About a year ago I opened up about my arthritis and how it had been for me so far. So here’s an updated version on how I am doing at this point.
I was diagnosed in April last year and since then I have tried many different medications and dozes of them and none of the pills worked. I was so unhappy and frustrated all this time because week after week it got worse – the pain didn’t stop, I couldn’t walk too fast or really far, few kilometers was the best I could do at once, I couldn’t write even a simple essay without having my hand shake until I got some painkillers, at one point I was developing an allergy to sun because of the medication (I had little blisters forming on the part of my body that got intense sunlight) and so on and so forth.
But the worst point for me was when I couldn’t draw anymore because it hurt to hold a pencil for too long. I was so frustrated and angry because there was nothing anyone could really do about it, they couldn’t take the pain away. I visited a doctor after a doctor but everything remained the same. I felt so lonely because even though I have had people around, they couldn’t understand how much this illness was (and still is) taking away from me every single day. It got so bad that at one point I just wanted to give up because the pain and anger, it was just getting too much to handle.
But in April this year my doctor decided to start giving me biological treatment. This means that the medication I get through injections are active substances from live cells that interfere with the inflammation processes in human body. Complicated, I know. But far this has helped me so much more than any other medication before that.
I can walk more and longer, I can ride a bike (but when there are hills involved then I still get pains in my knees), I can write more in classes etc. And I can draw and paint again like normally. So it has gotten better. But the worst part is that I do have to do these injections once a week and I am absolutely terrified of needles – I panic and that causes me to feel like I can’t breathe anymore and my vision goes blurry a bit. Or I black out sometimes. Plus the side effects – headaches, itching and redness on the injection place (and sometimes it gets really painful as well).
But what all of this has given me is strength and I have gotten a much better painter. You see, when I couldn’t draw, I turned to paint to help me because it’s easier to express things with paint – it creates a certain mood or an emotion that would take a lot of work with pencils. So that’s awesome.
I am happier that it is getting a bit better but I am still not in a good place. So that’s where I am at right now.
And if you happens to have a loved one in a similar situations then here are some tips how you can help them.
- just be there, listen and show that they’re not alone – because it’s crazy scary place to be in, especially when you’re alone
- don’t exclude them – when going out be always sure to still ask no matter how many times they have said no before
- be understanding when they cancel or don’t want to hang out – it’s not easy for them either and they are not being a bitch, sometimes even getting out of bed is a hard task
- validate their feelings – it is easier if they know that everything they’re feeling is okay
- never judge if they are not able to do some things – again, some simple tasks are as hard as moving a big rock
- spend quality one-on-one time – go to their house and just hang out, watch movies and gossip, you have no idea how much they will love and appreciate it
- talk to them daily – again, terrible thing to feel alone most of the time
- don’t ever say that they don’t look sick – I have gotten that so much because on the outside I look fine and I am social, but not all illnesses show
That’s it. These are some simple things to help but I guarantee mean the world to them. And one last thing, be understanding, loving and non-judgemental to everyone because you can never know what someone else is going through.