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Art, Arthritis and general suffering

mollytetermollyteter Posts: 3
edited 23. Oct 2017, 11:25 in Young people's community
so, first time making a post here and i just kinda need some advice. About 5 months ago my arthritis spread to my hands, which sucks. throughout my 9 years of this hell there was nothing to show that it would spread there so i decided to follow my dream of being an artist. i managed to pass my gcse's and moved onto a-levels. about uhh half way through the course my arthritis spread, and now i cant hold a pen, can barely type and i'll most likely have to retake the year. that is if my medication kicks in before then. if not then i dont know what im doing with my life. it took me a while to recover from not being able to follow my dreams of sports related thing, and now with art...its just hard. anyways if anyone has any advice (that is if you understand what im trying to say ahaha) let me know :0 fsmile


  • moderatormoderator Posts: 4,083 mod
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi mollyteter,

    It sounds like you are still young, and have already had to adapt once already - I agree with you entirely, it's very mean and miserable, you are welcome to moan and rant if you wish, we know how it feels to get a second punch just after you have accommodated arthritis in one form!

    Then it's time to look forward again, I hope you have a good medical team around you, there are drugs around that can help, yours might need tweaking or changing.

    Here's a link to a series of pages written to young people with arthritis

    Here's a booklet about the types of medications available which may help you understand what drugs you have or may be offered

    Keep posting!

    Yvonne x
  • dreamdaisydreamdaisy Posts: 31,567 ✭✭✭
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hello, I am so sorry that you are having to deal with this nonsense at such a young age. Arthritis holds no regard for age or gender but it must be especially hard for younger folk as the general perception of the disease is so inaccurate.

    I am considerably older than you but was born with auto-immune issues so for me the onset of mine (psoriatic arthritis) was more of the same. Arthritis is a stubborn beast of a disease but all of us on here have had to make adjustments and changes to our careers, habits and lives so hopefully our experiences may help inform your future choices. Not many people look in on this board so it may be worth posting again on the Living with Arthritis, yes we may be older than you but we do understand. I wish you well. DD
    Have you got the despatches? No, I always walk like this. Eddie Braben
  • stickywicketstickywicket Posts: 25,968 ✭✭
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hello, welcome from me too and, first and foremost, well done on getting through to mid-A-levels despite the arthritis. I know how tough that can be. I was diagnosed in my O-level (as it then was) year, flared during A-levels and had to have an amanuensis for my finals as there were no laptops back then. (Yup, me and the dinosaurs ruled the earth :wink: )

    There were also no DMARDS so I had to get by on NSAIDS, aspirin and the occasional course of steroids. It wasn't much fun but these are the times when one learns to be resourceful and think laterally. My hands were equally bad but I was right-handed so I taught myself how to write (after a fashion) with my left so that I could do all preparation and rough work with my left, saving my right for the 'real' stuff. Now, if one hand is bad, I try to type with just the other but I do find the odd letter creeping in. What sort of keyboard do you prefer? I like the big ones and a desktop computer. I have a tablet but my hands and touch keyboards don't mix well.

    It must be so hard to have changed your plans once and then feel it might be necessary to change again. Sport is physically demanding and even disability sport seems dominated by those who are physically strong but with, maybe, a missing limb. I wonder what options might be for a related career, though. How strong does a sports' physio, for example, need to be? What about Sports Science (which one of my sons nearly did)? As for art, there must be many more options than simply wielding a paintbrush. I saw a fascinating David Hockney exhibition a couple of years back in which all the pictures had been done on a tablet http://tinyurl.com/ybek7b88 . Here he is talking about painting with glass http://tinyurl.com/jjxdhnx .

    When things are rough it can be hard to see a way forward but I'm sure that more than one way will be available to you. Just stay flexible in your plans and – here's the big one – try not to stress as that just makes everything worse including the arthritis.

    Have you tried talking to your Art teacher about your hopes and dreams?
    “There is always a well-known solution to every human problem - neat, plausible, and wrong.” H.L. Mencken
  • TrishaWTrishaW Posts: 121
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi there,

    I really feel for you....it must be very challenging to deal with arthritis when you are so young.

    Mine began in my 20s but didn't cause major issues until my 40s.

    I was a nurse for 36 years but had to leave work due to my arthritis 2 years ago.

    Interestingly, I have always loved art but had not had time to persue this. after leaving work I went to watercolour classes and discovered I could paint even when I couldn't write.

    My hands are quite badly affected and swell quite a lot, but painting is far easier than writing. I also use quite a few abstract techniques that don't require huge precision if I'm having a flare up.

    Many famous artists had severe rheumatoid arthritis (I think Monet was one of them)

    I also volunteer at a Stroke Group running an Art Group and there even people with hemiplegia can produce great work with their non dominant hand if they adapt their techniques.

    Have you tried different types of painting /art ...not just drawing and precision painting? Many of my pictures don't use a brush at all but the paint is scraped on with card, palate knives etc etc

    I don't think you need to give up your dreams.

    Maybe you need some IT help with your written work (voice activation etc...speak to your college), but you can still be creative and produce great work.

    Follow your dreams and good luck....

    Love Trisha x
  • mollytetermollyteter Posts: 3
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    thanks everyone for the super kind replies! i saw someone mention that i should stay positive cause theres plenty of medications i can try, well, not really. i was informed before starting my current one that theyre running out of medications they can try on me... uhh.. fun times. and since this one has yet to work its kinda aaaaa

    i do have a voice to text app on my tablet (its dragon naturally speaking, super fancy) but my jaw prevents me from talking for too long.
    i do some abstract work occasionally but i really like drawing people, so i need to do studies of them a lot in order to get good at it. unfortunately my anatomy skills have actually gotten worse since the death of my hands
    1st one is the more recent one :'D
  • TrishaWTrishaW Posts: 121
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Well they're brilliant! :)
  • alienxgirlalienxgirl Posts: 3
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hello, i'm going through a very similar experience, I'm 18 and was recently diagnosed with psoriatic arthritis, which mainly affects my hands and feet. I've always had my heart set on being an artist, and am planning to study graphic design and illustration at uni next year. I've been worried about my hands and ability to be an artist with my hands being one of my most affected and painful areas, which sounds a lot like what you've mentioned here. I hope you can still create artwork and that we can both get on top of this condition :) best wishes, Chloe x
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