Partner of possible RA sufferer

Confused88 Member Posts: 6
edited 3. Aug 2012, 04:14 in Say Hello Archive
Hi, not sure if this forum is for partners as well? My boyfriend may have RA. He suspects he's had it since he was a toddler as has always had trouble with his knees in particular, they noticed it when he started walking. He was poked and prodded for years but never diagnosed, and I'm guessing as soon as he was old enough to decide for himself, he'd had enough. He now has a huge fear of needles and won't go get tested despite the pain he's in. He's 22 and needs a cane to walk. I'm so scared for the future as I'm pregnant and can't help seeing him ending up crippled and not being able to be the dad I know he wants to be.. Just really need to talk to someone because he's in denial about needing help and I'm afraid I'll never convince him and he'll be in a wheelchair by 30. I realise it may not be RA but it's what he suspects. I really don't know what to do, I hate bringing him down by forcing discussion about the future on him but I'm so scared for him and us. Sorry I'm rambling... didn't expect to write this much, guess I've been holding it in a while. :(


  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 26,282
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hello Confused88 and welcome to the forum. Yes, of course this is a good place to come if you're worried about your partner and it certainly sounds as if you have good cause to worry. He might not have arthritis at all but, if he needs a stick to walk with, he has something that would be better investigated.

    He's probably, as you say, sick of medical matters and also rather scared of appearing to be a wimp around needles. I wonder if a little moral blackmail might help :roll: If you explained that you will need him to be as fit as possible once the baby is born and for many years after?

    If it is RA (and it might not be) it will continue to get worse without treatment and eventually he'll have to seek help but, by then, he'll be in a worse state. I hope he's not self-medicating on pain relief.

    I wonder if he'd be prepared to ring our Helplines to talk things over with them? That might be a first step. Meanwhile, keep talking to us, Confused88, as this must be very hard on you.
    "The deeper sorrow carves into your being the more joy you can contain." Kahlil Gibran
  • dreamdaisy
    dreamdaisy Member Posts: 31,558
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hello, well done on coming to find us to talk to us: what is it with blokes and their health? Mine is now four years older than 50 and no matter how many times I say prostate he assures me his is in fine fettle. How does he know? Twerp.

    I can understand your partner's reluctance to tackle this issue but surely he can no longer only think of himself: there's you and the babe to consider. I'm with Sticky on this, a smidge of moral blackmail may well be a good thing. The ostrich approach which he is employing is a well-known avoidance strategy but ultimately it only leads to further trouble and greater problems. He has fathered a child so he must now become mature enough to think about the future, the part he has to play in that future, and that means sorting out this health issue. We'll be here for you Confused88, and him too if needed. I wish you both well. DD
    Have you got the despatches? No, I always walk like this. Eddie Braben
  • PollySid
    PollySid Member Posts: 343
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Bless you, I hope he realises what a thoughtful and caring partner he has.
    I hope you manage to get him to seek help, as by what I have read on here about RA (I have OA so not from personal experience) the sooner the sufferer gets on medication the better chance of slowing the damage down.
    Congratulations on the pregnancy, it is a special time for you both and you should not be having to worry about your partner's health.
    You both need to be as fit as possible for when the baby arrives, so you need to try to persuade him to visit the GP to get his knees checked out.

  • Confused88
    Confused88 Member Posts: 6
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Thank you all for the replies. I have tried blackmail. :roll: We're currently at the "I'll go through it all again if you really want me to, but I don't have much hope" stage where I'm guessing he's hoping I'll feel guilty for badgering him and give up so he's not really planning on doing anything. I'm trying to take it slowly because I know how hard it will be for him, admitting he's not ok and it's probably not going to go away (he used to get flare ups but it's only been this bad the last few years) and tackling the needle phobia. Also I feel like a hypocrite preaching medical help when I know I avoid it myself, I've got mental health issues and find it so hard to get help and go through the emotional turmoil of therapy and bringing it all up again. Sorry I'm rambling again.. I should probably make this post in one of the main sections shouldn't I? :lol: Thank you all so much for the support, didn't realise how much I needed it until I found this site!