If you have rheumatoid arthritis and plan to start dating, it's inevitable that at some point, assuming your efforts are met with some degree of sucess, you are going to end up seeing one another's home. Now, there is peril enough in this moment for the average healthy single gal or guy making their first trip over to their date's apartment (what is that weird odor? Oh my god, that used to be a block of cheese? Is that seriously a poster of Yanni on their wall?), but when you are laced with a chronic disease that you don't yet want the new person in your life to know about- and they are coming over to your apartment for the first time- the situation becomes even more fraught with danger.
I mean, for starters, there are needles. And bright red sharps containers with big bio-hazard signs on them under the bathroom sink. And a suspicious number of vitamins, supplements and prescriptions strewn about on the kitchen table. In fact, the entire medicine cabinet is stocked well enough to sedate a herd of cows. One innocent glimpse inside could be enough to raise the alarm. There are also weird boxes of medicine lurking conspicuously in the crisper at the bottom of the fridge instead of lettuce. And, upon closer inspection, numerous prescription receipts, insurance claims and doctor bills just sitting out unabashedly on the desk, waiting to be discovered so they can out you.
So not only do you have to worry about taking care of the normal things when expecting company, such as clean hand towels and hiding embarrassing romantic comedies from the 80's (I mean, not that I have to do that), you have to remember to put away that refrigerator calendar that enbrel sent you and to stash all your meds some place where they are unlikely to be casually revealed.
And, it doesn't stop at proofing the apartment. When you are dating and hiding a chronic, rather high maintenance disease, there are others things to consider. Any and all band aids covering recent injection sites should be removed. Pills normally taken out in the open during dinner need to be covertly tossed back when your date goes to the bathroom. Remember, although you have become accustomed to such behavior, most people in their 30's don't swallow three pills with their evening meal.
Frankly, it's a lot to contend with, especially when you aren't even sure how much you like this person yet, or how long they might stick around. But, given that telling someone about said chronic, high maintenance disease isn't usually considered good first, second or possibly even third date material, the above precautions may be necessary to ensure that your date goes smoothly.
Make sure you're prepared.