When you think of your experience with RA, do you picture yourself as being independent? Do you consciously seek information and gather the knowledge necessary to empower yourself? Do you imagine your healthcare team as your allies or as your governors?
Recently I was discussing possible imagery to represent a patient’s journey toward independence and empowerment with a person who works in marketing. One thing I found interesting was that each of the scenarios presented began with a boring, drab, or unpleasant setting. Or with a patient feeling left out (and put out) after witnessing another begin her own journey alone. This didn’t feel quite right to me.
When I think back to the beginning of my own RA journey and the diagnosis specifically, I can picture starting down various roads and being turned back without answers. I see now that a lack of recognition of early RA (and later acute RA which didn’t fit the “textbook” examples) by my doctors resulted in detours certainly, but eventually I did get on the correct path. At this point, I was dependent upon the expertise of my rheumatologist to narrow down treatment choices and provide guidance on next steps.
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Independence and Empowerment: How Do You Imagine Your Journey With RA?