Rheumatoid Arthritis Case Study: M Meena, Manpur

Case Study 4: Rheumatoid Arthritis

Image of patients awaiting treatment outside the AMRIT Clinic in Manpur

Patients awaiting treatment outside the AMRIT Clinic in Manpur

“Well into my late twenties, I used to be very active and energetic, taking care of my children and doing all household chores with great ease, when one day suddenly this burning sensation and numbness in my joints started. Apart from the numbness and burning sensation, I also had prolonged fever and the situation worsened on cloudy days, when I used to develop convulsions and stiffness of joints. My family made me wear warm clothes and applied fomentation to keep me warm and reduce the pain and stiffness, but the relief was temporary,” says M with a sad expression on her face.

M is a tall and strong lady in her forties, with a never say die spirit. She walks around with the support of a stick, which she is now able to hold. Her family, including her husband, mother-in-law, and daughters-in-law have been very supportive and caring towards her illness, helping her overcome it and regain her health.

“My illness did not allow me to take care of my children and I used to cry a lot, thinking of what would happen to them, especially how will my daughters get married? I was so hopeless that death seemed like the only way out of the pain. In those trying times, my mother-in-law supported me a lot and took care of my children and once my sons grew up and got married, my daughters-in-law have helped a lot. I cannot express my gratitude to my mother-in-law and daughters-in-law. God has been very merciful to me by giving me such helpful family!” says M gleefully.

When she first became ill, she went to a government hospital in Udaipur, where the doctor said that it was a disease of nerves. She was admitted there for 15 days and then the doctor discharged her, giving medicines for a month and a half and asking her to come back for checkup after finishing the dosage. As she couldn’t find time from her daily chores and was feeling much better, M did not go to the doctor for the follow-up checkup after finishing the medicine, leading to a relapse of the disease. In a matter of days, her situation grew aggravated, and the joints of her hands and legs became stiff, making it very difficult for her to move them. The family then took her to a hospital in Pratapgarh and then to a hospital in Sagwara but even after taking the medicines from these hospitals for about two months, there was no improvement. As her situation kept on worsening, the family decided to take her to a hospital in Unjaa, Gujarat. The expenses of hiring a vehicle were high, so the family got in touch with 2–3 other patients and travelled with them to minimise the costs. M was again examined and given a two month dosage of medicines worth ten thousand rupees, which was a huge amount for the family. All these efforts and money went in vain as her situation continued to deteriorate and her arms and legs became completely stiff, making it impossible for her to move them. “I was totally bedridden and could not even use my fingers, leave alone my arms. I was fed by my husband, and I urinated and defecated in the bed itself and my mother-in-law and daughters-in-law had to clean it. All this made me feel helpless and miserable but I could not do anything,” says M, with tears in her eyes.

It was at this time of despair that they came to know about AMRIT Clinic from Pushpa, a Senior Health Worker. Initially, M and her family refused to go to the clinic saying that they had already wasted a lot of money, time, and energy on M’s treatment without any results. But Pushpa continued visiting them and finally, in her fourth visit, she was able to convince them to go to the Clinic once, but not before she had volunteered to pay the registration fee for the visit. M’s husband took her to the AMRIT Clinic on his bicycle, where she was examined thoroughly by the doctor. The examination revealed that she was suffering from Rheumatoid Arthritis, which is totally curable, if treated properly. The doctor assured her that proper treatment and regular follow-ups would cure her fully in a matter of months. Her treatment was started and she went to the clinic for checkups once every week for the first 3 months and then once in 15 days for the next 4 months. She is now totally cured and strong and healthy. She is able to perform all her household chores with ease, including managing her naughty grandchildren and is not dependant on anyone for doing things at home. Though she is not ill anymore, she doesn’t forget to visit the clinic from time to time for checkups to make sure that the disease does not relapse, and what’s better: she walks to the clinic all by herself!

“She was living a dead-like life, unable to do anything by herself including attending to nature’s call and we had lost all hope for her recovery, but after visiting AMRIT Clinic, she got a new lease on life. She now leads a normal life, takes her medicine regularly, and goes for regular follow-up to the Clinic. She is also taking a nutritious diet, which is assisting her in regaining her health and strength,” says her very happy and contended husband.