Having a hard time

Ive been struggling recently with my RA and feel trapped in my own body. Last night I became really upset by the state of my arms. My elbows are permanently bent and I feel so deformed. It's one thing that has really depressed me over the years and I sometimes desperately search for stories where straightness in the elbow has been regained but that story doesn't seem to exist, I know I need surgery as my elbows are so damaged and painful. I'm waiting on a date but I know that not even surgery will give me my straight arms back (although I don't understand why it's not possible) I wondered does anyone else get this upset about being unable to straighten their arms?

12 Replies

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  • Morning Suki this illness really gets me down at times so I know how you feel, but please try to keep your chin up because it will make everything feel a lot worse is there someone you could talk to so that you can let everything out because sometimes it helps and maybe after your operation things will get better , xxx

  • I don't have this problem but as popsmith said, you need to talk to someone. Why not try giving the NRAS helpline a call? They might be able to give you some information which will give you some hope. Good luck. Clemmie

  • so sad to read your post u sound very down and unhappy i am sure things will be better after your op will be thinking of u keep posting xxmary

  • I get upset about how saggy I am - I have lost all my muscle tone so I have saggy arms - stomach- and thighs - I use to be so fit and tonned. I think its a combination of drugs. the disease and being to exhausted to do what I use to. I hate having RA - it disfigures your body - your life - your relationships bloody hateful disease. Your elbows will look better after your op - good luck

  • Hi, I know exactly how you feel. I have just had an elbow replacement in my left arm and am waiting for a date to get my right elbow done. 3 months on from my replacement my arm is still not completely straight but is straighter than it was pre op, and I am still doing my physio in the hope of getting it straighter.

  • Hi can I ask, how bad were your elbows, before they took the decision to replace them?

  • I could only straighten them to about 60 degrees. The X-rays showed them to be in a pretty bad condition. I was first referred about two years ago, but wasn't sure about getting them done at first. I went back again last year and told them I wanted them done. It was a big decision for me to make as I work in a special needs school and the work is quite physical at times. I

  • Thanks for your response jewels. I ask because I've been told both of mine will need replaced but although the do hurt and sometimes my whole arms become like a dead weight, I can still move them well.

    I guess I was maybe just surprised to know they were in such a bad state.

    Having said this, the greatest pain was in my hips and they quickly replaced both of them and three months later, replaced both knees. Whilst clearly, I knew my hips were in a bad way, for all the damage in my knees, they didn't really pain me too much?

    Maybe pain isn't really a good indicator of damage done.

  • I personally think we get so used to living in pain that we block it out. The day after my op the only painkiller I was on was paracetamol and even that I never took as much as I was allowed.

  • It sounds as though a good physiotherapist would help. Can you get a referral?

  • I hate the disfigurement too Suki. I hope you are supported by someone who truly understands, as we do here. The helpline could definitely help you, they're amazing. I have decided that disfigurement is so hard to deal with because it changes how we see ourselves and can make us look 'comical'. I walk like Charlie Chaplin - waddling - and I think it makes me look daft. But what I'm told is that people don't always experience me that way. I'm not suggesting people don't notice your elbows, more that they can be distracted by other aspects of us. A big smile for example, or sense of purpose. Is there anything in your life that brings you self esteem, helps you feel useful? The days I do something meaningful, my RA matters less. I hope you feel much better soon..

  • Well I get upset with all the pain it cause s and the fact i cannot do the things I've always done it stops me living my normal life,makes me lonely being home alone so much not joining in every day life activities or even able to care for myself properly some days but that's life I suppose

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