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My Story - Please Share Yours Too

sdoc94sdoc94 Posts: 2
edited 20. Dec 2018, 06:30 in Young people's community
Good morning all.

In a few more months I will no longer fit the bill for this section of the forum, I will turn 25 years old.

When I had just turned 20 years old and finished my second year of Computer Science at University with flying colours - I knew I had to see a doctor.

I had been struggling to walk to class most days and noticed a sharp excruciating pain each time, I thought it was my lower back. I spoke with my GP a few times and had some deep tissue massages to try to help. Nothing would work and my GP came to the conclusion I needed to have a specialist look at my back.

Fast forward a few months I walked into a back specialists office - the first thing she said to me was "There is nothing wrong with your back". I was shocked and felt offended as if I had been lying about pain, but worse news was to come. She looked at the x-rays I had before seeing her and said my back was perfectly fine...but down in the bottom corner of the x-ray she noticed a severe shortage of space around my hip. Then she told me I had arthritis of the hip. Those are the last words I remember her say. I zoned out, I remember her handing me painkillers and I remember walking out to my car in shock. Then the tears came.

As a 20 year old young man with a budding career in MMA (mixed martial arts/cage fighting), an extremely promising academic life, dreams of a massively successful career and active social life - I was crushed. It was all gone.

About 6 months later I spoke to a consultant in a specialist orthopaedic hospital - got formally diagnosed with Psoriatic Arthritis and informed I would urgently need a total left hip replacement. I hadn't even turned 21 yet and I was getting told this - another meltdown. I missed a lot of University, still passed every exam but I missed 90% of a group project and they decided to kick me out. Devastation ensued. To try to keep this story short my condition deteriorated massively over the next year, I couldn't stand up straight, I couldn't stand for long, I struggled terribly while walking, my confidence and self esteem was out the window. I didn't want to do anything, I was working 60+ hours a week and sleeping - that was it.

Fast forward a few more months and I got the letter - I was receiving the surgery in just a few weeks. By this time I was excited and scared, anxious but relieved. The hospital told me I would be staying for at least a week, maybe two (to recover). I took to social media to let my friends and colleagues know the time was approaching, and I stated that I would smash the average recovery time.

I came out of a successful (albeit complicated) surgery at approximately 04:00pm. There I was, a 21 year old man with a new hip and surrounded by men thrice my age. They all looked at me like I had 4 heads. I felt great - I had been on the operating table before (broken arm, plate and 9 screws, nerve damage - was told I would never use my arm again but defied the odds to prove them all wrong) but this time I felt fine. I had something to eat and spoke with my parents for the evening before going to sleep.

The next morning I took my first steps with the new joint, spoke with the physio. Walked up and down the steps, walked the length of the ward - terrified I was going to break my shiny new hip. Then she told me - "OK! hometime for you, you've recovered spectacularly! You can stay for a few more days if you want"

So, as I had stated - I smashed the recovery time. 24 hours after I woke from surgery I was at home in my bed eating a takeout watching some old MMA fights on TV. Happy as ever.

Now 4 years later - I have changed job twice, moved towns twice, been with my partner for 3.5 years. I never went back to University but I had propelled myself up the career ladder and now working in a key role within a successful global company. BUT - my other hip is now giving me a lot of trouble. My knees are swollen like balloons, my jaws are in pain. My neck is sore, my back is extremely painful - hands, wrists, feet, ankles. I feel like arthritis is surrounding me trying to wear me down.

I felt very depressed all of the last few weeks - run down by this disease. But I am standing up again - I am fighting yet again. If I need more surgery, I'll be home even sooner this time. I am young, I am struggling - but I am Versus Arthritis.

I could write a book on my journey so far - but I think this post is already long enough. Share your stories too.

#VersusArthritis #EverydayIFight

Comments

  • moderatormoderator Posts: 4,093 mod
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Welcome sdoc94 and thank you for such an eloquent and heartfelt post.
    I'm not surprised you are feeling down after having battled and recovered with one hip to find the other one now struggling and the arthritis spreading. Your story so far is inspirational and I'm glad to hear you are in a fighting spirit. Good luck and keep us updated on how things are for you.
    It would be great to hear more stories.

    Ann
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