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Healing the Hurt: Overcoming the Pain of Arthritis

By Frances McQuire Paist, Staff Writer

(Page 2 of 3)

Certainly, the caregivers of those afflicted have their own agendas of uncertainty. To know that your spouse, child or parent has just been diagnosed with a potentially crippling disorder means you will have questions about how your life will be affected. Will more daily demands be placed on your shoulders? Will you be able to fulfill your own hopes and dreams as well as those you once had with your child, parent or significant other? While it is understandable to have questions and feel fearful, it is important not to let them overtake your sense of wellbeing. Here are some suggestions that can help you stay strong and cope.

Communicate

Confucius said, ďTell me and Iíll forget. Show me and Iíll remember. Involve me and Iíll understand.Ē These wise words lend credence to the importance of communication for the caregiver:

  • Talk to your doctor and ask questions of him or her. Writing down questions as they occur and keeping them handy will ensure that answers are obtained in a timely manner.

  • Seek out your friends, particularly those who may have similar situations and can relate. Consider these wise words: ďTrue friendship isnít about being there when itís convenient, itís about being there when itís not.Ē

  • Join a support group. Airing your questions and concerns wonít just help you. It may help the others who are also present.

  • Most importantly, perhaps, communicate with the person for whom you are caring, whether thatís your spouse, your parent or your child.

  • Call on others for support and assistance. While this may not be easy, it is important. Be ready to be very specific with your requests.

Seek Inspiration

Getting to know some people who have lived full lives in spite of arthritis will provide inspiration that goes a long way. Lucille Ball, well-known film and television actress, suffered with rheumatoid arthritis as a young woman and was unable to walk for two years. But her famous television show, ďI Love LucyĒ, the first situation comedy to be filmed before a live audience, won five Emmy awards and was the number one show in America after only four months on the air. And Auguste Renoir, famed French impressionistic painter and sculptor, suffered with rheumatoid arthritis and actually had to have his paintbrushes tied to his hands so that he might create his works of art. He eventually became paralyzed in both legs and turned to sculpting when he could no longer paint

 

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