The insensitive things folk say. Here's a few I've experienced recently.

1). I thought only old people got arthritis?

2). My friend had arthritis and she's cured now. She ate ten apples a day, and drank beetle juice. (you know the sort of thing).

3). Why are you walking with a stick today? You were fine a couple of days ago?

4). When are you going to get a job?

5). I hate people who scrounge off the state. They can all seem to manage to buy cars and large TVs.

6). You weren't on your own for Christmas were you?

This last one was said in a horrified voice, as if I had committed an appalling sin, or had no mates! Several people said this to me. I know they probably meant well, but seriously, if I was on my own, and had no mates, how's asking (after the fact!) going to help?

I'm sure you all have your own list of irritating things folks have said?

54 Replies

  • Sadly most people just think its Only Arthritis. They don't understand its its an Auto immune Desease I ho to grestcpsons to explain it too them. Because some days I am great

    This is the bit they don't get. Lol.

  • One of my favorite sayings is "Some days I am so good I amaze myself. Other days, I put my keys in the fridge" Well, not yet, but it could happen - ha ha

  • Very true. People just don't understand the impact of RA on a person. Makes me want to scream sometimes !!!!


  • Some people just can't help being stupid.

  • My boss's boss (definitely not my immediate boss she is fantastic) said "my mum has really bad knees and we are all really tired this time of year" all in the same sentence when I told her I had been diagnosed with RA!

  • I don't think people mean to be insensitive. I think it's just really hard to comprehend illness if you've never experienced it. I don't think I understood it until I got it, though I hope I was never insensitive!

    When folks ask about exhaustion I tell them it's like giving birth to twins, followed by a hike round the Cairngorms in a blizzard, with none of the joy of a job well done!

  • I have had a few folk in the village gossiping that I'm faking it, and should pull myself together. That was quite hurtful, since it was the one person I'd trusted who spread that particular bit of gossip.

    It takes one person to cause a war eh!

  • On the other hand, there are some lovely folks here. I have good neighbours znd friends 😄

  • I thought only fat people got arthritis - and this was from a professional ( lawyer!!).

  • Charming! Yup, I've had 'perhaps if you lost weight,' though to be fair I am on the dumpy side! 😜

  • And then I get comments like 'metal Micky ' , the 'tin man' or a firm favourite, the 'bionic woman - clearly No appreciation that I'd so much rather have my own hips and knees !!

  • When I told my daughter that I have Rheumatoid arthritis she told me to stop being a victim she's not been near since that was three years ago thought I had brought her up to be compassionate and caring ,

  • Oh, that's very sad. Very sorry to hear that junebee. Maybe she's got her own issues,and will come round in the end.

  • That is extremely sad - as if the disease doesn't rob you of enough! It's maybe that your daughter struggles seeing you in pain and feels ill equipped to help . Nettie may be right in that whatever going on for her is 'hers' and she may come round- let's hope so.

  • I would like to think you are right but my usefulness for her has ended it boils down to being spoiled and self centered she is in her middle thirty years and should know better

  • Thats sad i have a very loving caring family cant belive she hasnt been near if i lived near you id meet you for coffee its always nice talking to people that hsve simler things big hug from me we care xxxxx

  • I will put the kettle on lol

  • It is very very sad indeed. I was lucky to have my daughter back when I was very sick. She took good care of me for 10 months before she started working outside again.

    To me, regardless of how busy or with other problems in hand, being a daughter or son, when the parents are very sick, they should be around to do their part. They should not just leave the parents alone to suffer.

    We are here for you...

  • Thank you that made me cry people are so supportive

  • Dear, don't cry, we are all here for each other. We learn to be more independent when we are being put into a difficult situation really.

    I am very very sad today too. I may write a post on that so that I can release the inner feeling of my own too.

  • Let's hope she's lucky enough not to get it too unless you've experienced RA flare up you've no idea what it's like I've known for years I had it but not until six years ago did I have a really bad flare up effected me from kneck to toes went to bed with a few painfull bits only to wake in extreme pain unable to even sit up and get out of bed ,I. Just did not understand how serious it could be before that ,right now I. Experiancing another flare up serious but not as disabling as last time thank goodness because now I'm alone it's much more difficult than when my husband was here to help me this flare is results of the stress of him passing I'm finding it hard to over come to terms both things right now ,I start methotrexate Tuesday so not happy about it ,it was the same chemo my husband was on for last few months of his life he could only have a very dose for his leukaemia because his body couldn't take much at a time

  • Sorry to hear about your husband Jeans. That is very sad and stressful for you. I understand you both wanting to try the methotrexate, due to bad associations. It might be OK for you though. Here's hoping eh?

    Take care.

  • I had the same thing happen I lost my husband he was on the same chemo too I thing the upset brought my illness to the forefront I just put the pain down to pushing the wheelchair and seeing to my husband the only consolation I get is thinking how I would cope now if he was here they say there is a time for everything don't they

  • My mother says that my brother (in this country) understands. My brother in NZ is fighting his own battle.

    What I find annoying is the swings and roundabouts of the disease. Never the same two minutes running.

    Oh well, Land of Nod here I come, if you let me in tonight.


  • I am sorry to hear about the insensitive comments, particularly from people in your local u mind me asking how old you are( rough figure will do!!) just wondering from the second point u made......I was very young when I was diagnosed......21........ I couldn't talk to any of my friends or family about one knew what to say!!

  • I'm in my fifties, but reckon I have had the disease for a good long while.

    I think I partly caused folks to gossip by behaving like an irascible old goat! I was new to the area, so an outsider, that didn't help folks to warm to me. It's a bit better now, as I developed friendships (despite being an irascible old host!).

  • Whoops....ghost not host!

  • I split with my partner at the end of October - we had been together for three years. He just didn't understand my RA - I don't think he wanted to understand it. I looked fine, therefore I was fine!

    When we first met I told him about it and he said 'my mother has arthritis'.

    Throughout our time living together he never helped much, I think he cut the grass once, never cleaned or helped with decorating, gardening etc etc. I did pretty much everything even when I was feeling really bad.

    He used to grumble that I didn't walk far enough or fast enough.

    He was a workaholic and our weekends consisted of pretty much nothing - a trip to Screwfix or Toolstation, and a dog walk somewhere. I want to do things and go places whilst I can.

    I fell down the stairs in August and he didn't bat an eyelid. I realised at that moment he didn't really care about me and I'd be better off on my own.

    In some ways his attitude made me more independent and stronger (being a stubborn girl!).

    So, he left a couple of months ago. I am so much happier - I miss him and wish it had worked out, but I couldn't cope with his lack of understanding or empathy and complete lack of help.

    I have to look after number 1 - no-one else will!

    I have a holiday in a couple of weeks and lots of plans for 2017. With this blasted condition you have to make the most of feeling good.

    Sorry to babble on - I guess what I'm saying is it's my RA - I can't really expect anyone else to understand it. That's why I love this place so much - it's like you all share my RA struggles and understand how I feel 😀 I get so much from this site.

    Happy new year everyone - I think I'm going to have a good one!

  • Onwards and Upwards Jem95!!! Whoop Whoop You Go Girl!!! Life is too short to waste your love & energy on a moron....Like Beyonce sings

    " To the left, to the left

    To the left, to the left

    Everything you own in the box to the left

    You must not know 'bout me

    So don't you ever for a second get

    To thinking that you're Irreplaceable

  • Ha ha! Thanks Suzannedale.

    I'm a positive happy person - I want to enjoy life, not sit and watch it go past. It's just a shame it had to end (it wasn't all bad all of the time!).

    Onwards and upwards!

  • I split with my partner of 25 years, five years ago and i'm fine. You will be too. Have a wonderful New year!

  • Good for you!! 😃

  • 1. My boss told me to eat parsley. Parsley apparently cures RA.....

    2. If you really want to get over this RA thing, then "Why haven't you spoke to a psychologist? You would be cured in a blink of an eye once you "deal" with your inner child.

  • I reckon my inner child would have had a temper tantrum, and popped him on the nose for that comment!

    I have bipolar disorder so I'm always being told it's 'all in your head!'

  • He may as well have told you to eat cake! At least there would be some pleasure in that!

  • Hi suzannedale

    I know exactly what you mean about bosses - not long after being diagnosed I literally got dragged into a room for leaving an hour earlier than was planned as my first dose of methotrexate hadn't agreed with me very well - his response?! Go home and come back when you've sorted yourself out!! And this from someone quite high up in a major corporation(although,it generally is those types that are worse!). I just laughed,said you don't understand the word disability and hobbled off - reported him to head of HR,and funnily enough I never had to have a conversation with him again!! It's just pure ignorance on other peoples parts that make them so insensitive without even realising it - it's because you can't see anything wrong most of the time that they presume there isn't anything wrong - they don't see the three hours it took to get up and ready,inbetween bouts of crying of desperation on your bad days,they just see that you're at your desk so you must therefore be ok! I'm glad to say that I lasted as long as I could in my job,and in order for them to get rid of me they had to get rid of the whole team😝 So I feel forgiven for laughing every time I see 'my job' advertised every couple of months since we all left.... as they say,karma's a bitch! 😉



    My partner has bipolar too,so I completely understand how downright rude some people can be about your condition,and the amount of times I've even had to put my own family right because they say he's using his illness as an excuse for certain things - it's difficult to explain that actually,it's all part of the symptoms he has to learn to live with,and 9/10 times I know his moods before he does - but as you can imagine,with the amount of high level medications between the two of us,if things go wrong and we both have bad days at same time(has happened a few times) it's like a battlefield at home,as the mood changing meds we're both on make for some fantastic,and also very confusing,fireworks at times - but again,we get on with things as best we can.... you have to learn to live with the hand you've been dealt,it's just because we don't make a huge song and dance that again,people think there's nothing wrong!!

