LIVING WITH ARTHRITIS
by MRS.SHARAYU BHAT
I am a patient of Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) for the last 25 years. Many times the pain is so much that I cannot do anything. I have to cancel all my scheduled programs and meetings. All the people around me are moving swiftly, doing so many things happily, laughing loudly and enjoying their life, and I cannot do very simple and easy things even for myself. All such type of things cause me to go in depression. My dear MAI friends, I am sure, you have also gone through this phase. Let me share my thoughts from my experience, observation and common sense.
The very first thing is to accept this disease . Please don"t think...... Why me only, no one in my family is suffering from this disease, Oh God! is it a cursing for me and so I am suffering. This type of thinking makes us miserable only. If we are saying it often our family and colleagues will get bored very soon and ultimately try to avoid us. People around us are suffering from various diseases and we are suffering from RA. It can be very simple and easy. I personally think like this and have cheerfully accepted the fact.
The second thing is to understand and accept that I will never be completely recovered from RA. But it can be under control with the help of proper treatment and some other things also. Is it not encouraging for us my dear friends? So let us consider some points.
To find a suitable doctor. We may try some doctors with different pathies like allopathy ayurveda, homeopathy etc. There are so many pathies now a days and advertisements are also very impressive. So please think twice before taking decision. Do not get carried away by any attractive example. Once you decide the pathy and doctor, listen to him carefully, do all the necessary tests, take all the medicines in time with due precautions and have patience for the results. There is no magic in the world so far that can give instant relief. If you have any doubt, contact doctor without fail. But please talk to the point. Remember you are disturbing him. Please do not take any medicine on your own. Also do not change the pathy and doctor suddenly. Ultimately you and your family suffer a lot. Please go to the doctor by appointment only. Do the necessary tests, get the reports, file them along with the previous prescription and reach in time. We must wear clean and comfortable dress, easy for doctor to examine us. Do not hesitate to tell your problems and ask your doubts. Better if you carry a list in writing. After the visit go through the prescription and think about the instructions given by the doctor. Confirm all this with the family member who was with you. All these small things help us a lot. Please do not ask your doubts to the doctor on whats app at all. You may ask during the visit only.
We the patients of RA are always in need of some kind of help. Our family and colleagues are the ones who help us always. It is very very necessary to have Good Relations with them. So whenever possible try to share their work. Arrange something to please them. Always say "thank you" for a small help. Start wishing your colleagues "Good Morning " with a smile and see the change. I myself get energy and confidence by these simple habits. My dear friends, please do not "Encash" your disease. Do not take "Disadvantage of the people around you"
According to me "Willpower" is very important for RA sufferers. Due to change in season, working place, diet, some emotional happinings and so on we loose our peace of mind and RA flares up. By imagination also sometimes we get tension. To control all this Yoga & Meditation is very helpful. One can feel calm and quiet after Yoga & Meditation. Exercise is also necessary to keep our joints active and control excess weight. We must learn all this from the experts and do under their supervision, to avoid any complications.
We all are aware that RA is an "Autoimmune disease." That means we get infections very fast. So always avoid going to public places, crowds and visit to hospitals. In our society it is a custom to visit a patient. But we can make a phone call or explain the person our difficulty afterwards. To improve our immunity we must eat nutritious fresh and non-fatty foods. If we pay attention to our daily meals we can easily come to know the items that are not suiting us and causing inflammation. Please avoid them. Basically our Indian food (Thali) is the best in the world. This covers everything and we get vitamins, proteins, minerals and calcium.
"Financial" support is one of the most important points. This disease is expensive. We have to undergo some costly pathological tests, costly medicines, some physiotherapy, some aids like walking stick, walker, particular shoes, socks, commode, bars and so on. Sometimes we have to undergo surgery also. It is always beneficial to have medical insurance. We can keep some amount in our monthly budget. This habit is very helpful to me. We RA patients cannot travel by public transport. So It"s better to travel accordingly or avoid going. We should always give preference to our health first.
Last but not the least, it"s not "Our Fault" and its not at all a "Crime" that we are patients of RA. Do not be ashamed of the disease and do not feel shy to move in society. Let people stare at your deformities and gossip among themselves. Please don"t be nervous by their comments. Go to them, explain your side and also give information about MAI. This is how you can help MAI. Hope you all agree with me.