I was diagnosed with Rhuematoid Arthiritis in 2010. I've had it for awhile apparently, but I always thought I had the standard Osteo Arthritis and I really couldn't do anything about it but take Tylenol.
Today, I am having a flare. When I have a flare, my joints swell and hurt. Sometimes, its pretty much all over, sometimes it is just one or two areas. Today, I am having a localized flare in just my hands and feet. My hands are so swollen that I cannot make a fist today. My fingers are so swollen I cannot wear my ring. It hurts when I try to make a fist.
My ankles are swollen and my toes hurt really bad. For probably about a month now, I haven't been able to bend the big toe on my right foot all the way.
Even when I am not having a flare, I still have pain from RA. Some people do not understand that I am hurting. The biggest thing that causes me pain, is shaking hands. People insist on shaking hands because it is the norm in the US. But frequently people shake my hand and hurt me and don't even understand that they do it.
The other thing that can really hurt is when some people hug me. They hug me too tight and it hurts.