Living with RA: An Update

A few months ago I delved deep into my emotions and wrote an honest account about living with Rheumatoid Arthritis (link) and to my shock, the article was shared via the National Rheumatoid Arthritis Society and their readers, giving me amazing feedback and support from those in a similar position to myself. 

Arthritis isn't a word you would typically relate to a 23 year old, it is mainly associated with those who are elderly suffering from 'wear and tear'. Even then, it's not always that common. My 90 year old Great Aunt has better joints than myself. After years of unexplained joint pain, copious tests and even the odd 'hypochondriac' statement from my doctor, I was finally diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis and it completely changed my life. But 'it's only arthritis'? That's a phrase I hear mentioned so many times. Rheumatoid Arthritis is more than painful joints, it's an autoimmune disorder that can cause daily chronic pain, high levels of fatigue and due to the immunosuppressant commonly taken to ease the symptoms of RA, it can also expose you to many infections.

My RA has been dreadful over the last few weeks. Struggling to stay awake at work, pain whilst sleeping and the tablets I have been put on has given me the most hideous side effects. I have been feeling nauseous for the last few weeks and everyday has been a constant struggle. The worst came this week when I was hit by tonsillitis. It has been the first time I've had tonsillitis since being on all my tablets and the fatigue I've experienced has been unbearable. It felt like no amount of sleep would ever 'wake me up'. It's just another day living with Rheumatoid Arthritis and something I have to live with. 

Although living with RA is often a struggle, I will not let it defeat me. Yes, I might be a little bit chubbier than before due to less exercise and yes, I might have days where I have to rest more than most, but my strong personality and willingness to succeed in everything I do will not be defeated. This year alone I managed to survive my final year of university and pass with an exceptional first class grade.I have also been given my dream job in PR and I have managed to organise my own wedding which is in a few weeks time. I still dance every single week even though I have days where I need to take frequent breaks and I'm finally getting my gym mojo back. Living with a chronic illness is difficult, but no matter how healthy you are, where you come from or what you do, there will always be obstacles in our way and RA is mine. I can do everything I put my mind to, it just might take me a little bit longer than everyone else. But as long as I get there in the end, I'm happy to settle with that.

Rheumatoid Arthritis is an illness that many people know very little about and as a blogger and a suffer from RA, I want to use my following to spread awareness about the disease and hopefully show other sufferers like myself there is a light at the end of what can seem like a very dark tunnel. Having Rheumatoid Arthritis has taught me to never judge a book by a cover - a person that seems really healthy might not always be and to live life to full, because there are so many things that I could do years ago that I miss doing now. Live for the moment, set your goals and ambitions and don't let your illness define you as a person, it may have a hold on a big part of your life, but don't let it consume everything.

For more information on Rheumatoid Arthritis or to seek help visit


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