Rheumatiod Arthritis: A Case Study

1795 WordsMay 24, 20148 Pages
Coping With Chronic Health Disorders - Rheumatoid Arthritis: A Case Study Arthritis affects over 10 million people in the UK alone. There are over 200 types with the main types being osteoarthritis and rheumatoid. Osteoarthritis, the most common form suffered by 8.5 million in the UK, is a wasting of connective tissue between bones. Rheumatoid arthritis (RA), although less common, is more severe and accounts for less than 10% of arthritis sufferers in the UK (NHS UK, 2012). It is a painful condition causing swelling, damaging bone and cartilage around joints. Its progression and severity vary greatly between individuals but it can cause serious disability, having a huge impact on ability to carry out tasks in everyday life. For this…show more content…
This provided much relief for four weeks, after which flare-ups continued as strong as before. Oral medication, methotrexate, was started bringing with it horrific gastrointestinal side effects, as well as the need for two weekly blood tests. Due to side effects and liver toxicity it was stopped after three months. Following this another medication was started, 10 tablets per day of leflunomide, bringing relief particularly with morning pain and stiffness. H was informed of a new medication Enbrel in 2007. Due to the annual cost, £9K per person, the hospital funded only six most affected patients. This was upsetting, putting a price on her pain. One year later treatment was commenced consisting of a self-administered injection each week. This took time to get used to but H describes this as the ‘single biggest [positive] impact throughout’. H takes part in a RA research group giving her thoughts and time to help others. It aims to give a life insight through the eyes of people with RA. One question asked ‘would you take 10 pills every day for your condition?’ she responded ‘I would take 100 if it gets me out of bed in the morning!’ Seeing their importance, H became accustomed frequent hospital visits and blood tests relatively quickly. Alongside medical treatment are offers of advice and support in the form of patient groups. H initially attended but it was not for her. She described it as

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