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“Is RA contagious???”


I am more sensitive than usual, especially given all the mean comments aimed at me recently but this one really upsets me.

I do think it is a legitimate question and it is definitely not meant to make me feel bad. Honestly, it’s not the question but the meaning behind it.


Part of the reason I did not tell anyone about the RA for almost a year was because I did not want people to treat me like I was sick. People act a certain way when they know someone is sick, it is human nature. There is the part that feels sorry and there is the part that is wary and concerned about how this affects them.

This question unmasks the selfishness that everyone feels. Some people are just better at hiding it, but everyone feels it.

It is easy to talk the talk, but when it comes to actually supporting someone very few people follow-through.


If I tell someone about the disease, they automatically see me differently. It’s like a light switch. The tone of the conversation changes, they treat me like I will break.


I have been more lax about who I tell about the RA, but I am still cautious. Do you think I would tell you if I wanted pity?

I don’t want pity! I want support! I need to know that even though I have this sometimes crippling disease, you will not treat me any differently than before. I want to know that I can do and achieve the same things. Can I treat this disease like another interesting fact about myself?

No. Apparently not. This isn’t like a poorly executed tattoo…this is an illness, a sickness. People are innately too selfish to see it any other way.


Unfortunately, most people just think about themselves. They don’t see someone who needs support, they just worry about how I, as the person with this disease, will affect them.


Part One

Part Three

Hi, my name is Monica and I have RA.