“It isn’t the strongest of the species which survives, neither the most intelligent, but rather that which adapts best to change.” Charles Darwin
He must have been talking about rheumatoid arthritis. The most difficult aspect of RA is its unpredictable nature.
- RA may be simmering. Suddenly, without warning, a severe fatigue, an exhaustion so bad its immobilizing, arrives to totally disrupt your day.
- New severe pain in your right foot makes walking impossible.
- The simmering pain becomes more than simmering and the constant hurting becomes discouraging.
- A drug that has worked so well stops working.
A very short list of RA’s unpredictable nature.
What to do?
Adapt and survive. The number one consideration is your attitude. You will need to come to the understanding that you have a chronic, progressive illness. It is not going away.
And YOU are in charge.
You have the balancing act between controlling symptoms of RA and the side effects of medication. You know the importance of RA medication is to avoid crippling disability, which is guaranteed without proper medication.
Consider your health care team: rheumatologist, pharmacist, physical therapist, exercise specialist, nutritionist, psychologist, social worker, other supportive members. You are in charge of your team. You call the shots while getting expert advise from your team.
The first thing you will need
- is to understand your illness
- and what it is that you will need to do in order to to manage your disease
- and to have a good life in spite of rheumatoid arthritis.