Three doors that all look distinctively different with their colors and shapes.

Which RA Door - 1,2, or 3?

As a kid, I loved to watch the show "Let’s Make a Deal" because the surprise aspect of it was very intriguing to me. Contestants were asked to select, sight unseen, whatever was behind three possible doors. 

I was always on the edge of my seat, making my own choice, and waiting eagerly to see which one the contestant would choose. I loved it when they selected the best one, and if I picked it too, it was even more wonderful.

The funny part was: you had no idea what was behind any of the doors, so it was total luck if you got the one with the highest value. Just to add another twist, the host would often offer cash to take none of the doors and just pass on the unknown. It seemed to me, if memory serves, that people rarely took the cash, preferring instead to take their chances with one of the doors.

Making decisions with RA

This so reminds me of the choices we face with RA! We are given choices of “which door to choose” from the moment we are diagnosed and, most of the time, we are taking a big leap of faith as to which one. I know I tried to somehow discern what was likely behind each door, depending on what the “category” was. 

For instance, if the doors were all about treatments, I would try to sort out what the likely choices would be, how might they impact my disease, etc. But truth be told, the choice often had very little rhyme or reason and was simply a matter of “give it a try”, “roll the dice”, etc.

Social commitments

The same for deciding how to deal with social commitments. Door number 1 might mean a long and tiring outing that I would regret. Door number 2 might be short but demanding mentally, while Door number 3 could be the perfect choice but may mean a long drive. Figuring out which door to pick is always a challenge.

Exercise

Then we have the door choices for exercise. Behind Door number 1 would be the type I love the most, but not appropriate at the moment with my flare. Door number 2 could be less physically demanding but not something very appealing. Door number 3 could be a whole new option that may or may not work. Once again, which one do I choose?

Selecting a doctor

And how about selecting doctors? Behind Door number 1 could be a well-respected and highly regarded physician with zero bedside manner. Door #2 could be the rheumatologist you relate to perfectly, but getting an appointment is next to impossible. And Door number 3 means driving 2 hours away. Once again, the doors are difficult to choose from.

Gathering information to make the best decision

It really is fascinating how this favorite childhood TV show is so analogous to my current life. I had no idea that down the road I would find that my life in dealing with RA would resemble in any way choices I enjoyed as a kid, finding them anything but fun now.

I will continue to try to sort through the door choices and make the best decision with whatever information I can gather before making that final choice. And best of all, unlike the game show where the choices were final, we have the option to close one door and try another as we go through our RA journey.

Nan

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