So I reached a huge life milestone last month. Ten whole years of living with Rheumatoid Arthritis. Or as I like to call it ten years as an Arthritis Warrior.
I’ve written about my diagnosis before. As well as about me trying to do “normal” things like exercising with arthritis. It’s quite odd to think the journey has been going on for ten years and it’s sometimes quite hard to swallow that this is the rest of my life too.
I’ve been through the mill with different drugs and treatments. Annoyingly I am likely to need more surgery in 2017. Having surgery to stop my left wrist from bending in 2010 to help with pain, more surgery is something I’m not looking forward too. I really didn’t enjoy general and it was a long time recovering. Luckily this time I have Mr W as well as my amazing family to help. Back when I had wrist surgery I felt pretty lonely and impacted on my mental health a bit. Purely because I went back to Manchester with a wrist in plaster and I lived alone and started a masters degree I absolutely hated. Luckily it’s different this time.
I must point out it’s not all bad, I promise!! RA hasn’t been a ‘death sentence’ for me. It’s pushed me to do things because I don’t want it to rob me of my life. I still enjoy climbing mountains, I still occasionally run (when my commute allows) and I do still like the odd night out. I also achieved what I wanted at uni and got myself my dream job. I just have to remember that I still need to take care of myself.
Recently I found out that NRS Healthcare have made some videos on what it’s like to live with arthritis. Those without arthritis wore gloves that mimick the stiffness and swelling of joints. The reactions of them are interesting to watch, especially when they are trying to do their hair. This is something I struggle with a lot! Now whilst they don’t feel the pain that hair brushing can sometimes cause in my hands/arms. Understanding into what we as arthrtis warriors feel is raising more awareness to what we suffer. I could do with a pair for some of my friends!
So I leave you with the optimistic side of me. Whatever the next ten, twenty, thirty or however many years brings me, I’m ready for the battle. I’m not scared anymore 🙂
Have you got a friend or relative with arthritis? Would you give the gloves a go to experience what they feel? Let me know in the comments,