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This ‘Bammie’s Banter!’

How are you doing? Hope all is well!

This blog is about my life with my unwanted friend, arthritis. I will be chatting about things that challenge me living with my condition.

Well let’s start at the beginning! My name is Charlotte, I'm 25 and stay in a wee town on the out skirts of Glasgow.

I was diagnosed with Psoriatic Arthritis in September 2012. Unfortunately I had to give up my work as a chef in the November of that year.  This happened after reducing my rota from working over thirty-five hours per week to six hours split over two days.  As you can imagine this was devastating.  My work was my life.

Although I was thankful I had a diagnosis, at the same time I had a whole  range of emotions, as my future was  unknown.

Arthritis is my body at war with itself. I find it very challenging at times, in different aspects in my life, with pain, with getting around places and with my social life. Hardest of all is the emotional side.

I  think I have Arthritis pretty much every where.  My  toes, ankles, knees, hips, back, neck, shoulders, elbows, wrists and hands. I'm sure I’ve got it all covered. Every day is always different. By this I mean the pain, the tiredness and my mobility varies by from one moment to the next.

I think I should get a hoodie made up with the words on it:

 “I have arthritis

 No I'm not too young

And it sucks! “

I'm still working on my coping methods.  I think that's going to be an on-going process. There is only one thing that I have and take part in that makes me feel normal. I attend residential weekends away with Arthritis Care Scotland’s  young persons service,  called ‘Joint Potential’. This has been a milestone in my arthritis journey and just as important as taking my medication. The group and the people that are involved in it have Arthritis too.  This is great as they can understand the young people's needs and work as a group and individually . It's such a safe place that we can speak freely and support each other. It has been so important as there is not much emotional support in the hospital or  with doctors.

At Joint Potential we have lots of fun as well. I have done things I would never attempted before -  go karting,  abseiling and laser quest. I have also made lots of lovely friends. Joint Potential is accessible to anyone. It's free,  so people from different backgrounds are treated equally.  Your range of abilities doesn’t matter, every one is catered for.  Everyone works together and we support and learn from each other. Most importantly it is loads of fun.

The location of the residential weekends changes,  so I visit places I never been to. I think it’s important not just for young people with arthritis, but for everyone to feel in powered and part of something very special. I'm so lucky to have the opportunity to try.

Well thanks for checking my blog out. If you have any questions, I'm more than happy to help.

If I can't I'm sure I will point you to some one who can.

Till next time take care x