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Arts and Crafts

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Rheumatoid Arthritis

The Nurse that took my x-rays asked me what doctor to send them to. I told her the name of my rheumatologist and she looked up at me with curiosity. Her eyes were filled with questions. She told me her husband had been diagnosed with RA about 3 months ago. I understood the despair, the not knowing, the uncertainty. It reminded me of how I wished someone had been there to tell me what to expect and answer my questions, when I learned I had RA.

She said he was in much pain and told me they had put him on methotrexate and a pain killer, but it didn't have it's full effect yet. I gave her an encouraging smile and told her the pain would pass. The relief in her eyes was overwhelming. "He will be so glad to hear that", She said.

"Can I ask you another question?"

"Please", I answered.

She looked at my hands and pointed at them, wondering if the deformation occurred before or during me being on the medications. I told her during. Her face got a sad look. I knew of the new medications these days like Humira, Enbrel and Remicade that stop that kind of deformation. She knew about them but her husband had a liver problem and could not take them. I decided to share my experience with her in the hope it would be of any help to them both. I urged her to tell her husband that after the pain was gone, to exercise his joints. A lot of his strength would have been gone and the functions of the joints would be very limited. By exercising he would get a lot of strength and function back. I raised my hand and showed her the difference of what it was after the pain had gone and how it is now. I can still make a good fist, due to exercise. She was so grateful for all the information, even though it was minimum.

On my way home I couldn't let it go. There are so many people out there with so many questions and concerns about RA or any other form of Arthritis. And so many who can be a support and encouragement by sharing their experiences. Well, maybe this blog might be helpful :-)

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