Real Profiles of Rheumatoid ArthritisPhotos © Vicky Besley
How long have you lived with RA?
What advice would you give to someone who has just been diagnosed with RA?
Make sure you are comfortable with your rheumatologist as it makes the whole process a lot easier. Don’t be scared to ask lots of questions no matter how trivial but most importantly don’t be afraid to ask for help.
Do you use any mobility aids?
Yes I have an electric wheelchair for in the house, a manual wheelchair for going outside in so people can push me. They were hard to accept but they mean I can still do things I enjoy.
How has living with RA helped to improve your life?
Its made me realise how strong I actually am! Its made me stop and enjoy things more and reminded me to have fun it lifts your spirits when you have something to look forward to.
Do you have any visible signs of RA?
Yes my hands are bent over, my left knee has fluid and often swells.
Can you please describe some of your favorite coping strategies for living with RA?
To just smile and get on with it, I tell myself I can get through this, a smile helps.
Can you please describe your current medical (traditional and alternative) treatments?
I have Reiki every week which helps lower my pain levels, also pain killers nothing further (see below).
Is there anything else about yourself that you would like to share?
My treatment has been affected by the fact i also have a heart defect called Tetralogy of Fallot which has had an effect on what treatment I can have and also the level of pain killers I can take.