes through my head when anyone asks me this sort of thing! 

    I agree with you about postop pain relief 

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