Yew Marn -RA patient
I developed RA in the late 1970s, and was not properly diagnosed. Delayed treatment led to the deformity of my left leg, knee bent inwards. I was only accurately diagnosed when I started treatment at TTSH in 1988.
My rheumatologist then was Dr. Boey Mee Leng. I responded well to medication, and was able to carry on working and taking holidays overseas. It was in 1998 that the pain in my knee got worse, and walking became very difficult, at times almost dragging my left leg and straining my right one. Dr. Boey then suggested surgery and recommended you. She told me I will be in “good hands”! As I was in severe pain, I knew surgery was the only option.
When you told me you will straighten my crooked leg, I didn’t take long to decide, and even wanted you to operate as soon as possible. You did! Just before Christmas in 1998, then you were on leave, but you came back to check on me. The nurses told me. The first surgery was scary, as I didn’t know what to expect. Rehab was painful, especially the first few days. But seeing my leg straightened was the high point, and I kept up with the exercises.
The next knee was done in 1999. Hip pain came after that and left hip was operated on in 2001 and the right one in 2002. Rehab became easier after each operation, and I recovered from my hip operations rather quickly Quality of life improved a lot.
I can move around without pain. I continued working till I was laid off in 2002 when I decided to retire as well. I was able to travel again, and have been to Australia, Tunisia, Korea and Japan.
The main objective to have surgery is for me to maintain my independence, being able to enjoy my hobbies and contact with friends. I take care of my joints, knowing what I can or cannot do with them. 15 years on, I’m still independent, and started working again 2 years ago (part time basis).