Welcome to my online diary about the struggles of dealing with rheumatoid arthritis. I write about about the highs and lows of day to day life in an honest way as possible. I hope to share my experiences with those in a similar position and help them to realise they are not alone. It is a unique postion to be in, to have a condition which most people associate with older people when you are just starting out in life. But together, as we discuss our experiences, we can feel less isolated and alone.

About Me

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Leamington Spa, Uk, United Kingdom
I am 32 years old woman with Rheumatoid Arthritis. The disease came on literally overnight five years ago when I was 27 years old. I was diagnosed with many different illnesses before it was labelled R.A. I am taking methotrexate, humira injections, steroids and painkillers. It's been the hardest 4 years of my life though things seem to have turned a corner and I have met a wonderfully supportive partner. For a long time I have tried to fight it and had many different therapies to treat it. I lost faith in the medical world after several misdiagnoses and inadequate treatment. I then chose to follow an alternative route and have tried reiki, spiritual healing, alexander technique, kinesiology and EFT as I believe there is an emotional and psychological element that plays a part in disease. All treatments have helped the RA though not cured it. I am currently on the Margaret Hills Clinic programme for treating arthritis and this has proved successful so far. I am trying to come to terms with the illness and deal with it rather than fight it. Follow my day to day trials and tribulations coping with the disease and how it affects my life.

Sunday, 24 October 2010

Swimming is the best!!!

I went swimming yesterday and felt so fantastic.  I was reluctant to go as it's a public swimming pool and the last time I went there (about 4 years ago) there was one main pool.  After lots of indecision I went and so glad I did.  If you suffer from R.A swimming is most definitely the best form of excercise.  I loved the fact that the water was supporting my body and it didn't hurt!!!! The baths had been revamped and had a log flume, smaller pool and even a jacuzzi and sauna!!! First thing I did was go on the log flume as I love anything like that.  Although it was a bit tricky getting down onto my bottom but it was great fun when I did. 

I stayed in the smaller kids pool, I prefer to just swim anyway I like and get bored going up and down the same swimming lane which is why I stayed where I did.  I swam about like a little child paddling for the first time.  I was doing breaststroke and found it quite easy to do.   Another good thing was that the cost for disabled people is £2.20 instead of £3.70 so this is going to be affordable for me to do on a regular basis.  As with most new things my head ran away with itself and I started trying to organise coming 3 times per week and bringing a friend with me.  However from past experience I know I was running away with myself a bit so decided to try once a week for now, which is more likely for me to stick to if it's managable.

We came home and I felt sooo much better totally revistalised.   This morning was a different story and parts of my body ached from using muscles for the first time in a LONG time.  Still I am glad I did it.  I went to bed at 2am as I am a bit of a night owl so on weekends like to stay up late watching trashy tv.  I awoke at 1.30pm feeling like I haven't even slept for an hour.  This is normal for me at the moment, I am soooo tired even when I wake up.  I am starting to wonder if I may have thyroid problems.  I recently went to the doctors and spoke about my weight gain and he gave me a blood test form to test my thyroid.  So I have a check on the net today and would seem I have many symptoms similar to hypothyroidism like fatigue, flaky scalp, hair loss (though not major) and weight gain.  I am going to book an appointment with nurse tomorrow to get some bloods done.  I am panicking a bit about it but it would actually be a relief to find out these symptoms had an actual medical cause.

My joints hurt today, I am coming down off predinislone (steroids) slowly but still having flare-ups.  I decided to pull my old book out the bookshelf.  It's called Margaret Hills 'Treating Arthritis'  She was a sufferer of R.A that found a cure through diet and went on to open a clinic and cure thousands of people.  She is no longer alive but her daughter runs the clinic.  I feel a bit of a failure that I didn't manage to stick to the diet and only lasted 3 months but it involved drinking cider vinegar 3 times a day. 
I am getting desperate though.  I don't want to waste my life sitting around watching tv, I want to start a family at some point.  BUT food is such a huge source of comfort and relief for me that it feels very bizarre to stop doing the one thing I really enjoy in life which is eat food that I enjoy.  Having RA it's one of the only comforts I have is to munch on a delicious jacket potato with cheese and coleslaw.  I have never been that good a disciplining myself when it comes to food.  I seem to thing I 'deserve' something naughty but nice too much.  Or I deprive myself which then leads to bad habits.

But I need to do it this time.  My partner has promised me he will pay for me to live in Barcelona for 3 months. (I lived and studied there years ago and am in love with this place)  I have every incentive I need BUT I know what I am like.  I will try very hard I know but the diet has to be taken for about 2 years.  This is my last hope I feel. 

Now I am going for a small stroll in the woods to clear my head of these headaches I have been having.  Bye for now.

My Rheumatoid Arthritis Diary