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Living with Rheumatoid Arthritis

This post is part of a paid sponsorship by Regeneron and Sanofi. All opinions are my own.

I’m not sure how long my dad has had RA—Rheumatoid Arthritis. He never complains, but I learned to recognize the look of pain on his face as he goes about his day.

The first time we really talked about his symptoms, was when my own doctor was trying to diagnose my inflammatory symptoms. I had to call Dad to get his health details as part of my family history.

older man outdoors

When I talked to Dad about what RA was like, he mentioned the activities he missed doing more than he mentioned the pain. He was frustrated by his inability to be as active as he had been previously. Dad was an Airborne Ranger in the Army (hoo-wah!) and was accustomed to regular exercise and being able to go for hikes in the national park near where he lived. He loves to be active and is proud to maintain his Army weight.

Now, it’s not just that he can’t go for a run, it’s that I see him struggle to open a jar or unlock and open the door. He doesn’t complain about those things, but I see that they frustrate him and are more than a little embarrassing.

Recently, to help support the RA community, Regeneron and Sanofi fielded a 1,004 self-reported rheumatoid arthritis patient survey called Honestly RA. The purpose of Honestly RA was to uncover the emotional impact of the daily struggles, frustrations, and triumphs of what it means to live with rheumatoid arthritis.

Findings of the survey include the impact of RA on daily life, the patient’s treatment experience, and the relationship between doctors and patients.

Through Honestly RA, Sanofi and Regeneron wanted to take a very honest look at life with RA, to better understand patients’ needs when it comes to treatment and overall support.

The main findings from the Honestly RA survey are that rheumatoid arthritis can greatly impact patients’ daily life – physically and emotionally. There continues to be significant unmet needs when it comes to treatment and support for those living with RA.


• Eight in 10 people living with RA report that they experience pain daily or multiple times a week,

• Even after treatment, nearly two-thirds say their pain keeps them away from daily activities and celebrations,

• Almost all agree or strongly agree that it’s frustrating when others can’t understand their level of pain.

My dad doesn’t want sympathy. He wants to manage his symptoms so he can live a more normal life. 74 percent of patients in the survey said their treatments don’t always work as well as they would like. If you have RA, talk with your doctor about the right medication for you.

This week we celebrated Dad’s 81st birthday. Right now, his RA symptoms seem to be well managed. I love seeing my dad being active in his community. He’s in the neighborhood’s new choir, attends community meetings and dinners, and enjoys his retirement near the lake every day.

Anne Parris

Anne Parris is a managing partner Midlife Boulevard. Her personal blog, Not A Supermom, is your typical mommy blog that her kids say used to be funnier. Anne has a business degree and a dusty résumé from a top accounting firm and a Fortune 500 company, which she reminds herself of every time she is washing underpants. She lives with her family in Virginia and blogs mostly to support her coffee habit.

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