By Fiona Keegan, Helpline Coordinator
We had a call to the Helpline the other day that got me thinking.
The caller had been recently diagnosed with arthritis but was using a term we had not heard before. Our volunteers are updating themselves on a continual basis and we pride ourselves on our knowledge base of ‘all things arthritis’.
However, from time to time someone will phone us with the name of a form of arthritis that they have been diagnosed with and that we haven’t yet come across on the helpline.
This gets our inquisitive minds going. We start googling, pulling books from the shelves, inquiring of each other ‘has anyone heard of ………..?’ We will not rest until we find out more about this diagnosis so that we can add it to our bank of knowledge.
Of course a lot of the time this as yet unheard of diagnosis is in fact just a different name for a more common form of arthritis. It is interesting how different names are used by different people for the same condition.
I am guessing that the GP’s and consuItants are using the medical names that they learned during their training and then these need to be translated into the more common words we use when talking about arthritis.
I suppose it’s a little bit like the names for common vegetables we all use. Who knew the humble cabbage is actually called ‘brassica olerocea’ or the everyday carrot ‘daucus carota’, never mind the lettuce in our salad ‘lactuca sativa’. Try asking for those in your local supermarket and see how far you get… On the other hand we on the helpline welcome the unusual words people use for arthritis as much as we welcome the everyday ones.
A colleague of mine mentioned recently that she was going to a restaurant which was BYOW (bring your own wine). I realised that it is not only restaurants that can use this acronym. Our helpline is also a BYOW – ‘bring your own words’. So please call us on 1890 252 846 Monday to Friday 10am to 4pm and remember feel free to ‘bring your own words’.