I get this question fired at me a lot.
Is it really that bad?
Does it bother you that you can’t do stuff?
Does it hurt all the time?
People who ask this are never people who have arthritis, because they would know the answer for themselves.
I’m not criticising people or calling them ignorant, before I developed arthritis I didn’t think that much to it either.
People class it as getting old, your joints are getting old and beginning to break down. The fact is there are a lot of young people out there suffering and even some have had it from birth.
The truth is it is painful, draining, demoralizing, debilitating and humiliating.
Yes humiliating, I often feel this way because I can go out for a meal with relatives and walk in to a restaurant normally, so to speak. Then later when I go to the toilet or go to leave I am limping as I have seized up, I feel like everyone in the restaurant has noticed and is staring.
Of course not everyone is and most times I am sure people haven’t batted an eyelid, but occasionally they do notice, some even then question you and ask what is the matter.
I have answered this question so many times, injury at work, multiple complex breaks and dislocation, hospital infection delayed progress, now arthritis in ankle, bottom line it hurts.
They do seem shocked that I am in so much pain and am so restricted, they are shocked because there mother or grandmother has got the early stages of it in her hands or knees and they aren’t suffering that much.
Some can even seem disbelieving of the fact it makes you struggle so much and think you are a wimp or milking it, I am neither.
I do my very best to make sure I am walking correctly before I leave the house because I don’t want these looks, questions and peoples disbelief. I want to walk around as everybody else does, but that isn’t always possible.
I am strong, I don’t need anyone to tell me I am.
I may not be as strong as professional weightlifters, I do what I can training wise as I continue to try to optimise my health.
I am strong in mind, soul, faith.
I’ve endured a traumatic injury that has left me restricted, in pain, lost employment and avoiding doctors as all they want to do is take my leg off and send me on my way.
I keep getting knocked down but I am too strong to stay down. I still believe as I have from day one, that I will beat this disease.
Yes we get told it is incurable, they often say there are a few exceptional people who manage to beat disease but this is a freak event, is it?
Is it a freak event or are these people determined not to give in, to be restricted and compromise on quality of life, do they have unshakeable faith that with research and exploring different avenues they can fight back, are these people just too strong to stay down?
I found this post online and it gives a shockingly emotional, factual explanation of what it is like to spend a day with chronic pain.
I encourage everyone to give it a read, I might even get a bunch printed out so I can hand them out when people ask me to explain why I didn’t go to their party or why I couldn’t help them move house.
We know arthritis is rapidly increasing in our population. I want this website and The Arthritis Fight social media platforms to be a place where we can share our stories, our worries, things that have helped, things that haven’t.
To give each other support as we are all part of this human race!
I want to beat this disease, I want us all to. Our natural body state should be healthy not sick.
Maybe if we can all connect with each other and share ideas, tips, tricks, maybe we can all strengthen our fight back and take back control!
I look forward to hearing from everyone!
All the best