SPMind, Share Love, Share Experience, Live with Disease TOGETHER

During the disease progression, treatment and self-care may bring about anxiety and worry. Through the wealth of patients’ stories and articles of HA colleagues in “SPMind”, which revealed disease combating experience with courage and willpower, patients are encouraged to live with their diseases positively and smartly.

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RA, Not a Dead End
Grace, RA Patient
I started to have swelling, heat and pain in my limbs and joints for unknown reasons in late March1998.I therefore went to consult a private doctor and a public hospital for medical consultations. My family doctor then referred me to Tang Chi Ngong Specialist Clinic and Queen Mary Hospital. They finally found the causes of my pain. I was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Looking back at the past six months, I did not get better with medications. Even worse, because the joint pain was so severe and unbearable that I could not move my entire body except for my eyes. Time was passing slowly and each day seemed like a year. I did not see any prospect for myself at all and I started to have suicidal thoughts. However, when I thought of my elderly grandmother and my family who have loved me so much, I abandoned the idea of suicide.
I tried different treatment methods later on. These included medication, physiotherapy, occupational therapy and clinical psychological counselling. I also undertook surgeries to replace some small or large joints. The pain has finally reduced, though it still came back occasionally. During that period, I actively took part in patient self-help groups and learnt several things.
  • Understand your disease – live with the disease in harmony ;
  • Always communicate with healthcare professionals - be a responsible patient;
  • Use patients’ instincts – take care of yourself, help other patients and care for each other;
  • Cherish your life – always be grateful and respective;
  • Live an abundant life – nurture other interests, live a wonderful life, and be optimistic and positive; and
  • Contribute to the community - make good use of time, put your ideas into practice and join voluntary work.
These 16 years were a period of hardships and training, but I leant to put words into action and try my best to help people with the same disease. I will also be grateful to those who have cared about me and helped me face the disease in a responsible and positive way. I have joined voluntary work for 15 years, serving a number of patient self-help groups, healthcare groups and rehabilitation organisations. I learnt a lot from volunteering. It has made my life wonderful and meaningful.
Here, I would like to say thank you once again to those mentors who have taken good care of me, helped me in the treatment, guided me through the way and given me inspirations of life. I hope I can continue to work with them in serving the community in future. Let’s work hard together. Let’s shine and glow in life!
RA patient
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