Central & East Information Volunteer

Annah Member Posts: 92
edited 27. Apr 2012, 09:03 in Say Hello Archive
Hello Everyone,
my name is Anna Hayward and I'm the Information Volunteer for Arthritis Care's Central and East region, here in sunny Cambridgeshire.

We haven't got a branch here, so I'm currently a bit of a "one and only". I've pottered about, doing the odd Information Day in local libraries and a couple of small charity fundraising efforts, but as I've got more used to dealing with my joint problems, I think I'm able to do a little more.

Personal stuff: I'm in my forties, I have three children and a partner. My son is autistic, so I'm a parent-carer, which has its own challenges. I also volunteer for Oxfam, but I've had to take a back seat with that since I can't do the 'humping and dumping' in the shop that I used to do. I'm involved with a local community association, on a sort of unofficial level (my partner's vice chair and stuff needed doing...).

I'm collecting diagnoses at the moment, but my main diagnoses are Hypermobility Syndrome (Ehlers-Danlos syndrome) and fibromyalgia, with various forms of arthritis dotted here and there. In short, a lot of me hurts, I'm stiff as a board when I sit about and I'm tired a lot.

I joined Arthritis Care because I wanted to be part of a bigger organisation that supported people who had similar problems to me, even if the Latin names for their problems differed. And also because the helpline has helped keep me going at my lowest points when I was struggling to cope but didn't know who to talk to or how to talk about it.

My hope now is that I may encourage other people with joint problems that life goes on, even if we have to deal with chronic pain, and even if getting about is more tricky. We don't let it beat us: we just strap up that knee, charge up that mobility scooter, grab that crutch and get on with it. As my (disabled) mother taught me, we don't say "I can't do it", we say "How can I do it?"

P.S. May 7th, Eaton Socon May Fair, Cambridgeshire. Watch out for the "Name a Bear for Arthritis Care" and Castle Beer Pong at our stall.


  • dreamdaisy
    dreamdaisy Member Posts: 31,520
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hello Annah, it's lovely to meet you. I hail from rainy Ipswich but have been known to venture to the lovely cities of Ely and Cambridge from time to time. You certainly sound as though you have your work cut out on a number of fronts and I admire your spirit in not giving in to the demands of ill-health. I am 53, happily married, deliberately childless and coping with PsA and OA. I am on crutches, have now graduated to a rollator and cannot remember what pain-free feels like. No matter, this is my lot and I try to cope as best I can - usually seeking refuge in laughing and drinking beer! :wink: Right, I have to go as another demand upon my time has cropped up - please keep in touch, the LWA part of the forum is where we deal with matters suchy as drugs, docs, treatments and appointments, the rest are self-explanatory. I wish you well. DD
    Have you got the despatches? No, I always walk like this. Eddie Braben
  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 27,725
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hello from me too, annah. I'm sure you'll be a great asset to the forum. Please feel free to pitch in anywhere you like. LWA and CC are where most of us hang out.
    If at first you don't succeed, then skydiving definitely isn't for you.
    Steven Wright
  • frogmorton
    frogmorton Member Posts: 29,560
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Annah

    lovely to meet you.

    Sounds like you have your work cut out there :wink: l admire all the stuff you are doing with your health problems and your son to support too.

    Also sounds like you will have some information to swap with us lot. If Cambridge was nearer you could have counted me in :D


    Toni xxx