So: fascinating insights into RA & Brushing Your Own Hair, Shaving Your Own ‘Pits and Doing Up Your Own Bra.
The short version is that it’s bloody hard. Sometimes impossible. After weeks of paying someone to wash and blowdry my hair for me, I went and had it straightened over the weekend because often, I can’t hold a hairbrush, never mind a hair-dryer. My ‘pits have embraced their German ancestry for days on end because I can’t lift my arms high enough to shave, never mind twist my head that far round to see what I’m doing and, ideally, not slice open an artery, major or otherwise. And as for the bra situation: they don’t make enough front-fastening bras is all I can say — 20 minutes of tears, snot and frustration is too long to spend on anything.
And it hits you: this is why old people wear slip-on shoes and clothes with elasticated waists. Why the blokes embrace flatcaps and the ladies get their hair permed into silvery blue helmets. Why they may sometimes smell faintly of wee.
The range of ‘self-help’ gadgets for RA sufferers is fascinating and deeply alarming. Did you know you can buy a long-handled hair-washer? And an under-toe washer? As for the toileting aids… I pray fervently to any deity who’ll listen that I never get bad enough to need them. But if I do, the Bottom Buddy is at the top of my wish list, ta.