One of the things I find hardest about having RA, is how lonely it makes me feel. Because I look more or less the same as I used to (unless you look at my feet) it's hard to see how different I have become.
I'm also aware of how boring I am.
I have morphed from someone who used to run around, full of beans and projects that needed doing immediately, into an old lady who shuffles about in slippers, complains about drafts, has a travel blanket for the car, and needs an afternoon nap.
And like an old person, I talk about what's wrong with me all the time.
I try not to but I can't help it.
I just want to connect with someone who understands.
Bless my husband. He could sense my need to find some support, so he spoke to the (lovely) people at NRAS who told him about a group of 'RA ladies' that meet on the first Tuesday of every month for lunch and a natter.
I was very unsure, but he was very persuasive.
"It will do you the world of good."
"Where are they meeting?"
"At the Toby Inn in Peacehaven at 11.30am"
I was immediately suspicious. Who goes for a Carvery at 11.30am in the middle of summer?
"Just stop making excuses and go and make some friends!" he told me.
I tried to look through the window of the Toby Inn as we pulled into the parking lot (for a carvery, at 11.30am, in the middle of summer), but he was driving too quickly.
I had an attack of nerves and demanded he go in first to check they were there.
No one wants to eat a carvery at 11.30am in the middle of summer on their own.
He was gone for about five minutes, then he got back in the car and started the engine.
"How about I take you to the Garden Centre for a jacket potato instead?"
"Why, were they not there?"
"Well you see those people sitting in the window?"
"The old ladies in wheelchairs and zimmer-frames?"
I ate my jacket potato in silence (and in my slippers), then I ate a piece of chocolate cake as big as my head and went home to sleep all afternoon.