Dr. Arthritis Shares: Arthritis Sufferers Tell It Like It Is

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We’re proud to have built a community with members who make every arthritis sufferer feel like they don’t have to go through this alone.  By simply sharing your personal experiences and challenges, you have not only made it easier for others to talk about their struggles, you’ve also built a place that arthritis sufferers can turn to for support and encouragement.

In this light, and in the spirit of Arthritis Awareness Month, we wanted to put the spotlight on all of you–your own experiences and in your own words–in this post.

This is a collection of anecdotes from arthritis sufferers telling it like it is—the ups and downs; the good days and bad. In the interest of protecting the privacy of everyone who shared their stories, we’ve opted to share their experiences anonymously in this post. But we hope that it helps everyone in this community recognize the strength and compassion that you all have shown.

 

“I have six monthly facet joint injections in my lower spine. [It] does nothing for the pain, but [it] eases the stiffness when I get out of bed. I have arthritic hands and feet too. I try not to give in to arthritis but some days are a real struggle.”

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“I have arthritis in my feet and neck I sometimes don’t know what to do with my head … it’s as if my head is too big for my neck and makes me feel really miserable.”

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“I have psoriatic arthritis everywhere my toes have locked a few fingers total fatigue but I’m not gonna let it beat me, I’m on my next injection and sulfazaine tramadol etc. Hopefully I’ll get an injection in my neck it’s so painful keeping me awake at night.”

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“I have rheumatoid arthritis and the only way I can describe the pain when it goes into my fingers is it’s like someone has smashed your hands with a hammer and every bone is broken horrendous pain.”

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“Injections in shoulder which help. Injection in hands SOMETIMES helps. It’s a bit hit & miss. Surgery on right hand took almost a year to settle- & reduced pain by about 60-70% but have no grip in that hand now. Arthritis pain all over the place is truly horrendous, which i never realised until i got it in my 60’s.. Just keep trying anything & everything to reduce pain. I think of it as par for the course at my age & just get on with it! Feel very sorry for younger people that have to live with it.”

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“I have osteoarthritis. When you get up in the morning, you don’t know how you’ll be the rest of the day. Some days are ok, some days are bad. I have it in my feet knees hips lower back hands shoulders and neck. Luckily, I only have problems with my right side at the moment. The aches and pains and swelling are bloody depressing frustrating and debilitating but you just have to grin and bear it. Getting anything done is really difficult.”

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“I have juvenile arthritis. I was diagnosed at 1 years old. Trying to sleep when your joints are throbbing and are burning or hot to touch, you can’t get comfy because all your joints hurt all the time, feels like you are starting with the flu. And on my bad days I just want to sit and cry. Then there is the morning swelling, which of course is very painful and takes most of the morning to get your joints moving as [they] are stiff.

For me to have a normal life I need to have methotrexate tablets.  And these are my godsend. Without them I couldn’t live my life be a mummy to my daughter and being a wife.

I look normal-ish—so I’m sure people think I’m making it up, which really get me down because Im never not in pain. [I] just have different stages of pain through my life. But I have learned over the years [different] ways to help manage the pain.

So please STOP and think. Not all illnesses are easy to see ❤”

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“I have just been diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis—my ankles, knees, elbows, wrists; pain going up into my hands, and also my neck. The pain has been worse in the last 6 months. Had it for a while, but put it down to not looking after myself properly. [Doctor] prescribed a 5% ibuprofen gel which is rubbish. Been using Voltarol for ages for some relief. Going back to the doctor’s to see another one to discuss more effective pain management. I now have to re-think my job options.”

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“I’ve just been diagnosed with spondylo arthropathy. I have arthritis in my toes, feet, ankles, knees, chest, and spine. I’ve just turned 30 and started on methotrexate. Been on it now 7 weeks and just starting to be able to walk again, better. They say it takes 12 weeks to fully take effect is this true?? Can’t wait to wake up and feel pain free again if only it’s for 1 day.”

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“I wish they could find a cure for arthritis. I have so much pain in my spine I have to force myself to walk some days. But I won’t let it beat me. We must remain positive.

It is so important not to give in to arthritis. However difficult it is, you must try to make an effort. My spine is gradually collapsing, which means I have a serious problem walking, I also have arthritis throughout my body. I could sit back and say ‘that’s enough’ but I don’t want to be like that. I will fight this until I die.”

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“Imagine feeling like the Tin Man, Imagine feeling tired. Imagine nausea, headaches, loose stools, never ending pain, the more you move the worse you feel with RA.”

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“I have to remember to never stop fighting to carry on. No matter how painful or difficult it gets.”

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“I suffer with flare ups, wrists and hands… Sooo sore and frustrating, especially when you’ve got small children to get ready for school.”

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“[I] live in constant pain every day. Even lifting a cup can be unbearable. But I just have to get on with it. I won’t give in to it.”

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“…Several years ago I had to give up my job because of complications from surgery. It is very hard to plan things in my life. Most days I accept the disease, but there are those days when I see someone happy, carefree and wish I could have days like that.”

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“I have psoriatic arthritis, which has just been diagnosed. I have started on medication for it. It’s helps when you read about someone who is going through the same as me. Because you do feel alone and a moaner.”

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“Having had RA for 55 years, I consider myself lucky now.

I’ve been through the stages of not able to wash and dress myself, unable to cook and clean or do the shopping. I am now able to do quite a lot for myself, [although I] can’t kneel down, and my hands are not very strong. But I have a husband who has a spinal degeneration, so we help each other, laughter and tears too. So with medication I am in a better place than I was, I hope all of you too find relief .”

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This is by no means an exhaustive list of this community’s experiences with arthritis. But we hope it’s enough to get more conversations started about the reality and challenges of chronic pain.

It takes courage to share what you’re going through. And we also hope everyone reading this takes the time to share their own experiences—your story is amazing in its own right, and you never know who you’re inspiring.

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