I recently joined this community & would like to introduce myself. I live in North Yorkshire, am married with 1 son, 3 stepdaughters with 2 children each, & also have 2 border terriers. I retired nearly 5 years ago after working full time in the NHS since 1974.
I was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis 5 years ago, which was triggered following a severe reaction to cancer drugs. Many autoimmune inflammatory responses resulted in lots of surgery, eg carpal tunnel, lung filling with fluid. I'm not going to bore you with all the details, although you have the picture with 5 different hospitals, 9 operations in 10 months! The carpal tunnel surgery was too late, so I have permanent median nerve damage to both hands, consequently on powerful nerve ending analgesics to be able to use my hands. I do not have a spleen, & also have low immunoglobulins due to the medication. Many combinations of drugs & dosages have been tried for the RA. I am currently taking sulfasalazine & azathioprine . I am lucky to have a fab loving supportive family, caring friiends, brilliant rheumatology team, & a knowledgeable understanding GP. I'm also fortunate to be a positive happy person, although I'm not saying I don't have the odd duvet time! Some days it's all I can do to get showered & dressed after a morning in bed! I know I'm lucky I can have that time as I'm now retired, & many people don't have that choice, due to having to look after children, go to work etc. I find Iyengar yoga, pilates, gentle swimming , complimentary medicine & walking the dogs helps the stiffness & pain. The hardest part for me has been getting used to the fatigue & now plan my life accordingly. I believe in never giving up, showing up with a smile & lippy on! There are so many people in a much worse place than me, also without the love & care I have around me. I have also read extensively regarding nutrition, complimentary therapies & believe everything working together with western medicine helps manage my autoimmune inflammatory disease. Thank you for reading my snapshot of me & my RA. I'm looking forward to sharing experiences & supporting one another.
Very best wishes