Real Profiles of Rheumatoid ArthritisPhotos © Rhian Welham
Llanelli, Wales, United Kingdom
How long have you lived with RA?
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.