Bit of a rant (turned into a bit of a long one, sorry!)

katherine810 Member Posts: 67
edited 28. Mar 2014, 00:09 in Young people's community
Hello everyone,

I haven't posted on here in years! I'm Katherine, i'm 19 and I have had polyarticular juvenile idiopathic arthritis since I was 4 currently treated with enbrel injections twice a week though for most of my life I also took methotrexate injections to control my arthritis.

I'm studying childrens nursing at uni and have placements I have to complete where most of the students do 12 and a half hour shifts or more with an hour break. Due to my arthritis I have the allowance to be able to do shorter shifts of 8 hours with a half an hour break five days a week (instead of 3 x 12 and a half hour shifts a week but still doing the same 37.5 hours a week like everyone else). Although the staff and my lecturers are understanding, i'm constantly getting asked by other students lately why I am only doing shorter shifts, why do I not try longer days, that surely coming in 5 days is worse for me due to having to pay parking, petrol costs, less days off...

I know they are probably just trying to help and they are all lovely people but the constant questions are driving me mad, I must've been asked 10 times today! I don't think the majority of the students understand how my arthritis can affect me, or much about juvenile arthritis in general. I know I shouldn't care what other people think but it's hard having to deal with people not understanding when i've always been lucky enough to be surrounded by family and friends who do understand and support me.

Here goes my rant! It's not only the fact it's painful to walk, stand and write for 12 hours, but somewhere before or after a shift i've got to allow for time to eat so I can take certain medications, time to actually take the medications, time to do physio, at least half an hour to make up an injection, extra time that it can take to bath and dry my hair, time to rest to try and make sure my immune system is kept up so I don't have to take time off due to sickness... i'm sure there's probably more!

I just wish I could stick that on the wall at times for people to read or direct them to this website so they can read about arthritis for themselves ;) I know I need to learn to deal with people asking and not understanding and try and explain to people why but it's definitely frustrating.

Thank you for letting me rant :)


  • Kittkat
    Kittkat Member Posts: 309
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Katherine
    I don't really have much advice but I just want to say that despite of what everyone is saying you should be so proud of yourself of what you have achieved. People are nosy and as nice as they are, it is none of your business. I had a year off uni due to psoriasis and I didn't like questions so I just changed the subject.
    Maybe you should just be blunt and say I have this condition that makes me fatigued all the time and I don't like talking about it.If it makes you upset tell them, I hope they will be more understanding.
    I think you have done amazingly well I would love to work 8 hours!
    Good luck!
    How am I gonna be an optimist about this?
  • Loujbell
    Loujbell Member Posts: 4
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Katharine

    I'm 19 years old and also got diagnosed with JIA arthritis at the age of 4/5. I know exactly where you are coming from! People really don't understand how much it actually affects us, because we 'look' ok people just don't think there is anything wrong, when really if they looked closer they might understand just a little bit!

    I always try and explain to my friends/family or if people ask about arthritis but still they don't truly know. My arthritis just started out in both my knees and my right ankle but now I have it in most joints which affects me a lot in life now with work ect.

    I hope you don't mind writing back to yourself!

    Thanks for reading :)
  • BluesWalk
    BluesWalk Member Posts: 48
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I know how you feel, I think people at first can be like ''oh you have arthrits'' etc and be understand for a little while. But then they get bored of it. They get tired of hearing how you are sore. Don't let peoples ignorance get you down, arthritis is sometimes i think cruel because it is not visable. People asume you are ok, or it cant be that bad.

    All i can say is persevere and things will get better trust me :)
  • Shannon113
    Shannon113 Member Posts: 1
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Katherine

    I'm new at this sort of thing as I have never really talked to others that have arthritis. I am 18 years old and I'm still hoping to go to uni (when they eventually find a treatment that works) to do nursing also. So I was wondering what uni you go to and how you deal with all of the nursing/university work. I have only recently gotten arthritis and since it happened I have felt that I wouldn't be able to cope with uni or all of the long hours of nursing. Any help or tips would be very appreciated.
  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 27,710
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Shannon and welcome to the forum :D You've brought up an old thread here and people don't always come back to them, especially if things are going well.

    I'm not a young person with arthritis, though I once was :wink: I managed a degree though it was hard at times.

    I suggest you re-post on the Living With Arthritis forum as more people look on there, even younger ones. We have one or two who are currently at uni including 'Starburst' who's in her final year of a course which, if I remember rightly, is vaguely nursing related. (Sorry Starburst :oops: ) She's had it hard at times but what a tough cookie she is!

    I'm currently not about on here much as I'm visiting my son in the USA but I'm sure the others will make you feel at home and be able to offer help. Good luck!
    If at first you don't succeed, then skydiving definitely isn't for you.
    Steven Wright