Love and RA

Dear Ms. Meniscus, Hi, I’m still trying to date and would love to get married and have children. I’m a person living with RA and have been dealing with it. However, when meeting someone new I hesitate to let them know. I don’t want them to see me as “broken” or not dateable. Any advice?

Sim

Dear Sim,

Finding love is a challenging feat, even for those who are healthy. Having Rheumatoid Arthritis is an added stress in your life, but keeping a secret of that magnitude should not be another. While I would not suggest necessarily telling the person sitting across the table from you about your RA on the first date, I would not wait for more than two or three dates before discussing this topic.

Remember, nobody is perfect, but make sure to focus on what you can do when you do disclose your RA. The last thing you want to do is reinforce in their minds what they might already think your limitations are. Tell them how well you are managing your RA, by healthy diet, exercise, and with treatments like auto-injectors and infusions. Also, tell them about how treatments today actually slow the disease’s progression, allowing you to live as normal a lifestyle as possible. Our executive director Louis Clay Tharp says often the most difficult part of RA is getting your managed care company to approve the treatment your doctor orders.

Keep your conversation honest and maintain a positive attitude.

Good luck.

–M

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