This is what I did today...I had my magic potion infusion for my rheumatoid arthritis at hospital - Actemra is on drug trials, and which hopefully will get NICE (National Institute of Clinical Excellence) clearance for general use soon. The drug is administered by infusion into my arm and the procedure takes between 2-4 hours depending on how many blood tests and monitoring schedules are required; it's a small price to pay comparitive to how I was before I started Actemra.
In 2006, out of desperation I flew to the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota in the USA . At that time, I'd have said my level of 'suffering' on a scale of 1-10 was around a 4-5. Once I saw bald children dragging oxygen tanks round the Mayo I put it at 2.
It's all relative; we are all dealing with something.
Not being religious in any particular sense, I was once very touched by a sign outside a local church which read 'Treat the souls of others with care, you cannot see the pain they carry.'
It seems to me it's worse to be family or a friend of a sick person than to be the sick person.
I hope the drug is approved for general use in the UK soon; it has made a huge difference to me. As I understand it, it will be used in earlier stages of the disease which will alleviate years of suffering for patients and their families, which can only be a good thing.