Rheumatoid Arthritis and moving house…I am overwhelmed!


I’m really struggling.  Moving house is hell!  I’m still in so much denial about what I am capable of…I think cos I can lift light weights for an hour in the gym I can pack up a whole house myself???  wtf is wrong with me?  I still think that I can push through all this pain by sheer force of will.  Guess what, I can’t!  I crash and burn every time.  And I have so much still to do.  The pain is bad today, but the fatigue is the brick wall.   I am going to have to spend today working up the courage to ask some of my able bodied friends for help.  They have offered.  Why is this so hard for me to do???  Sorry, had to vent…I really hate myself sometimes.


This is what I posted on a group looking for support.  I just broke down emotionally.  I just sat in my half dismantled house, and cried.  Looking at everything that needed doing, knowing I had to do it.

And knowing that I can’t.

I absolutely can’t.

This is where my ‘paint a smile on your face and tough it out’ attitude really falls down.  A very long way.

I just thought I would post this, because I do have breakdowns, and I do fall apart.

Rheumatoid Arthritis will do that.

I had a quick coffee with one of my closest friends yesterday.  She just moved house a few weeks ago.  She packed up her house in about four days, and while she was tired, it wasn’t such a hard thing for her to do.

She is not sick.  She doesn’t suffer chronic pain.  She doesn’t suffer debilitating fatigue.

She smiled and told me not to worry, that I’d get there.  That it’s not so bad.  That it’ll be done before I know it.

I packed 20 boxes before Christmas.  I have packed another 10 since. There has been no real respite.  No period where I can completely rest and recover.  Packing.  Christmas.  New Year.  More packing.

Moving in one week.

Immovable deadline.  I have to do it.  I will do it.  How?

I have to ask for help.  I am hopeless at that.  Absolutely hopeless at it.  My aforementioned friend has offered to help.  But when I was trying to explain to her that I am struggling, she joked and told me all was good.  That I would be fine.  She has absolutely no understanding of what is going on in my body.

Then I fell into that horrible old habit…I told her about my cortisone injection in my shouler, and what the ultrasound results showed.  Arthritis.  Bursitis.  Tendonitis. Synovitis.  Erosions.

I started shoving my ‘proof’ down her throat…so that she would understand that I am sick. I am disabled. I am in pain.

The more I tried, the more she retreated.  Offered me another coffee.  Changed the subject.  Told me not to be negative.

I really hate when people tell me not to be negative.  I am about the most positive person I know.  But I am allowed to fall apart   every once in  a while.  It does not make me negative.  It is reality.

I usually downplay my pain.  I acknowledge that I am hurting, but I don’t harp on it.  I believe that saying something quietly and calmly should command as much respect as if I broke down and cried.

Sometimes, though.  Every once in a while, I need to face the truth and be able to talk to a friend about the reality of what’s happening to my body.  That I have moderate to severe RA.  That it is a serious disease.  That it is debilitating.  That I need support.  That I need physical help.

No one wants to hear that.

So I put the smile back on my face.  And we discussed how exciting moving into a new house is.  We talked about the things I will do to the house over time…the things that need fixing, the things that need painting…

All the time me knowing that I won’t do any of those things.  That I have Everest to climb between now and then.

And somehow, I will.


  1. I hate this for you. Life is hard enough on a regular day, having to move is the most horrible thing I can imagine. It would take me a year or more to get stuff packed.

    • Thanks Claudia. I hope I don’t have to move again for a very long time. Its such a different beast with a chronic condition to drag along as well. Thanks for your support 🙂

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  2. I feel your pain, I moved 8 months ago. Thank you for sharing your experiences, it’s what we are all feeling and don’t have the words to express. I will be forwarding your blog on to my family…..although they ” understand” , your words paint a true picture.
    I have a friend whose husband is going through cancer and bone marrow transplant in a few days…they are wonderfully strong people…British….We talk, we have our “pitty pahties” for 5 minutes, and move on….what else can you do? 🙂
    Stay strong, the move will be over soon. Take your time, I am still learning that. The boxes will get unpacked…whenever!
    Be well………..

    • Elaine – you so are right. The boxes will get unpacked…whenever! I needed to be reminded of that. One step at a time, and I am getting there. My thoughts are with your friends…I hope the bone marrow transplant is successful? You have a great attitude, ad thank you much for your support 🙂

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  3. I totally and utterly hear you. Every woman I’ve ever met with RA has told me that ‘letting go’ of the things that we are usually the doer’s of, having to ask for help with the things that have always come naturally to us, as women & mothers, is the hardest part of our adjustment. I know this from personal experience, I’ve had to learn the same lessons, I’ve had to ‘let go’, learn to delegate and ask for help. It’s still hard for me 21 years in to do that, I still have feelings of guilt and uselessness, even though I know in my heart that it’s the way it has to be in order for me to be there for my kids and family for the good stuff, the important stuff. I can’t imagine having to pack up a whole house by myself, hell I can’t even cook dinner by myself without help. Take as much help as is offered, real, true friends will see how much it’s appreciated.
    As an aside I would e-mail your friend the spoon theory, it tells it how it is, in a way that is easier to understand. Maybe your friend is in denial about your health, we go through the denial thing, I guess why wouldn’t the ones that love us, they don’t want it to be true anymore than we do.
    I am wishing you many happy memories in your new home xx


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