The most sobering question on the Arthritis Foundation website is this:
What if you were in so much pain you could not pick up your child?
Well, that was my dad. He was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis at the age of 34, right after I was born.
Like any child, I loved to be picked up and tossed in the air. One of our neighbors came to our house and would swing me in the air. My mom told me later that my arthritic dad would spend those times holding back his tears. That was the emotional pain. As a young person, I had no idea of the physical pain he was going through as well.
Fortunately, I am healthy and well. These days, I do get the occasional aches and pains, mostly in the morning, but when I feel like complaining, I just tell myself to “Shut up!”