My entry today is just quickie to say hi and put my word in really. I think it helps to read other people's experiences and the more varied these experiences are the better - because everyone is different so RA/Fibro/Osteo etc treats us all like individuals too.
I'm 23 and I've had joint pains and fatigue symptoms since I was 17. I believe I know what triggered it, a great deal of social stress, but I know everyone has their own theories about where it comes from. It wasn't till I saw my uni doctor to get more fibromyalgia pills that I was referred to a rheumatology department. Addenbrooke's was brilliant in identifying and breaking the news to me. Finally I thought someone was listening to me and I was put straight on the right medication. A warning to all sufferers of Fibro; If you're on old fashioned antidepressants (or any!) you must not do what I did and just come straight off them. boy oh boy don't do that!
Right now I'm having a mini flare I guess, I'm on Hydroxychloroquine and Naproxen. I was on MTX and a few other bits and bobs but I didn't like being on so many pills so they let me cut down to the basics. I say I 'guess' I'm having a flare because sometimes I think we forget that people without Arthritis also get aches and pains and right now I'm training for a 60 mile bike ride so I'm sure the hardiest of folks would get sore knees now and then. My hands are achey, my little toes complain and my shoulders are in their telltale 'I look like I'm cold' position.
Yep - I'm doing the London to Cambridge bike ride, I'm doing it in aid of Save the Children and Flora and Fauna international. It's a great excuse to do a bit of exercise - use em or lose em peeps. It also helps keep your weight down etc etc I'm sure everyone's heard it a million times.
Sometimes I worry about my future, and relationships. I've got a lovely boyfriend but do I want to put him through the potentially difficult future I have? It can't be sexy watching your girlfriend popping pills and falling asleep all the time/ complaining about pain.
Most of the time you wouldn't know that I have arthritis, and as I'm sure a lot of you know - sometimes thats a negative thing - especially if like me you go to events where people shake your hand or crush it!!! I think I might remind people every couple of months at work if I start popping pills at my desk but it doesn't come up.
My mum's had arthritis since she was 40 and she feels guilty that I have it. Thankfully mine was caught earlier than hers. I feel like we are closer because of it though and I truly understand how she's feeling when she's having a flare up. We lean on each other a little more I guess. She needn't feel bad because it is a genetic problem and I'm very glad I exist at all!!! Does anyone else have a family thing like that? With the passing of the Rheum factor?
Finally, I want to move abroad. Medication abroad might be hard, doctors may be different, but If I let Arthritis stop me at this point in my life than what is the point in living at all right? I'll find a way for sure, and I'll let everyone know how I did it so that it's easier for the next person. I've certainly not found much on the internet but if anyone else has please do let me know.
That's all for now - I know it is long but if you've got this far you probably wanted to read it anyway, so thank you for reading.