at the Water's Edge

Living life and learning all I can along the way!

RA Humor: Because Laughter is the Best Medicine

Since discovering the online RA and #rheum community, I’ve come across some very witty people who are constantly making me smile and laugh, and who have come up with some pretty creative humor surrounding our ailments.  They say laughter is the best medicine, and I say we put that to the test!  

I’d like to start a collection of various jokes and puns relating to rheumatoid arthritis and other rheumatologic conditions (or should that be rheumatologicalisciousosiosis?? – Jay? Shannon?).  I’ll start off with a few genres and examples, and then I’ll be asking you to submit your own, either in the comments here or via Twitter @dsymons.  I’ll then organize the submissions I get into a single post where I will continue to collect and share the jokes I come across.  It can serve as a refuge for the times when you need to laugh to keep from crying or as purely entertainment on lighter days.  Let’s get started!

*Note: Since I’m mostly involved in the RA community on Twitter, you may see “#rheum” mentioned several times here.  If you don’t know what that is, it’s a hash tag phrase used in Twitter to identify topics of conversation.  #rheum was created by RA Warrior, and is used to denote topics relating to rheumatology.

Here are a few examples of jokes and genres I’ve shared or heard in the past.  I’m not all that funny on my own, so I need your help!

Puns (twisting words and phrases to make a play on words)

Lots of puns have come up along the way, and I wish I could remember them all. 

My favorite one as of late is from RA Warrior who recently coined the term “rheumors” to denote rumors relating to RA.  Love it! 

I was thinking about this one the other day…for those of you who are fans of the movie Office Space: I was thinking that all of my joints with active RA symptoms could be considered “pieces of flare” – and perhaps the “flare” is just my RA (or my immune system) expressing itself.

What punny words and phrases can you come up with?

You might have #rheum if… (twist on Redneck Jokes – RA Guy also has a great list going of “You Know You have RA When…” submissions)

e.g. You might have #rheum know first hand what it's like to live without opposable thumbs.

e.g. You might have #rheum wake up slightly suspicious that your otherwise docile spouse may have beat you in your sleep!

Analogies (get creative in explaining what RA is like!)

e.g. My body is the Matrix, and I have to send Neo (Enbrel) in to kill off all the Agent Smiths (RA) – from Tom

e.g. I always say that RA is like a civil war within my own body: Immune System vs. Body – only my body’s simply playing defense against the immune system attacks, and all I can do at the moment is provide a shield (Enbrel).


e.g. Why did the RA patient cross the road?  (I don’t know - tell me your response!)


e.g. An RA patient walks into a bar… (Finish the rest!  I think RA Warrior had this posted a while back, but I can’t remember the responses – there were some good ones, though!)

e.g #rheum is like a box of never know what you're going to get! (What kind of #rheum chocolates did you get today?  Light, fluffy nougat? Sticky caramel? No-so-pleasant mystery filling?)

Alternate explanations for #rheum (I often jokingly rationalize what my RA is doing by pretending the symptoms are from something else or from personifying my disease)

e.g. My husband told me tonight that my thumb doesn’t hurt from RA.  It’s just sore because we’ve been thumb wrestling in our sleep!  (I must be winning…or at least putting up a good fight!)

Books That Were Never Written (made up story titles combined with made up author names that make a pun)

e.g. The Stabbing by N. Brell

e.g. Can’t Bend my Fingers by Sue Welling

If you have something funny to say related to RA or #rheum, leave it below or tweet to me @dsymons.  Choose from the joke genres above or come up with something new!  I just ask that you keep it clean.  I’m looking forward to lots of smiles!

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Hi there! My name is Dana and I live in West Michigan with my husband, Tom and our dog Copernicus. I created this space as a place to share the things I learn along this journey I call life. I work in marketing and I'm a sort of Jane of All Trades, interested in all things nature, gardening, cooking, exploring and learning new things. This blog is a conglomeration of my interests, hobbies, life and life lessons. Thanks for stopping by!