Arthritis Awareness Week (12th-19th October)


These info-graphics designed by Bathing Solutions to promote National Arthritis Week recently struck a chord with me and I knew I had to share them on my blog. I was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis earlier this year after three years of unexplained, agonising pain. I would wake up in the morning unable to clutch my fingers together and my knees would swell and seize up. It was a freighting time for me as the doctors at first were adamant nothing was wrong with me. I felt alone and often criticised for my pain as many people would say:"You can't be developing arthritis, you are too young." My persistence with the doctors finally led to a series of blood tests that discovered I that I am positive for auto immune rheumatoid arthritis and although it was hard to come to terms with the fact that I have a long term chronic illness, finally having a definitive diagnosis made me gave me some type of closure, where I could stop fretting about the 'what ifs' and finally start my treatment.

Although this blog is primarily focused around fashion and beauty, I often like to blog about my experience of having Rheumatoid Arthritis as I personally believe there's very little education surrounding the illness and I would like to make other sufferers feel like they're not alone. Suffering from RA often comes with a stigma as arthritis is often associated with older people and due to Rheumatoid Arthritis in particularly being such a invisible illness. We are in pain almost every day and that can vary from a small burning ache that only affects a few things we do, to flare up days where we are bound to our bed with painkillers hoping it will somehow disappear. Rheumatoid Arthritis cannot disappear, we can only try to make our symptoms better.



These slides perfectly explain the differences between Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) and Osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis is most common in older people and to be fair, most of the eldest people in my family have it. However RA can happen at any time in your life. I was 21 when I started noticing the signs, but I have talked to girls who started developing symptoms at the age of 15.


Once you develop RA, you will be reminded of it every single day until you are in remission (and that's if you're one of the lucky ones). My RA makes getting out of bed quite painful in the morning and can often cause pain in my knees when I'm stood too long. Not only does RA affect my joints, it's important to explain that RA is an auto immune problem and coupled with the immuno-suppresant tablets I take, it means I pick up a simple cold or winter bug so much quicker than everyone else. I've always got some type of illness, even if it's a little cold.


My arthritis commonly affects my wrists, the small joints in my feet, my knees and my fingers and like the diagram shows, it often affects both sides at the same time. Having joint pain in both sides of my wrists and knees in the exact same place was my first sign of developing RA.


The stiffness of my joints is probably one of the most annoying parts of my illness. Some days I just feel like I need someone to stretch my body out for me and when I'm experiencing stiffness and pain, I often get upset that I'm not as flexible as those in my dance classes. However, as I've said many times RA will not defeat me. Adapting a positive attitude and being vocal amongst my friends, work colleagues and family has really helped my condition. I'm also happy that I am in a position to educate people about this condition as it can affect anyone of any age and in some cases have tremendous life changing affects.

Do you know anyone suffering from Arthritis?
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1 comment

  1. Thank you for sharing this. I think a lot of people assume that this is something that affects only older people - but it can happen at any age. <3
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