Another newbie saying Hello!!

Bydand1980 Member Posts: 35
edited 26. Feb 2013, 10:37 in Say Hello Archive
I guess this is as good a place as any for a first post so......

......Hello everybody!!!

My name is Calum and I'm from a wee town near Edinburgh. I was diagnosed with Arthritis when I was about 5 or 6 years old but only after doctors first thought I had Perthes Disease. I'm a little bit older now and I've had a few ups and downs on the way to getting there but I checked out the AC website this morning after not being able to sleep (again) due in no small part to the longest period of arthritis related pain I've had for a very long time.

Well, what's to say about me by way of an intro? Quite a bit actually, I'm slightly mad and have done a few crazy things and done a few things that some people said I'd never be able to do!

When I was a kid, I had good days and bad days like I'm sure most of you do and I tried to do the normal kids stuff like football and murderball during breaks at school but I'd usually suffer for it later! I got to High School and had to stop doing sports and PE for a while which I hated but when I was allowed to start doing sports again I went out in my very first PE lesson back and finished 3rd in my year for the cross country race and didn't stop when I got back, continuing straight to the toilet where I threw up!! I often pushed myself further than I should have feeling a bit of a point to prove, and did I say I was a bit mad!!!
I loved going away to France with the school and doing stuff like mountain climbing, rafting and canoeing but it would usually catch up with me eventually. That went on untill I got to my first year of exams when the Arthritis spread from my hips to pretty much everywhere. Two days before my first exam I found I couldn't pick up a pen which wasn't so good. Somehow I managed to pass those exams with decent grades but from then on was a bit of a nightmare and I joked that I spent more time at hospitals than I did at school. While I was at school I first got involved with YAC going to a few events, courses and seminars until I went to college. I never got the grades to go straight to uni and ended up studying music at college in Aberdeen but had to drop out because of health problems in my second year.

Fast forward a few years of having difficulty on and off and jobs in restaurants and bars then I moved to Denmark as a teaching assistant at an international school near København for a year. While I was there, one of the sports teachers who was an ex millitary guy and he set up a programmeforme to follow to build up fitness and strength slowly untill I was regularly playing competative sports. By the time I came home I was fitter than I had ever been and started playing handball eventually playing in goal for the Scottish national team. Over the next 6 years I had relatively few problems with arthritis but found that I was able to recover from the bad days much quicker than I ever had before. Then I got a knee injury that stoped me playing for a few months and I tried to go back to quick, lasting only 5 minutes on my first game back. That tied in with some family problems started a bit of a downward trend and the bad days became more frequent and sorer but only for short periods of time, a few days here and there up to a couple of weeks.

Now, for the last couple of months I've had a really bad sustained period of arthritis pain and reduced mobility and I'm in the process of claiming ESA and DLA with the help of my local CAB.

There are three things I've not mentioned yet. After coming back from Denmark, I worked with my Mum for a while before deciding to go back to Uni where I studied Scandinavian Studies, Philosophy and Social Policy, getting there via a college access course for mature students.

While at uni I got involved in politics and campaigning and I am still active in The Fabian Society and The Co-Operative Party. Last week I was at an event and was able to ask the leader of the Labour Party in Scotland some questions about austerity and welfare policy if they get elected at the next election and my local MP launched a scathing attack against ATOS and the DWP where she was quite blunt in calling them evil!

In between jobs (which I hope to start looking for when/if the current eases a bit), I do some voluntary work with a local community radio station and present two very contrasting shows, one being a faith/religion/theology/philosophy show and the other being a hard rock and heavy metal show!!!

So that's pretty much it about me, I did warn you that I'm kinda crazy but with that in mind I'm sure it will be great talking to you guys on the forum and I'd be curious to know if anybody I've met through YAC in the past are still involved and on the forum!!!


  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 27,732
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Calum. It’s good to meet you. In years you might be young but you’ve packed a fair bit of experience into them including, unfortunately, experience of arthritis. I bet you’d have been willing to pass on that one :) but it seems to have motivated you to do loads of stuff. If that’s ‘crazy’ so be it. Seems sensible to me.

    I was diagnosed (RA) at 15. I’m 66 now. I never managed all your sporting success but I’m good at watching :wink: – especially cricket and rugby. (Well done, Scotland, yesterday!)

    I’m sorry you’ve been flaring recently. It doesn’t sound as if it’ll hold you back for long but, while it does, it’s literally a pain, isn’t it? I found mine always flared at exam times.

    Your man’s fitness programme sounds very successful. He could probably make a fortune on here :lol: . Well done on all your achievements and good luck with the claims. You are doing right to involve the CAB. They seem to get better results for people.

    I hope you’ll join in here anywhere you like. The ‘Young People’s’ forum tends to be quiet as young people, like yourself, improve with the meds and move on. But you’re very welcome on the other forums too.
    If at first you don't succeed, then skydiving definitely isn't for you.
    Steven Wright
  • Bydand1980
    Bydand1980 Member Posts: 35
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Thanks Stickywicket!
    In years you might be young but you’ve packed a fair bit of experience into them including, unfortunately, experience of arthritis. I bet you’d have been willing to pass on that one
    Too right I would have loved to have passed on the arthritis experience but then I suppose that's a part of who I am and has played a big part in a lot of the stuff I've done, perhaps that has been because of the arthritis experience as well as in spite of it.

    When it comes to debating health and social policy stuff with right wingers or people who simply buy in to the right wing media propaganda about us all being LTB's and lazy scroungers I often say to them that they would be more than welcome to the support I get both practical and financial if they would just take the pain and lack of mobility that goes with it. Most simply shut up but there are some who try to divert onto some financial imperative or simply don't get the fact that even when people with chronic conditions like arthritis are able to walk normally, they often do so despite the pain they go through while doing it. I guess with some people you just can't win.
    In years you might be young but you’ve packed a fair bit of experience into them
    I sometimes feel like I'm in some kind of no mans land where I am too old for youth organisations but I'm still young enough that some people say that I'm too young to have arthritis! But hey, what's age apart from a number and a state of mind!

    I would love to be more active with sports, it's a great social thing as well as the fitness part of it and there's not much that can beat the buzz you get when you get a good result! The downside is that I always kinda knew that there would come a point where I would not be able to push my body to the level that I would like to but I guess all I can do now is take it as it comes and do what I can when I can.
  • barbara12
    barbara12 Member Posts: 21,281
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Bydand1980
    And a warm welcome from me
    Gosh that is some life you have had so far, I have found this forum priceless when it come to getting information an Arthritis and anything else come to that.
    I am sure you can learn us a thing or I look forward to you posting more very soon. x
  • dreamdaisy
    dreamdaisy Member Posts: 31,520
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Crikey mate, talk about been there and done that! You are a busy boy, aren't you? :wink: Good for you for not letting the arthritis get the better of you and I hope you are able to keep yourself as busy as possible but without harming your health in the process.

    When I was younger I wasn't arthritic and now I regret the fact that I kept putting things off thinking 'I'll do that another time.' I've now run out of those times as my mobiliy is severely affected, as is my concentration and stamina. I guess you still have youth on your side so make the most of it! I hope to see your name here and there around the forum and good luck with whatever work you are able to find. I wish you well. DD
    Have you got the despatches? No, I always walk like this. Eddie Braben