Rhian-Welham

Rhian Welham

Real Profiles of Rheumatoid Arthritis
Photos © Rhian Welham

Name?

Rhian Welham

Age?

29

Location?

Llanelli, Wales, United Kingdom

How long have you lived with RA?

1 year.

What advice would you give to someone who has just been diagnosed with RA?

Research it as much as possible, especially via support groups online and locally such as the NRAS in the UK.

Don’t despair. You will feel better in the future.

Try to explain it to family and friends in simple terms and how it affects you every day, so they can begin to understand how much it affects you and what you are able to do at this time.

“Accept that you have a disease beyond your control. Do not judge yourself based on what you used to do or what people expect you to do. Life has changed. Your life will be better if you ask people to help. When your life is better, you will find joy again….”

Do you use any mobility aids?

Have podiatry insoles I use everyday in whatever shoes I am wearing, and also have resting splints for both wrists to sleep in and wrist supports for daytime use.

How has living with RA helped to improve your life?

Helped me to be less judgemental of other. You can’t tell by looking at someone how they are feeling or if they are ill.

Do you have any visible signs of RA?

Swelling of my fingers and hands, a limp.

Can you please describe some of your favorite coping strategies for living with RA?

Talking to my husband, venting on social networking sites, reading about others’ experiences online.

Can you please describe your current medical (traditional and alternative) treatments?

Methotrexate, diclofenac, Enbrel as of 2 weeks ago.

Is there anything else about yourself that you would like to share?

I am a mum to a 2.5 year old girl who keeps me going, without her I don’t think that I’d be getting up each morning to try and have a decent day. My husband couldn’t be more supportive, he is an angel, and I have wonderful parents who also help me whenever I need it. I am very grateful for all my family.

4 Comments
4 comments
  1. Beth says:

    Loved reading your post. My family came from Whales in the 1600s, not sure if that still counts. There is actually a book written about the Davis family and it starts with their journey and ends with my children.

    We have many similarities… I was diagnosed in October, take prednisone, MTX and have had 2 Enbrel shots, walk with a limp ( going to ask about those inserts) and my hands are always red and swollen. Hope it works for both of us.

    Oh…and my daughter’s name is Rhiannon :)

  2. abcsofra says:

    What a lovely family and with such support it will make your time ahead a little bit easier for sure. I can just imagine having that beautiful little face to wake to in the morning. I do know how tough ra can be but having such a sweetie looking at you would make me get up just because of her! Enjoy her as much as possible as they do grow up so quickly. Cherish each and every second. Mine is now 20, she was 7 when I first got diagnosed. Thank you for sharing your story!

  3. Terry says:

    The first thing I noticed about you is your smile. It says a lot about you that you can smile like you do in spite of living with RA. I’m glad you have a supportive family, that helps so much. Enjoy your daughter, Deb is right, they grow up too quickly.

  4. Lauren says:

    Thanks for sharing! Thought I would say hello – my husband is welsh! I have similar symptoms and workout in the pool and I’m lucky to have access to 1:1 rehab yoga. Trying to manage holistically – I have not had much change since I got diagnosed but not sure if I am fooling myself!!!

    Trying for a family at moment. How are you coping with such a young child? It’s a worry of mine.

    Lauren

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