Rheumatoid Arthritis Healing Center

harmonic-environments-indoor-waterfallAll too often, we hear about dreams being compromised due to the limitations of living with rheumatoid arthritis. Sometimes, it just seems like “what we can do” does not quite match up with “what we want to do”.

When the arthritis begins to affect our hands and fingers, it’s even easier to start to get scared about the possibility of not being able to perform some of our favorite hobbies and activities – playing an instrument, drawing, knitting, etc. – sometime in the future.

As a designer, I often get concerned about what might happen if I continue to lose the coordination and use of my hands. When I am working in the software/web world, my designs have to be pixel-perfect. When I am working in the architectural world, my designs and building models have to be perfect down to the millimeter.

But enough worrying about what might or might no happen in the future. Today, I am going to start working on a new personal project. Today, I am going to start dreaming again.

What is Rheumatoid Arthritis Guy dreaming about? I am dreaming about a total health care and healing center for people who live with rheumatoid arthritis and other autoimmune diseases. All of the services that a person might need, located in one convenient place. (No more struggling to run around from place to place while coping with a flare, in order to receive all of the different health care that we need.)

Doctors. Acupuncture. Psychologists. Yoga. Physical Therapists. Swimming. Support Groups. Rehab. Cafe. Social Center. All this and more, in one place!

Sort of like the best fitness club that you can ever imagine – except pumped up on steroids (Prednisone?) – for people living with chronic illness. A place where all services revolve around the patient…where your rheumatologist knows your yoga teacher, where your yoga teacher knows your physical therapist, where your physical therapist knows your psychologist, and so on. And of course, the architectural design of the building itself would have to create an environment that is relaxing, healing, and upbeat. Part health clinic. Part spa.

Is this a dream? Yes. Will something like this ever get built someday? I sure hope so. Has something sort of like this already been built? Probably. But if this rheumatoid arthritis health and  healing center ever does get built, I would love to be the architect who designs it!

(And trust me, my design will not have one of those grand entry plazas that is completely unprotected to the elements. I continue to see these in real life and in architecture presentations that I attend, and I just shudder at the thought of what it would be like to cross that plaza in the rain, while using crutches.)

Stay tuned…for the next adventure of Rheumatoid Arthritis Guy!

21 Comments
21 comments
  1. Laurie says:

    Wow..that sounds like fun! Do you think it could have mineral water baths, such as a thalassotherapy pool? One of the last cruises I went on had one in their spa, it was my favorite place after a busy day in port. The ship was the Norwegian Pearl. The $75 dollar all week spas pass was heavenly! Maybe I can work at your new spa and get an emplyee discount!

  2. Lana says:

    First, RA Guy, I would like to say that anything possible. This dream of yours can be a reality – just find the right people to facilitate it (money, support, etc.). I think it is realistic, I do.

    Second, I was thinking about something similar last night – not necessarily the design and I. I was feeling sorry for myself and wished that there was a place I could go to where people could relate. I had this horrible dream that I was in wheelchair. Not only was I in the wheelchair, my entire body was paralyzed. I could not move my hands, my fingers, my feet, etc., and it was the scariest feeling in the world, I couldn’t even breathe. I woke up and starting crying hysterically. Of course, I woke up my husband and when I told him why I was so upset, he laughed and me “It was just a dream. It won’t happen.” I think each of us that suffer from a disease like RA has this feeling of paralysis and as brave as we have become, it’s never enough and because of it, we feel alone. It is an emotional and physical rollercoaster.

  3. Arthritis Kitchen says:

    Sign me up! Your vision of Health Centre in a Spa like setting with all the services that go along with sounds fantastic. What a wonderful treat for the senses and spirit that would be. I think I’ll be using this as one of my mental ‘go to’ places. Thanks RA Guy.

    Sandra

  4. Wren says:

    Guy, you’re a wonder. Really. What in incredible, wonderful idea! My first reaction was, “That will never happen. Never.” And then … I thought about it. And I thought, “well, why NOT?” A place where doctors and other caregivers could all talk and compare notes, where people with rheuma could gather to take care of themselves and work to heal body and soul … wow. The mind boggles.

    Please, please keep dreaming. And when you need help, be sure to let us know. I, for one, will do all I can to make this dream a reality.

  5. RA Mom says:

    Your posting today about this ideal rheumatoid arthritis healing center might seem a bit far-fetched, but–in my opinion–realistic. You never cease to amaze me, son! I can just imagine what this type of center could mean for individuals living with RA. It never hurts to dream–especially when you believe (as I do) that dreams do come true! Love you lots, Mom

  6. Martin says:

    Lana, Sorry for having that horrible nightmare! Hope you are feeling better, with your mind full of positive thoughts.

    RA Guy, this is a wonderful project, can you imagine having all that support close to the hands of those that need it? Even for those that are caregivers, it would be a great place to socialize and learn more about living and coping with RA.

    Let’s continue thinking about things to add to this wonderful healing center!

  7. RA Mom says:

    How about adding (in the center) a regularly, scheduled support group (can meet weekly, every two weeks or once a month) for individuals living with RA…and another support groups for family/friends/caregivers of those living with individuals that live with RA??! I am a firm believer in the benefits that can be derived from support groups. RA Guy’s Mom

  8. Teresa says:

    Love this idea. My grandfather was crippled from RA and bedridden in his last days. I don’t ever want to be there, I’d rather be in the place you imagine.

  9. Allison says:

    RA Guy – your post got me thinking that that is really the sort of thing I would LOVE to become involved in. Then I though well setting one up in my home country New Zealand would absolutely wonderful but not necessarily the most easily accessible ($$$) place for all. And then it struck me … there would definately need to be several locations around the world to execute this idea properly. So when we all get moving on this – contact me about setting up the NZ branch! Have just booked myself in for a week of massage and thalassotherapy (I hear ya Laurie!) at a spa for a week over New Years. I think I’ll spend some of that time thinking about ideas for making this dream a reality!

  10. Rodrigo says:

    U know once I heard: dream as high as your mind allows you.
    Because as far as u dreamed you will get when you wake up

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