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Keep your spirits up

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Your morale is the barometer of your daily life. When suffering from osteoarthritis, you can have ups and downs, depending on the pain or discomfort felt at the present time.

When you are suffering or find that your daily activities become difficult to perform, the sky clouds over. The same black clouds may appear when the people around you are struggling to understand the person suffering from osteoarthritis.

Here are some tips to help you better understand the importance of the psychological impact caused by osteoarthritic disease, and ensure that the sun replaces the clouds.

"There is not much you can do about osteoarthritis, but I cope."

Well done, osteoarthritis has not taken over. But you are wrong on one point: osteoarthritis is not inevitable. While there is currently no way to cure it, we can effectively treat the pain and improve your quality of life. We advise you to refer to the sections on "Everyday advice" and "Treatments".

"Use a cane, not on your life, it makes you look too old."

A cane, however, is a very valuable technical aid.

If the idea of using a cane turns you off, you should be aware that you can replace it with an umbrella.

To convince you of the merits of using a cane, try it first when moving around the house. You will soon realize that the fact of suffering less more than compensates for the preconceived ideas that you had.

"I enjoy taking care of my grandchildren, I do hope I can continue doing so."

These moments are precious indeed, for the pleasure they provide. But it is true that sometimes children can be tiring. If you fear no longer being able to because you are suffering, choose activities more compatible with your condition. In no circumstances should you deprive yourself of that pleasure because one always pays less attention to pain during happy times.

"The worst thing would be to become dependent on other people"

This is indeed a legitimate concern even for someone as active as you. Loss of autonomy is a cause of anxiety for everyone.

Fortunately, there are some methods you can implement to minimise the daily discomfort and therefore the loss of independence. It is often possible to make some adjustments, for example in a flat, in order to make things more accessible and easier to use.

For more information on this subject, take a look at the section, "everyday advice" where you will find tips that will enable you to seek help as little as possible from those around you.

"There is not much you can do about osteoarthritis, it comes with ageing."

You are being very philosophical, yet osteoarthritis is not inevitable. While indeed, age promotes the development of osteoarthritis, it is a real disease that has nothing to do with the normal ageing process. Several situations can lead to the onset of osteoarthritis. For more information we recommend you take a look at the section: "Risk factors"

Osteoarthritis is not a calamity either, for even if there is currently no way to cure it, we can effectively treat the pain and improve your quality of life. We suggest you refer to the sections on this website on "Everyday advice" and "Treatments".

"I would like to continue looking after my grandchildren, but sometimes ... "

These moments are precious indeed, for the pleasure they provide and also because the attention you pay to your pain is diverted. But it is true that sometimes children can be tiring. If you feel less fit because you are suffering, choose activities more compatible with your condition and also think about talking to your doctor for advice before going out or on a very busy day.

"At the office in the beginning everyone understood..."

"At the office in the beginning everyone understood that I was not there because of my illness, but in the long term, I fear that my colleagues will get tired of it."

It's normal to think about it, because it is sometimes difficult for those around you to assess your difficulties: pain cannot be seen! Rather than remain silent about your condition and only show your pain, do not hesitate to inform your employer and your colleagues about osteoarthritis. Together, you can try to find ways to rearrange your work wherever possible.

"I know that I bore my husband for never wanting to go out but I'm so afraid of being in pain.”

It is effectively natural that those around you, even the most attentive of them, have trouble perceiving the pain you feel as they cannot see it.

Rather than giving up going out completely, choose the things you enjoy doing the most with your friends and family.
You will benefit from a special moment that your loved ones will also enjoy.

For practical advice, take a look at the section "Everyday advice".

"I'm afraid of ending up in a wheelchair."

Rest assured, this is a totally unwarranted fear with regard to osteoarthritis. This feeling is due to the chronic nature of osteoarthritis, which is responsible for the misconception of an inevitable deterioration of the joints. Even when your everyday life is hampered by pain and limited joint movement, your doctor can offer medical solutions and even surgery, if appropriate.