There is a big difference between rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis is the kind from overuse that causes your knee/elbow/hand to hurt when you over use it, or maybe even when you aren't using it. Rheumatoid arthritis is systemic and starts with your little joints - like your feet and hands. The joints become achy and bulge and more.
This article explains better than anything else I have seen on what RA really feels like:
Like the fatigue and exhaustion after climbing a mountain or running a marathon.
Like the aches and pains after a significant fall or being in a car accident.
Like the full body aches and pains of a bad case of the flu.
And the stress as you wait for a flare to happen and make all the aches and pains start again.
"However, in order to truly understand, you must envision your injury, the flu, and the exhaustion all occurring at the same time. You must accept that your body would not heal in a few days, you would not be refreshed after a night of good sleep, and your ‘normal' would forever be compromised. But like all RA patients, in time you would learn to adjust. Having Rheumatoid Arthritis is not the end of the world it's just another way of living in it."
Not only that you can't forget the mental confusion sort of like chemo brain.
This is part of my life. And add in all my other health issues and I am the picture of health.