    Life's a huge learning curve,and I've just used my many conditions to realise the other things I can, and do,manage to do,rather than the same old stuff I would've carried on doing if I hadn't been ill. I'm now the proud owner of my very first dog(the rest were all family dogs) and I've only ever had cats while being away from home before,due to my working hours,and I'm looking forward to the next year as it's adventure time for Minnie and I as we go off to different parks/walks during the day,and also look forward to meeting more people that aren't so judgemental - that's the good thing about dogs,as soon as someone sees you with a friendly face and a wagging tail,they can't help but stop to talk to you(around here anyways).

    So here's to a better 2017 for all of us,and here's hoping things only go onwards and upwards too xx

  • Thank you Suzannedale.

    I've been very humbled by my various illnesses I must say. I am a good deal more tolerant of other folks differences than perhaps I used to be.

    I think most people are so busy, and absorbed in their own lives that often they just don't notice what's going on.

    I think people are also so bombarded by pain, misery and violence in the media, that they just switch off from the world, and those around them.

    I quit watching the news and reading news papers ages ago. I found I was becoming completely traumatised by it. when one watches such things it can feel like the whole world is a dangerous place. I found I lost perspective. Most people are good and kind, it's the odd few that ruin things for everyone else.

    People gossip, and sometimes judge, and I find that difficult. I've been on the sticky end of gossip a few times. People will always gossip. And most people have some sort of prejudice (even doctors!). These days I challenge folks if they say something unpleasant or judgemental about another person.

    It's been a bit harder to challenge doctors (politely). Whether they would like to admit it or not, the medical profession can be very prejudiced when it comes to the medical treatment of the mentally unwell.

    I'll stop with the verbal diarrhoea now!

  • Apart from saying this.....

    Dogs are the best medicine!!

  • Dogs and your photography is the best medicine!!

  • Aw thanks!!

  • My sister didn't understand how I was feeling when my Osteoarthritis was kicking the hell out of me. It's only when she was watching a tv programme & the subject was Arthritis, did she realise that there are different types of Arthritis.

    She's a bit more understanding now!

  • Some that have been said to me:

    - The ever popular "You don't look sick!"

    - "You must have a baby case of it"

    - "Try eating cherries. They will cure it" (This from a medical professional)

    - "Are you getting enough exercise?"

  • Haha cherries? In the summer round here there are several cherry trees. I must have eaten my own body weight in cherries 🍒. Didn't ease the pain...but sure cleaned my colon!!!

  • Ha ha ha - Yeah - I had the same experience with the same results :-)

  • Your cherry eating doctor must be related to my parsley eating boss....

  • I'm betting you are right!

  • Have RA and work in residential care part time. Been off sick with bad cold - coughing sneezing runny nose since Xmas eve. My partner said yesterday. How long you stringing this out for. I went to the doctor yesterday afternoon He gave me antibiotics and said I can't go back to work until 5th January. I have a chest infection. Gggggrrrr

  • You have my permission to put hot chilli in your partners cocoa!

  • Another one she says is mind over matter gggggrrrrr

  • It's frustrating isn't it? I can only say that PsA is very similar to having a mental illness, in terms of understanding. Most folks just don't get it, or just think you should just pull yourself together!

    I can say this as a diagnosed nut! A double whammy. I love a challenge! 😜

  • Or RA or other.

  • Lots and lots of hot chili! ha ha

  • Yes - My hubby finally started to get it when the rheumatologist said that I was going to be in a wheelchair in 6 - 9 months due to the severity of the condition.. THEN when she ran this Vectra DA test on me, it still came back after a year on treatment in the severe and aggressive category. After that he got a lot better about understanding when I said I hurt or was tired. however, he still does not understand if I just want to lay in bed and sleep all day - ha ha

  • You are too young to have that..

    My granny has some of that in her finger...

    Definitely more education needed on the types of arthritis and how they differ and how RD affects the whole system. I usually say I have inflammatory arthritis which enables me to explain that the fluid around my joints attacks them causing pain and swelling and that it fluctuates a lot and affects many joints.

    My sister-in-laws have not got a clue and one is a nurse. I don't think it even hit them when I was using a mobility scooter for 18 months before having a knee replacement at 48 and the kids were taking my plate and cutting the meat and roasters for me. Thankfully for me since my knee replacement and my saviour drugs Abatacept and hydroxy I have found a new lease of life - no way near normal but much more manageable. Farm

You may also like...