Same old disease, same old way of thinking?
At the office recently I was having a conversation with some coworkers about a project that has become a bit of a headache so to speak. We work at a steel fabrication shop and a large chunk of our work is supplying steel framing and other items found in buildings, factories and such. Anyway, we were reviewing drawings for handrails along the edge of a work platform for a Taconite mine. The talk about these drawings went on further to wonder why these steel assemblies were designed the way that they were. Well we found out later that it is the way all the other mining operations in that area do it.
This got me thinking about things. Why do they all do it this way when I can clearly see that there is a better, simpler way to do it, from a draftsman and fabricators point of view? After further thinking about this, a story popped into my mind and it goes something like this.
A little country farm girl was setting on top a stool pushed to the counter in the family kitchen. She was focused on what her mother was doing in preparing for that night’s supper. The mother had the roasting pot out and was getting the beef roast ready to put onto it and then slip them into the oven. While getting the roast ready, the mother carefully cut both ends off the meat before placing it into the roasting pan.
Being curious, as little children are designed to be, the little girl asked her mom, “Why do you cut the ends off the meat?” And the mothers reply was, “Well, sweetheart, that is the way your grandmother taught me to do it.”
“But why?” asked the little girl.
Being very busy, the mother replied back, “I am not too sure; you should go ask your grandmother.”
Later that evening at the supper table, the little girl asked her grandmother, “Why do you cut the ends off the meat before putting it into the roasting pot?” And the grandmother’s reply was, “Well, sweetheart, that is the way your great grandmother taught me to do it.”
After supper was over and the dishes were cleaned and placed back into the cupboards, the little girl called her great grandmother on the phone and asked her, “Why do you cut the ends off the meat before putting it into the roasting pot?” And the great grandmother’s reply was, “Well, sweetheart, back than our little house had a little kitchen with a small oven. Because the oven was so small, I needed to use my little roasting pot. The roasts were always too large to fit into the little pot so I cut the ends off so it would fit.”
Rheumatoid Arthritis is still the same old disease that great grandmother suffered with and today we still suffer the things that she did. But with the new drugs and treatments that are available to us today, and this is just my opinion, why do so many people think that RA still just your grandparent’s disease?
Have we not moved on with a better understanding about this disease and new ways of helping those with it to cope a little bit better?
Sadly, from what I have been reading on Facebook posts and stories submitted to RheumatoidArthritis.net, it seems that many people around those who are suffering, even some rheumatologists, are still using the “But that is the way we have always done it” way of thinking as a way to treat this disease.
At what point do we step back and ask, “Why are we that are around RA, thinking this way?” and “Could or should this thinking be changed?” It is this old way of thinking that makes people with RA get insufficient treatments. Thoughts like, “I will not take that drug, as it causes _____.” Or “All I need to do is eat _____ every day and all will be fine”
Is it that we overthink things? Are we easily fooled by the misinformed thinking of those close to us who mean well? Is it that we only post comments and want to be heard when we have a bad experience and the positive stories go unheard?
I don’t have any answers or magical solutions. All I know is that I have to gather up the information, review it and sort out what I think is good and bad, and do it with an open mind and hope that it will help me with my journey in life and hope that RA is not at the wheel determining all the paths I will travel.