Battling Rheumatoid Arthritis Alone In Old Age
When the joint pain started in my fifties, I wasn’t too bothered by it. I mean, everyone gets creaky joints when they’re old, right? I figured I just have to live with it; maybe exercise once in a while to stay fit. I continued to work alongside the joint pain and stiffness. I took my pain relievers often, hoping they would suffice. But it wasn’t that simple.
The pain persisted despite my best efforts. I eventually had to retire early from my job because my body couldn’t keep up with the demands anymore. I wasn’t yet ready for the transition. I wasn’t used to being at home for long hours. My entire quality of life changed.
I didn’t realise that staying at home came with so many household chores all the time. At least when I was working, so I could excuse myself for not cleaning up thoroughly. But now that I’m home, I can’t just sit around all day doing nothing. I have to keep on cooking for myself. I would’ve been fine with these mundane chores too, but the pain was making it hard to live. I finally decided to consult a doctor, who diagnosed me with rheumatoid arthritis, an inflammatory bone disease.
I honestly deliberated moving to my son’s house, just so I was around people who could look after me. But having lived by myself for nearly twenty years, I didn’t like the thought of burdening someone with my presence. I decided to manage my illness by myself, come what may.
I was advised to start with my treatment so as to curb the pain and the problems it presented in my daily routine. I was prescribed with methotrexate, vitamins and then etanercept. Since I lived alone, the doctor asked me to do minimum exercise and take extra care of myself.
The treatment slowly started to take effect on me. My condition improved after the injection. Pain and stiffness disappeared slowly, and I could resume my daily routine easily. I told my son after a year, and he made sure to visit me at every chance he got. Recently he’s been trying to get me to move into his house. I’m thinking I should, because I won’t be a complete burden on him with my improvement. Old age may bring a lot of problems for me in the future, but rheumatoid arthritis isn’t one of them. For now, at least!