I found this really awesome poem from the Arthritis Kids SA Support Group. It helped me and I hope it will help you.
Do and Don’ts for Arthritis:
Don’t assume that because I look well I feel well. Looks can be deceiving. Many days I look great but feel terrible.
Don’t tell me you know how I feel because you DON’T. Two people with the same disease can feel totally different.
Don’t tell me ‘’it could be worse’’. Yes, it could be but I don’t need to be reminded all the time.
Don’t be upset that you can’t ease my pain. It won’t do any good two of us being miserable.
Don’t ask me how I feel unless you really want to know. You may hear a lot more, than you are prepared to listen to.
Don’t assume because I did a certain activity yesterday that and I can do it again today. Arthritis is ever changing. Each day is different.
Don’t decide what I am capable of doing. Arthritis does not affect the brain. Allow me to decide what activity I can participate in. There may be times that I make the wrong decisions, and if I do, I will know it soon enough.
Do learn everything you can about the disease. The more you know, the better equipped you will be to know what to expect.
Do realize I am angry and frustrated with the disease, not with you.
Do let me know you are able to help me when I ask. I’ll be grateful.
Do offer me lots of hugs and encouragement.
Do understand why I cancel plans at the last minute. I never know from one day to the next how I will feel. Arthritis is like that.
Do continue to invite me to all the activities. Just because I am not able to bike ride with everyone doesn’t mean I can’t meet you for a picnic at the end of the trail. Please let me decide.
Arthritis Kids SA