Patient Stories
Chandrika Divakaran (Pune)     (Rheumatoid Arthritis on Trial Drug)

A Revival from Rheumatoid Arthritis

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(Author - M. M. Divakaran)

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Chandrika-DivakaranI am writing about the illness of my wife, Mrs. Chandrika Divakaran who has been suffering from severe arthritic pains for a decade - since 1998.
We got married in 1985 at Pune. She was in very good health at that time. She experienced symptoms of the first illness in February 1998. On one evening, her body became completely cold as if she was dead. She was immediately hospitalized and was discharged after a week. She had also been suffering from Thyroid/Goitre problem since past 15 years. She was suffering from the illness in multiple ways - in particular severe joints pains.
Meanwhile her right-ankle got swelling and pain. I took her to a orthopaedic institute in Pune where she was examined and advised biopsy. She underwent the biopsy in December 1999 and the report said: "The Histopathological Appearance suggests chronic synovitis. There is no Tumour or Tuberculosis." She was diagnosed as Rheumatoid Arthritis, where all the joints become stiff and each joint pained.
She could not sleep in the night. She used to take a long time to move one step forward. She could not either sit down on chair or move her legs, hands and fingers. Although these were the facts, she was ready to challenge all these obstacles. In these circumstances she even tried to do the housework. I tried all type of massages and medicines to restore her to health.

Since 2000, she has been suffering from severe Rheumatoid Arthritis and Goiter/Thyroid problems. She was once again admitted and subsequently underwent medication for 2 years. In spite of all these treatments, she continued to suffer from arthritis. I took her from one hospital to another for treatment during next 5 years. She got a little bit of relief but was suffering the same problems again. In 2008 by the recommendation of our family friend Lt. Col. George she was admitted in another hospital where she underwent a surgery for her thyroid problem. Her enlarged thyroid was removed and treatment for arthritis was restarted simultaneously. A few months later, she again started suffering from severe Rheumatoid Arthritis. Both her legs and hands including all fingers were severely swollen. She could not move or do any household work. She could not even sit on the toilet nor was she able to have a bath.
After her experience in the hospitals she realized that she was gifted by the God with lots of mental strength to bear the pains. She never complained to others about her pain.
The bygone years were really a nightmare because of her health problem. Finally, I hope, God showed the correct way. In October 2008, our family doctor Dr. Nitin Zankar advised us to take her to Dr. Shrikant Wagh, MD (Medicine) and the Specialist in Rheumatology at Deenanath Mangeshkar Hospital, Pune. At that time her health had worsened due to swelling and joint-pains. She required a wheel-chair to reach the doctor’s room. At the first sight itself Dr. Wagh told us that her condition was very bad. Knowing my financial status he did not advice us to admit her in the ward; instead he started the treatment in the OPD. After extensive and right diagnosis by Dr. Wagh she was given an injection and prescribed the medicines. At that time the doctor had told us clearly that she would get relief within 3-4 months. We were very happy with Dr. Wagh because on every visit my wife was gradually improving.

In March 2009, Dr. Wagh told us that he was planning to give her a new trial drug (injection) from April 2009, developed by a multinational company as he was not satisfied with the control of Chandrika's disease. We fully agreed with his decision. He called us at Jehangir Hospital, Pune (where this new medicine was available) on 24 April, 2009 in order to discuss the new drug which they were planning to administer. He discussed at length and explained to us about this medicine and its advantages and possible side effects.

The first injection was administered to her on 30 April 2009; second on 29 May 2009; third on 30 June 2009, fourth one in the last week of July, 2009. The fifth in the last week of August; the sixth injection will be administered in the last week of September 2009. My wife is getting good relief from this injection. She is now carrying out all household work and can even walk about 1.5 Km.
As far as I have learned from doctors and reading several articles, Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disease that causes chronic inflammation of the joints. Rheumatoid Arthritis can also cause inflammation of the tissue around the joints, as well as in other organs of the body. Autoimmune diseases are illnesses that occur when the body tissues are mistakenly attacked by their own immune system. I thought that Rheumatoid Arthritis is a deadly disease, but ultimately I have realized that it can be cured and kept in control with the help of support and right treatment, yoga and also the motivation by the doctor.
We are grateful to Dr. Shrikant Wagh for giving her a near normal life. Due to the medicines and the treatment provided by him, she has recovered (say 90%) from the arthritis although she still has a little pain, which is bearable. Now she is feeling very healthy and even the doses of medicines are reduced. I am also grateful to my relatives and friends who have been extending their full support as well as my Director, Prof. J. G. Krishnayya, Systems Research Institute, Pune and his family.

In conclusion, I should emphasize that my wife is almost cured from her arthritis problem because of correct diagnosis and treatment followed by the new injection. I can assure here, by considering the results of the treatment on my wife, this new injection can be a blessing for those who are suffering from rheumatoid arthritis.