It's hard to explain to someone what arthritis really is. We who have been diagnosed with the disease may appear to be physically well, but really may be in severe pain. Many of us suffer in silence.
I have a hard time asking for help with things - even when I really need help (except when it's my husband or a few of my immediate family members). It's hard for me to say no to activities, because sometimes others just don't understand, and I don't want to try to explain it to them. Not because I'm afraid they won't be sympathetic, but because most people wonder, "She looks fine. I'm sure she's in pain, but why can't she just take 2 aspirin and get over it? I'm sure it's nothing serious."
I thought that this piece, published on the New South Whales Young Adults with Arthritis website does an excellent job of describing what we struggle with daily. I urge all of you to read it, especially if you know someone or have a loved one living with arthritis: