Desperate For Help For My Rheumatoid Arthritis
It is common for the newly diagnosed to be scared and to say “I am desperate for help for my rheumatoid arthritis!” Many people have seen those who have obvious deformities from rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and think the same thing is bound to happen to them. While in the past that might have been largely valid, with modern treatments most patients can avoid debilitating disease. In fact, 90% now avoid major disability.
When the diagnosis is first made, uncertainty about the future is only natural and feeling desperate is understandable. A new RA patient feels a loss of control over their life and may have a huge knowledge deficit about the disease as well as about treatment methods. Some are terrified, for example, when methotrexate is prescribed because they know it is also used as cancer chemotherapy, whereas the use in RA is quite different. Other drugs may have strange names and intimidating lists of possible side effects and the prospect of repeated blood tests may also be daunting.
However, education can remove much of the desperation and replace it with hope and positive thinking since RA can be treated even if it as yet is not curable. Finding help can be as close as your computer since there is a wealth of both information and support there for people who have RA as well as for those who care about them.
Online excellent websites like that of the Arthritis Foundation and WebMD can replace fear and worry with facts about how the disease affects the body as well as the many effective treatments. The web also offers a great deal about alternative and complimentary treatments for RA as well as the latest modern medical techniques. The Arthritis Foundation has an entire section devoted to alternative therapies with information about safety and effectiveness.
Another help for the desperation of learning that you have RA is found in the online support groups, newsgroups, chat rooms and forums about living with RA. Talking with others who face the same struggles and challenges and sharing in successes and setbacks makes dealing with your own diagnosis a little easier to handle.
The internet is also a great place to search for live support groups in your own community where there is both ongoing education and networking but also a social interaction opportunity. Meeting and sharing with others one on one is very helpful in putting your own problems into perspective.
You may have said “I am desperate for help with my rheumatoid arthritis” but you don’t have to stay desperate unless you choose to do so. There is plenty of help out there from family, friends, other sufferers and your medical personnel who can guide you through the rough spots and make life good even with RA.
Extensive information and support for RA patients on this About.com site written by a couple who both have RA: arthritis.about.com/
Very thorough WebMD guide to RA: www.webmd.com/
Chiropractic approach to RA: www.spineuniverse.com/
The Changing World of Rheumatoid Arthritis website: www.ra.com/