Arthritis – My Lifelong Companion
Mrs. Shubhangi Bamne
This was in 1995-96, I was going to the flour mill. When I came back carrying the tin full of wheat flour, I realized my shoulder was paining. It was difficult for me to move my hand.
I tried massage and fomentation; but it did not help. Next day I visited the doctor, took injection and medication.
I thought that I will get some relief, but the movements were still painful and the treatment did not work. My thumb, wrist, fingers got swollen. I found it difficult to perform daily household chores.
It was almost for two and half months I was suffering from this pain and I was tired of it, when an acquaintance told me that allopathy is not the remedy for my ailment.
He gave me a reference of a Vaidu (quack) (one who uses medicines made of plants). The Vaidu assured me that his treatment would completely cure me, but I have to follow medication plus diet at least for two months.
He told me that I have to completely avoid eating few things.
He gave some medicine and fenugreek (methi) laddus mixed with chavanprash suvarnbhasm (चवनप्राशसुवर्णभस्म).
After 15-20 days; pain reduced a bit and I felt better. The effect of the medicine was I felt hungry every now and then. Within a month, my body got swollen, I could feel the change.
My native place is Mayani. I consulted a doctor in a nearby city Vita, who told me to discontinue Vaidu medicine. He prescribed me Wysolone, one tablet a day for first 7 days, half a tablet for next three days and a painkiller. Initially I felt better but I was in a bad shape again.
My daughters were at Sangali for college education. So, I went to Sangali and consulted an Ayurvedic doctor. He got me admitted for ten days. The treatment included bathing with warm Sesame oil followed by a massage and then by steam bath using some Ayurvedic medicine.
This treatment continued for nine days and on the tenth day I was administered with some Ayurvedic medicine tablet. I was instructed to have complete fast i.e. not to eat anything for a day. The doctor assured me that I will have loose motions and will get cured.
As a result of this treatment I lost a lot of weight but lost energy as well. I felt extremely tired and my body suddenly showed signs of aging. Whoever met me asked me, “What happened to you?”. I was feeling better for few days and then the trouble reoccurred.
I was told that my problem might have been because of thyroid or neurological issues, so I got some tests done for detecting them. The tests were normal.
Then we consulted one more doctor in Sangli who diagnosed me as a patient of infectious arthritis and gave me treatment, which was futile. Then he referred me to an orthopedic doctor, who diagnosed my disease as arthritis,. He told me that it cannot be cured completely and treated me with Wysolene, painkillers and Calcium.
Some acquaintance suggested me to another Physician. He, for the first time, told me to go for blood and urine test and diagnosed the illness as systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) In addition to Wysolone, painkiller and calcium, he prescribed Folitrax once a week.
Side by side I was taking home remedies and some ayurvedic medicines. I even tried naturopathy. This treatment required me to take only liquid diet including spinach, beetroot, carrot and sugarcane juice turn by turn. My weight further reduced and I felt tired and weak. Finally, in June 2003 I left my job.
One more diet change I tried with no positive result. It included only raw vegetables like tomato, onion, sprouted moong, groundnut laddus, lime juice with jaggery (as salt and sugar was banned). Many Ayurvedic practitioners were tried with various medicines. I was tired of all this...
With my sister I went to an ashram at Mount Abu and stayed there for a month. There I consulted an orthopedic doctor. He checked my report and gave prescription. He suggested me to slowly give up Wysolone and told me a very important thing that I need to take treatment from a Rheumatologist, but was unable to tell me where I can find one.
At the ashram I met a lady whose sister suffered from the same illness. Her sister got cured by the treatment of a rheumatologist from Bangalore; she shared the doctor’s phone number.
After coming back to Sangli, I was under Ayurvedic treatment again. Later I called the Bangalore rheumatologist. I told him all the details of my disease and took his appointment. After reaching Bangalore, I did some tests as suggested by him. He told me this disease in not curable, but can be kept under control with proper medication. The good thing about his treatment was that he did not prescribe steroids.
His treatment included an injection once a week and other medicines. I was not allowed to take any other medicine without his permission. After coming back to Sangli, whenever required, I was asked to call him for consultation. I was good for first three months and visited him again.
But before I could complete treatment of next three months, my left leg had severe pain. After an x-ray was taken, it was diagnosed that my hip joint was worn out and the only option available was surgery.
I got operated after one and half month. A doctor prescribed me Wysolone. I had an argument with him as I was against taking this medicine. My daughter, while surfing on internet, came to know of a rheumatologist from Pune. After enquiring on phone, I went there and met him. All the required tests were done.
He confirmed that I was having arthritis and my decease was at an advanced stage. Again, the issue arose of ‘not taking Wysolone... He prescribed me Defcort 6 and some other medicines which worked and I was feeling good after all the miseries of 10 years.
Finally, my search for a right doctor was over. Now I am very happy.
Mrs. Shubhangi Bamane