Five tricky questions I’m asked about Rheumatoid Arthritis with the shortest answers I can muster. What tricky question do people ask you about RA? And how do you answer?
1) Can I quit taking my Rheumatoid Arthritis medication now that I feel better?
No. Unfortunately, Rheumatoid Arthritis is not like the kinds of cancer that can be killed or cut out. It is a disease process that must be controlled until scientists learn how to reverse the process.
When a treatment is working, that’s probably not the time to toss it. If you’re lucky enough to get control with medication, it would be a good idea to carefully maintain that. The disease can even cause damage while it appears to be controlled.
2) Can’t I just treat the symptoms of Rheumatoid Arthritis for now and treat the disease later if it becomes more serious?
No. This is the opposite of what is needed. The disease can cause damage during the early months and years. The longer the wait for disease treatments, the less likely a solid response to treatment.
3) Do you think that my bursitis (or tendonitis, iritis, bursitis, pericarditis, laryngitis, neck arthritis, or a hundred other itises) could be related to my Rheumatoid Arthritis?
Yes. The long string of coincidences in a person with Rheumatoid disease are often manifestations of the disease itself. The long-string-of-coincidences explanation is a bit farfetched, especially if person already has a diagnosis that is a probable explanation for them.
4) I have arthritis in my knees too, but I don’t like to take so much medicine as you do, so I just push through it; don’t you think that might work for you?
That’s nice. No.
5) What will my future be like?
I don’t know. People with or without RA do not know whether they will be hit by a bus tomorrow or win the lottery. No one knows when a cure to RA will be found or a treatment that works for us. We can choose optimism, humor, and love because that makes today better for us and everyone around us. Even if pain continues without an effective treatment, these are still the best choices. Please take one day and one itis at a time.
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- Disparity Between Rheumatoid Arthritis Patients & Doctors over Disease Activity