AntzDoodles for Pyjama People #4: Learning from Pain

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Learning from Pain

Written by Antima Nahar

Looking at my doodle, you are probably wondering why I would need to spell Rheumatoid Arthritis. Two and half years ago, diagnosed with Rheuma … let’s just call it RA because now I just chose not to spell it!

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Today I’d like to share the story of my ongoing war. Yes, I’d like to call it an ongoing war – a war where I’m not just defending myself but attacking back a disease whose name I can barely spell.

When RA appeared in my life, it turned my world upside down. I’ve always been a super active person. Someone who almost never fell ill. As a child, I even escaped chickenpox. Till a couple of years ago, a stomach cramp or a common cold was the extent of my interaction with pain.

Then, when my doctor diagnosed me with RA, never mind my love for adventure sports, all of a sudden, simple activities like walking from my room to the kitchen seemed impossible. It was these seemingly slight losses of control over my life that hit me the hardest. I couldn’t be active, couldn’t eat what I wanted, couldn’t work, and then there was the pain. Pain so excruciating and paralysing that I was unable to think beyond it.

But guess what? I had to! Life doesn’t stop for pain, and, so, never did I.

Doctors and decisions took up a lot of my time. Still do.

Initially, I had to choose between the devil and the deep blue sea. The devil being a cocktail of some seriously potent medicines with side effects that lead up to kidney and liver failure. I Googled, I read this on a website. Not that I’m averse to cocktails, but I couldn’t make peace with their horrific side effects.

So it happened that I decided diving into the deep sea was preferable to me. I began exploring the possibility of alternate therapies. There were a hundred options, not one with a guarantee of a cure.

When I gave up the quick fix cocktail, the pain that comes with RA started to live with me; It became a shadow that sometimes disappeared for a few hours, returning the next day mightier than ever.

As of now, I would say I’m 70-75% better. I follow my diet, do a lot of yoga, and acupuncture, and my infamous home remedies (which I will talk about it later.) I continuously try something or the other. Even after living with RA for two and half years I’m still in denial. No, I’m on a mission to kick its butt. I still have ups and downs, but I’ve finally started to have some pain-free days. Yipee!!

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These doodles tell my story through this time in my life. My experiences have changed me but don’t define me. I remain the person who goes to a nightclub, just now I have somebody carry me down the stairs.

I am still fighting but most importantly still doodling with swollen wrist et all. Not that easy to beat me, RA. Ha!

 

Special Thanks to Antima Nahar

A Goa based artist, Antima has studied graphic media design at London College of Communication.

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You can follow Antima on Instagram or email her on antima@antsatwork.in to find out more about her work. Catch her Friday colShe is a regular contributor on our site. More of Antima’s work is available on her website.

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