For a long time I didn’t even know about the Disease Activity Score, ‘a measurement of rheumatoid arthritis disease activity’. It turns out that mine is currently 6.1. Apparently that means it fits into the ‘severe disease activity’ bracket:
• Less than 2.6: Disease remission
• 2.6 – 3.2: Low disease activity
• >3.2 – 5.1: Moderate disease activity, may merit a change in treatment for some people
• More than 5.1: Severe disease activity, will merit a change in treatment for most people
Rather than freaking out about this newly acquired knowledge, it’s actually strengthened my resolve to do everything I can to get better and to lower my DAS. That means a combination of drug treatment, regular blood monitoring, physiotherapy, hydrotherapy, hand therapy, wearing splints on my hands, a healthy diet, relaxation and gentle walking.
What I’ve learnt is to ask lots of questions to get informed about treatment plans; to trust health professionals to carry out all the relevant health checks rather than worrying about it; and to keep making time to enjoy non-health-related interests. The more I know about this disease (I used to say condition but that made it sound more harmless and non-aggressive than it is), the better equipped I am to deal with it mentally and physically.