You could easily be mistaken that I am an elderly person who old age has just caught up with.
I am in fact a 24 year young woman who has been living with Psoriatic/Inflammatory Arthritis for almost ten years. Like so many others my age I feel constantly like I’m banging my head against a brick wall with so many people who just can’t or won’t understand what life is like living with an auto-immune disease. One of the main reasons I have decided to write this blog is because I know first-hand how alone and separated from your peers you can feel.
At 15 years old and just months away from sitting my standard grade exams , being admitted into hospital was an extremely scary situation to be in. Within two weeks of being admitted my life had changed forever. With a diagnosis of Inflammatory Arthritis, I had no idea this was even possible for someone my age. How was I going to tell my friends? How was I going to cope? What was going to happen to me ? All I could see was the elderly women in the beds beside me which didn’t leave me feeling any better.
Over the next few years things improved with the help of medication, physio and help from my then doctors. I was able to attend college , start a career , have lots of nights out , wear shoes that bring me out in a sweat just looking at now , go on holidays and do all the things I thought I wouldn’t be able too. All through I had flare ups, some not too serious and a few that where enough to stop me in my tracks.
Two years ago my flare ups became a lot more serious. Shorter shifts and longer days off in between, being on my feet the whole time with almost all my joints affected , extremely limited mobility and a stint in hospital , it was inevitable that working would no longer be an option. Despite trying to work my way round these obstacles after coming out of hospital, I just couldn’t do it anymore. It was the hardest decision that I have ever had to make. Its left me unsure of what my future will bring. Those few years I had of “freedom” from arthritis seem like a distant memory. Life is beyond different these. I no longer have the independence I once had and still crave, Im limited to what I can do for myself. Emotionally I feel like I’m on a roller-coaster of acceptance that when I think im finally reaching the end it starts all over again. In spite of all this, I still feel extremely blessed as I have an amazing amount of support, emotionally and physically. Something that I know a lot of people don’t have.
These things are set to try us, admittedly some more than others but together we will all get through it. I refuse to let arthritis beat me !
Huge thanks to you all for reading my blog. Sending pain free hugs to you all.
Love Stacey x