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How do I answer a friend who asks if I am recovering ok?

I have told her of the diagnosis of severe RA but obviously she does not understand the disease. I would love to be recovering but fat chance of that. I have been in an almost constant flare for almost a year now. It got so bad that I was on crutches for months. That was the last time that I seen her. Sometimes I think that whenever I try to talk about RA and how it affects the body they all tune me out. Only explanation I have for the question of recovering.

8 Replies

Unless they have it no amount of explanation from you will make a difference.You can't tell them of the pain that your in as its all inside you. I wish i could tell you any other. The only other thing i can suggest is get some leaflets from your hospital and hand them over to your friend. Thats the best thing of this site is that everyone knows how you are feeling. You could show your friend this site and then see what they say after reading these blogs.

I wish you well and i hope that you soon get some relief.

Sylvi xx


Hi there,

It's hard isn't it that so few people really understand what this is about. You could just keep it simple & say that there isn't a cure for RA as it's a lifetime condition but you hope that it won't be long before it's more under control and you'll be able to live a more normal life. Sylvi's suggestion is good too - there are some info sheets on the site for friends & family.


I am doing well all things considered." " how the .... Do you think I'm doing? Given ia have an incurable painful condition" " so so" - " great fab and you?"


My most recent response:

"Do you want the short polite dishonest answer, which is - I'm fine thanks, how are you? - or have you got time for the longer and honest answer? In which case I will need to sit down as my foot bones are slowly eroding."

I find the older I get the more I laugh and say, do you know, I feel bloody marvellous! And if they don't pick up the sarcasm then that's fine!


I also tend to answer that " I am fine thanks" as most people don't want to listen to a medical history! Close friends have seen me when I have been really laid up as well as getting better and they are very good at the sympathy when they know I am feeling rough.

Sometimes I say "not too bad today" and if they ask for more details, I just say my joints are painful, or my hands have twisted up or my feet are very painful.

NRAS have some very good booklets about RA - might be worth getting one or two to show to this person. I think they do one called something like "living with RA"? Might help her to understand. LavendarLady x


Hey Salem,

You can just let her know that you are better than you were (unless of course you are still on crutches?).

Most peeps dont actually need (or want) the full on this is a chronic illness speech im afraid :D. If she ASKS what RA is then you can explain. Otherwise imho I keep it simple.

If everything is flaring I say im achey today, if some area is feeling good I say today is a good day!!

Hope that helps



Yes I agree with Joy but then I'm not as bad as others here yet - it's only in my wrists and fingers just now so I can afford to put on a brave face. Except today in Tai Chi class when a large man (with AS) tried to grab my wrists and show me something when I roared at him "leave my wrists and hands alone they really hurt!" and he got a bit of a fright!

On the whole I would rather not lose friends and the nicer acquaintances by spelling things out too much because I don't want them to associate me with pain and suffering and start avoiding me. But I'm also a terrible liar so if someone asks me if I'm recovering I've started replying "well there's no cure for RA but I'm feeling much better just now" or "there's no cure for RA and presently I'm pretty sore but hopefully I'll get some remission soon .. anyway how are you? in the most upbeat tone I can muster! TTx


I like tildas response it's so hard not to embark on a long story isn't it.


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