Arthritis and Me


So my biggest lesson in life to date is that life is never what you expect it to be.

I married my very awesome husband fully expecting life would be simple and we would settle down and have 2.4 children and live happily ever after. What actually happened was we got married worked hard and eventually decided to buy a house and then have a little baby of our own. After a fairly straight forward pregnancy we had a beautiful little girl 6 years ago. She lit up our worlds and we both instantly fell in love with this precious little girl. What was unexpected was after a few months I was completely unable to move my right arm. After numerous doctors appointments, my GP decided I probably had a frozen shoulder but he would refer me to rheumatology to be on the safe side given I have family history of arthritis. Having had almost completely clear blood tests, an ultra sound on my hands showed I did in fact have seronegative arthritis. So I began a course of medication, physiotherapy and steroid injections to get my arm moving again. At 22 it really wasn’t a diagnosis I was expecting. This to me was an old persons disease and yes I knew it could be much worse but I felt gutted. To have a beautiful tiny baby and to be restricted in what I could do with her was heart breaking. After a few months and several medications it became apparent the arthritis was aggressive and I ended up being restricted to a wheel chair some of the time.

Since being diagnosed 6 years ago, I am in a better place than I was initially,  I am not in a wheel chair but I do still have a lot of daily pain which most days I refuse to give in to. I have infusions once a month to supress my immune system which is what is attacking my joints and I’ve also had surgery on my shoulder, I can’t even count how many steroid injections I’ve had but I know I’m not even nervous about them any more.

What I know is that this condition has brought me into contact with people I would not other wise have met, it has made me less judgemental. It has made me change and adapt and yes a the risk of blowing my own trumpet I am a stronger person because of it.

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