For the past three days, Mr. Ray was not able to drive his wife to the office because he was suffering from extreme knee pain due to gout. Even the simple task of rising from bed was very difficult for him to do. The pain and difficulty was too much for him to bear that he came to the point of bargaining, swearing that he will never taste a drop of beer again if he gets well. A few days before his ordeal with arthritis began, he had been drinking out with his buddies for two nights straight. During that time, he even had an argument with his wife because she discouraged him from drinking again. They both know that drinking beer mainly causes his recurring arthritis. Those warnings, however, fell on deaf ears. Mr. Ray likes eating pork and beef especially the internal organs despite being advised to avoid it. He never wanted to consult a doctor regarding his condition because he believes that doctors are just out there to extort money from patients. He opted instead to ask his friends for advice and engage in self-medication. Because of his numerous blunders and abusive behavior, it came to a point when nature finally took its course and made him realize his mistakes.
A lot of people probably have similar experiences and beliefs as Mr. Ray. They are the ones who also suffer from arthritis but choose to ignore their condition. They think it is okay since the pain is still tolerable anyway. They continue eating food that have high purine-content alcoholic drinks despite being warned not to. Moreover, they regard consulting a physician as a waste of time and money and rather choose to self-medicate instead. It is only when they already experience so much pain and difficulty that they decide to change their ways.
Given a second chance, people should already be smarter in their decisions. Upon noticing the different symptoms of arthritis, may it be pain or tenderness, inflammation or decrease in motion and flexibility in joint areas, one should already set an appointment with a doctor for consultation. However, if consulting with a physician is not possible due to whatever reasons, self-medication should never be chosen as an alternative. Choose, instead, to change habits or behaviors towards something that will decrease the chances of the condition to recur. Among those practices that will help avoid arthritis from returning are regular exercise, stress management and eating a nutritious diet. This, however, will not be enough to completely treat the condition. A consultation with a doctor is still highly recommended and should be done eventually.
Only a doctor can properly prescribe what medications are appropriate to be taken as arthritis pain reliever. Even though information about medications such as topical pain relievers, anti-inflammatory painkillers, narcotic pain relievers, and corticosteroids can easily be accessed from the internet or from friends, one should not decide to use any of those without expert advice. Self-medicating may only worsen the condition instead of alleviating it. Also, some medications may have undesired reactions with each other or some may also have dangerous side effects.
After a consultation with a doctor has been done, a person may be recommended for physical or occupational therapy when deemed necessary. In terms of knee pains resulting from arthritis or gout for a prolonged period of time, deformities and stiffness within the knee might be a consequence that will decrease the mobility and strength of the knee joint. A person’s ability to perform daily activities involving the knee such as walking, climbing stairs, changing clothes and driving will most likely be affected. Physical and occupational therapy sessions are meant help facilitate improving the mobility and strength of the knee to be able to perform usual activities done before.
Through a consistent observation of a healthy lifestyle, avoidance of food and drinks high in purine-content, consultation with a doctor and practice of PT and OT management techniques, chances of arthritis to recur will most likely be decreased. As part of growing old, however, it is expected that everyone will still eventually experience having the condition. When such time comes, one can either choose to be another Mr. Ray or to be smarter in his or her decisions. A person can either start practicing a healthy lifestyle or continue frequently drinking with his or her friends. When confronted with symptoms, one can either try to see a doctor or self-medicate instead. It is important, however, to bear in mind that in matters of health not everyone are given a second chance. Sometimes, when it is least expected, the first time might already be the point of no return.