AntzDoodles for Pyjama People #4: Learning from Pain


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!


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!!


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.


You can follow Antima on Instagram or email her on 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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