Feeling different.

loren Member Posts: 20
I hate feeling different to everyone else.
but i am 17 and had arthritis since i was 5, i feel like no one around me actually knows how it feels.

i am currently undergoing tests for ankylo spondylitis and i am really scared that all i want to do is cry.
I am doing a levels at school and have arthritus pratically everywhere. But i dont know what to do.
i feel alone and need someone to talk to about it.


  • dreamdaisy
    dreamdaisy Member Posts: 31,520
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hello loren and welcome to the forums. It's no wonder that you feel different to others - you are. You have had much to contend with during your short life and that will set you apart from your peers in a way that very, very few will understand. From what you have said it sounds as tho another raft of difficulties is heading your way, and I am truly sorry about that. There are some younger people around the forum, starburst is one, I think she is about 19 or 20, so not too much older than you (I cannot trust my memory, I am a venerable 51), I hope she spots your post. You could ring the helpline tomorrow: they are very understanding and extraordinarily kind, they will listen, even if you only cry, and they do have an insight into how hard arthritis is to cope with and manage. We are a friendly and supportive bunch on here: we all struggle with the utter ba****d that is arthritis and we all know how hard it can be. Take care, be kind to yourself, and keep in touch with us: we will do our best to help. I wish you well. DD
  • cathhankin
    cathhankin Member Posts: 28
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Loren,
    I can understand a little about what you are going through.
    I was going through my A levels when suffering with RA which was 6 years ago now. Theres no denying it, it's hard. But you need to tell yourself you can do it. nothing can stop you. not even this . take each day as it comes.
    I felt different when in college. I had to go in a seperate room for my A levels to use the computer- people asked why- i said my wrists get sore when i write loads. i was embarassed at that age i'm afraid to say. I never told people about my condition, and became pretty secluded. don't get me wrong i had freinds, and great they were :) but i never felt comfortable around other people. i just felt they were looking at me and laughing. thing is no one ever did- it was just me thinking that people MIGHT do that.
    I plodded along and got my a levels and still had some social life. not as much as others but what i could manage. The freinds who have stuck by you and understand you are the important ones. no one else.
    it is possible to achieve what you want to. i got my a levels and teaching degree, however the arthritis got the better of me and i sadly couldnt start my career in teaching. However i am now working as a TA and it was certainly the right choice. I can still work with children but then leave my work at work. I don't get stressed, hence no flare ups. I have the best of both worlds.

    Keep smiling and don't give up. not now. look how far you have come since you were 5.

    x x x x
  • dreamdaisy
    dreamdaisy Member Posts: 31,520
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hello cathhankin, I too am a teacher who, for the past 16 years has run her own, very small business (ie just me) specialising in coaching dyslexics. (I always have to spell that word right!) For fourteen of those years the arthritis has been an increasing factor, to the point now that I think I have to give it up. I am saddened by this but it is now the only thing to do. I lack the stamina and concentration that I need: I shall try to get to the end of the summer term, but it will be a struggle! DD
  • speedalong
    speedalong Member Posts: 3,272
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    HI Loren, I do know what you mean - I look at others doing things I can't do or doing things I struggle to do with ease ... tough isn't it.

    However on here everyone understands and it is a good place to vent and share.

    The YOung people's forum and this one aren't visited as often as the Living with arthritis thread - so the living thread is a good place to post to get lots of replies. I would also post on the young people's thread if you haven't already - as there are few others who are near to your age who would be good to chat too.

    If you feel really down or just fancy a chat - the helpline folk are great - see the number at the top of the webpage.

    Keep posting,

  • loren
    loren Member Posts: 20
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Thank you cathhankin. I want to train to be a midwife which is kind of worrying. but i WILL do it :P
    i never give in just getting fed up.

    My friends are the most amazing people to me and are always there.
    Everyone in my yearr knows i have this but they dont care. i just feel awkard
  • dreamdaisy
    dreamdaisy Member Posts: 31,520
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    We need midwives and soon! It is a fabulous career, tiring and demnanding yes, but so rewarding. Your year peers, I have to say, won't care, because they cannot grasp the implications of this disease - and that isn't because they are young. My aged and ancient chums have the same problem, it's basically one of the great human frailties: until it happens to you, you won't understand. How can any of my friends 'get' this? They are all revoltingly healthy, still running about with bags of energy, sleep like logs, can still party all night (albeit with a little more of a struggle the next day) and are able to do all the things they used to. Most people wave their arthritis wands to 'cure' it: I wave mine to give others a lovely, big dose of this rubbish. That'll learn 'em. DD

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