Yesterday, I shared a brief interview I did with my daughter. Today it’s my husband, Sean’s, turn. Sean and I have been together for a long time (17 years) so my Rheumatoid Arthritis diagnosis (2012) isn’t something he signed up for. I’ll let his answers speak for themselves but I will say that never has Sean doubted my pain. He’s never doubted how I feel and supports me 100%. He would do anything for me and I consider myself very lucky to have my best friend not only beside me going through life’s ups and downs, but beside me while I battle this jerk of a disease.
Do you ever feel frustrated or angry that I have Rheumatoid Arthritis?
Angry that life has dealt you a seemingly unfair hand.
Are you ever scared that our children will develop a chronic illness because they have my genes?
I’m not scared but certainly concerned.
Do you understand my disease? Are there questions you want to ask but haven’t?
I understand it well and have no questions.
How does your wife having RA affect your outlook on life?
My outlook has not changed. I am concerned about the future.
Is there anything you miss from before I was diagnosed?
Yes. There are physical limitations and considerations that must be accounted for when planning events. We used to playfully wrestle.
How is/will your life be better because of your first hand experience with a chronic illness?
I am more informed and empathetic towards other who may suffer from RA. I can offer advice and support if need be.
How would you explain Rheumatoid Arthritis to others?
Having the flu constantly with extreme pain in your joints. An extreme loss of energy.
Are you concerned with my ability to continue working?
What do you perceive as the worst part of living with Rheumatoid Arthritis?
As a spouse of someone with RA, the worst part is watching the person you love the most suffer. Watching them inject themselves with chemicals that hopefully reduce the suffering all the while knowing it is harmful. As far as the person who lives with RA themselves, I think the hardest part would be the sudden change in ability to perform simple tasks. The inability to keep pace with the normal world and suffer with unrelenting and unpredictable bouts of pain. Feeling alone and not truly understood.