As anyone with RA knows, it's impossible to ignore. When the pain is bad, it feels as if nothing will help it, and we tend to feel hopeless, and a victim of our condition, which makes us depressed, so we feel even worse. The pain makes normal life difficult, and the resulting depression makes it almost impossible.
RA pain is not something you can just shake off, and it can't always be cured with medication. Sometimes a flare just has to take its course, but that doesn't mean we can't fight RA - we just have to make use of the weapons we have.
I've had RA for almost 20 years. Notice I don't say I suffer from RA, although I do, and sometimes severely. But suffering implies being a victim, and we're not victims of RA - just people who have the condition. The point is, we should be defined by who we are, not by what's on our medical record.
How do we fight RA? With our minds, because that's one area of the body it can't invade. Since I was diagnosed, I've completed two degrees, and made a new career for myself as a freelance writer.
RA may have staked a claim to my body, but while I still have my mind, I'm in charge. I realise not everyone can follow my path, but you can still use your mind to fight RA. Get angry - refuse to let a condition that can be reduced to a couple of letters rule your life.
This may sound as if I've just plucked the words out of the air - I am a writer after all - but it's actually 20 years of bitter experience and trial and error distilled into a few paragraphs which I hope may help others.
So, let's get the discussion started - how do you fight RA?