133 | P a g e 57. DAKER-WHITE 2014 [176]: the body in rheumatoid arthritis I don't want people to see my distorted body. How I look affects how I feel. At times I feel absolutely rubbish because I look awful. I had my body. I avoid going out. However, in many ways RA is an invisible illness and it is frustrating and upsetting because others cannot appreciate my suffering. RHEUMATOID ARTHRITIS 58. DAKER-WHITE 2014 [176]: biographical issues re-defining ‗‗normal‘‘ life My biography has been disrupted. I am struggling to adapt to my hanging circumstances. My life story has three chapters: 1. the normal or past life 2. my body out of sync 3. finding a new way to live. Getting used to it, adapting, or mastering RA, takes time. It is a biographical process. RA might bring some positive opportunities, for example it had made me rethink my obligations. RHEUMATOID ARTHRITIS 59. DAKER-WHITE 2014 [176]: perceptions of control I am trying to cope with an unpredictable and non-compliant body. My symptoms fluctuate. I feel that my RA is in control of me. I try to find a balance: energy and fatigue controlling symptoms through medication and side-effects. At times, I refuse intervention to keep in control. Sometimes I just have to manage alone. Sometimes I can control my symptoms and at other times I cant. I can remain independent with a bit of help. RHEUMATOID ARTHRITIS 60. DAKER-WHITE 2014 [176]: the nature of symptoms and strategic responses I have been redefined by RA. RA gives me pain. It makes my joints stiff and causes immobility. I suffer with fatigue. However symptoms are fluctuating and unpredictable on a day-to-day basis. My normal roles are changed or lost. I feel like a social outcast. I can become emotional at times. It permeates "every sphere of life’’. I have lost some independence and fear dependency. RHEUMATOID ARTHRITIS
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