While rheumatoid arthritis is not classifiable as a terminal illness, there are definitely enough complications that can arise from the disease itself to side effects of medications that can, in fact, be quite dangerous.
If we look at a comparison of HIV/AIDS and RA (note: I’m not saying RA is anywhere near as bad/painful/horrible as HIV/AIDS – people with that disease definitely have it worse – think of this in the theoretical), it’s a similar pattern. We have a person who was (for whatever short time) healthy, who has now been informed of this disease they carry. There is no cure. There are medications, which may or may not be worse than the disease itself/may or may not help you at all. You will become very ill, angry, depressed, unable to do things you otherwise could. Sex becomes an issue, for one reason or another. If anyone within the same time zone as you has the flu/cold/pneumonia/etc, you’ll get it even if you’re just at home.
Slowly, you are forced to sit on the sidelines while you watch your body deteriorate, your mind following.
Would you date something with a condition like this, knowing:
- You have to watch them hurt and get sicker, and not really be able to do anything about it;
- You have to help them sometimes do the smallest of tasks, like open a door;
- You’ll get a front row seat to how they will mentally deal with the disease – will they lash out at you? Become so depressed that they decide life isn’t worth it anymore?;
- If you’re in it for the long haul, you’ll eventually have to take care of that person you care for;
- That person might be stubborn and not tell you when things are wrong, and you’ll have to learn to watch for anything out of the ordinary