Healthy Living

Acceptance Versus Complacency with Rheumatoid Arthritis

Acceptance Versus Complacency with Rheumatoid Arthritis

What does acceptance mean when it comes to chronic diseases like rheumatoid arthritis (RA)? Does it mean to “just deal with it”? Accepting RA does not mean becoming complacent and not doing anything about it. It means accepting that it is something that will be there forever.

Reaching this point can certainly be a bit overwhelming and discouraging. It is understandable how receiving an RA diagnosis or having spent a lot of time juggling failed treatments can cause someone to lose motivation.

However, it is in these precise moments in life when we are faced with adversity, that we must persevere. Motivation is the key to making beneficial change. Prioritizing your health will benefit you and help you have a bit more control over your life.

What does complacency mean in terms of RA?

Recently, Carol Eustice a woman who has RA, wrote an article about her situation and how she views complacency in RA. She says that thinking about complacency started recently when she was at the pharmacy picking up her biologic drug. She had become so accustomed to answering “stay the same” when asked if “in the past month the medication had made her symptoms better, worse, or stay the same?” One day after answering the same way for many months, she finally thought, “is this good enough?” Was she settling in her treatment? I mean, if the drug is not making any change, should you not investigate an alternative? It can be easy to become complacent in treatment methods especially when the situation is not horrible, but this does not mean that you should settle for less. Sometimes you get to a point where you just believe that however you are living is your new normal. You lose the gusto to keep fighting. When this happens, it should be a sign that it is time to reevaluate and make some changes.

Carol started asking herself questions: “am I truly satisfied with my physiological response to this particular biologic drug?” She thought that if she could honestly answer yes to this question then that’s fine. If, however, the answer was no, what was she doing? Had she experienced RA for so long that she was becoming complacent? And herein lies the difference between acceptance and complacence.

Treatment must change as your RA does

Carol discusses how, while accepting RA to be a part of your life is important for managing it appropriately, your disease and life will change, and so must your treatments. Changes with the disease will occur and medications may produce unwanted side effects or become less effective over time. Ignoring these changes and refusing to adapt is where complacency develops. When you have a chronic disease such as RA, it is important to evaluate the changes of your disease just as you evaluate changes in other parts of your life.

Read on to learn more about complacency and acceptance in terms of rheumatoid arthritis, and what you can do to cope and live your best life.