All 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!