"I am a fighter, and I will continue to fight"

About: Royal Cornwall Hospital (Treliske) / Rheumatology

(as the patient),

I suffer with rheumatoid arthritis. Initially when I attended my doctors, I was told that my hands were inflamed and I was given anti-inflammatory medication for a few years.

I was a carer, and I noticed my hands were getting very sore. When I saw another doctor, he gave me a blood test and I was diagnosed with RA. I started off with injections, which I have once a week, and tablets to take twice a day. I’m now on liquid painkillers (similar to morphine) which are really good for easing the pain. The injection eased the pain a lot.

I had a break from the injections for six months, and my arms got really bad. When I went back to the doctor to get more injections, he instead sent me for a scan. A while later, he sent me a letter to inform me that my ligaments were torn and made an appointment with a surgeon.

The surgeon, before operating, wanted another x-ray and offered operation. I had keyhole surgery to mend some tares. As well as this my bones were chipped and the surgeon smoothed these out, which helped me shoulder a lot.

Four months ago, I had a heart attack and had a heart operation. Now I need to wait six months now due to my heart condition. I am a bit concerned that I have to wait so long, the winter is really hard. I find that it aggravates my RA with the cold.

I’ve also noticed that my RA is worse when I’m not doing anything, such as sitting down for a while. The pain is agonizing when I then try and get up. I stopped working as a carer a couple of years ago, but now I volunteer and have done for the past four years.

All my life I’ve cared for others and sometimes I think “why me? ” I am a fighter, and I will continue to fight RA. I won’t give in.

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Response from Daniela Boyd-Waters, Media and Communications Officer, National Rheumatoid Arthritis Society (NRAS)

Hi Cadet76.

Your attitude is inspiring.

The National Rheumatoid Arthritis Society (NRAS) provide information, advocacy and support to people living with or affected by RA.

We have a helpline team who are excellent at providing people with up to date information. The team can provide emotional support especially for those going through a difficult time and help people understand more about the disease and the treatments available.

You can contact the helpline by telephone (free from landlines) on 0800 298 7650. The helpline is open Monday - Friday between 9.30am and 4.30pm. If you would rather email, please contact helpline@nras.org.uk

Carry on being a fighter!



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