Aida Zabidi
I met an 88 year old patient in clinic who had come in for knee pain, which would worsen when he was doing activity. He was skinny, with really deformed hands, the kind you see with really bad rheumatoid arthritis.  I've seen a lot of older people who suffer from really bad pain in their joints, and this sometimes leaves them unable to go about their daily tasts in life.

As part of my consultation, I enquired about his ability to do daily tasks, especially with the way his fingers were so crooked, but he smiled and waved me off.

It didn't seem to bother him, so I counselled him regarding his knee pain and the likelihood that he most likely had osteoarthritis. I offered him some pain medication, but told him that we had support for physiotherapy and occupational therapy if the pain didn't subside, and that we could always step up the pain medication if normal Paracetamol didn't work. 

He said he would take some for now, but told me that you couldn't 'manjakan' or give in to the pain, or it would gain control over you. He told me that his attitude towards pain was no to coddle it, but accept it and go on with every day life as it is. He didn't mind having a little bit of pain, but it would not be his master.

This man is 88 and still rides around on his motorcycle, does his usual activities of daily living normally and refuses to walk with a cane, just because he believes that the mind is stronger than the physical failings of his body. 

I find myself comparing him to the countless MC seeker that I see for a bit of cough and cold, or the patients who let their pains and aches get the better of them, and I admire the resilience of spirit this one old man has in order in facing his daily challenges.

God bless you old man. 

I'll remember you when I start feeling the aches.
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