Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Health Adviser

     Today, I took my mother to the hospital to see her doctor in Japan. She has been suffering from rheumatoid arthritis for more than 20 years.

     When I saw her for the first time in six months in Japan, I immediately noticed that her condition had become worse by watching her gait. I asked her if she took her medicines continuously. She told me that she had quit taking medicines because she was afraid of its side effects. Her doctor had prescribed new medicine for rheumatoid arthritis, but she told me that she had pain in her joints by taking that medicine. She told her doctor that she didn't like them, but the doctor persuaded her to keep taking the medicine. That's why she ended up stopping seeing the doctor and quitting all her medicines six months ago. I'm not sure, but I think the pain probably caused from rheumatoid arthritis itself but side effect. When I heard about that from her, I was shocked about the fact because she had been periodically taking medicine for so many years until then. I believed that she sees her doctor every month without asking so. After noticing the fact, I explained to her what kinds of medicines she needs to take for rheumatoid arthritis and what happens to her physically by this illness. She finally understood that. Even though she didn't like the new medicine, she needs to take rest of her medicines which one of is anti-inflammatory steroid drug. That's why she started taking the steroid drug from April first. It's been two weeks since then, and she has noticed that her condition has been getting better gradually. Today, I told her doctor about that, and he understood she didn't like new medicine. As I told her before, he also explained to her that she needs to keep taking steroid, which is very important to keep her condition in good nick. I told my brother, who lives with our mother, and my sister, whose home is located in 5 minutes from my parents' home, about my mother's episode, and they told me that they didn't notice her conditions. If I hadn't seen her in Japan this month, she wouldn't take her important medicine longer. I thought I should have called her every month and asked if she saw her doctor.

     It's been 14 years since I became a nurse in Japan. When I was in high school, I wished to become someone who understands my family's health conditions well someday. Since I become a nurse, I have advised many of my relatives about their health because sometimes people misunderstood their health conditions. Specifically, some of my families had an onset of illness in the past year, and I explained them how to manage their conditions and to prevent relapse. I believe that without understanding their illness properly, people will make mistakes sometimes.

     Now, I am glad that I have medical knowledge to help them. Even though I don't have a job as a nurse now, I realize that I am still a nurse.

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