Is life worth living with rhematoid arthritis

Shamus Member Posts: 4
edited 28. Nov 2023, 14:05 in Living with arthritis

I've just about managed to see a consultant, it's looking very likely I have rheumatoid arthritis, and at present am on steroids, starting on new drugs, having been fit and healthy for all my life. It's the quick determination that's got to me, having being laid on my back for a month unable to move bath pee, the thought of being like that is scaring the life out of me. Will life be like that? I could not face that! Does it get better? Can I lead a normal life?


  • Al
    Al Member Posts: 169

    Hi and welcome,

    It's great to meet you, you have come to the right place for information and conversation with others like you living one or more forms of arthritis

    There are many here more than happy to share their experience as you share yours.

    This link is for general information regarding any type of arthritis

    About arthritis

    Find out more about the different conditions, treatments and how to manage your symptoms.

    if you have a specific question please post in the Living with Arthritis discussion or for general chat in the Chit Chat discussion. Just join in wherever you feel comfortable


  • Lilymary
    Lilymary Member Posts: 1,742

    Hi Shamus, I’m sorry to hear this has hit you like a massive bolt from the blue, I’ve been through a similar recent experience. I’m a very active 61 yr old, and one day I’m getting on with life with an occasional limp and a few niggling pains, next I’m in agony (a few days after a minor tumble) and told I have osteo arthritis in both hips and one of them needs replacing. Still waiting for any actual treatment though, other than pain meds. Meanwhile my hip is mainly agony and has hugely curtailed my life.

    It feels like life has been cut in half. However, after the first few months of agony the meds started to kick in , and I began to learn what set it off (and what to avoid), what activity levels my body can cope with, how to make myself comfortable in bed, how to adapt working life and domestic life to make things easier, etc etc.

    I won’t lie, I hate how this has affected my life, and coming to terms with that can be hard, but you have a new job now, and that’s to look after your body and help it through this, so you can get some of your life back, and the bits that aren’t possible, replace them with new things you will enjoy. Many on this site will tell you to focus on the things you can still do, and do things to keep your mind off the pain, which really helps (for me it’s a bit of light gardening, albeit with some grunting and wincing).

    It helps if you can talk about how you’re feeling - to friends and family so they can support you, to the lovely people on the helpline here, or reading the useful tips on this site and experiences of other forum members. There are others on this forum who are RA warriors like you, so they may have some tips too.

    Talk this through with your doc, you’re at the early stages in the treatment, so it may take a while to get a regime that works for you, so don’t expect instant recovery back to old levels of health. There may be some physio treatment and exercises that will help, you may need a referral to a pain clinic, there may be a local support group that you will find helpful.

    Don’t panic, this isn’t the end, but there may have to be some changes. Life’s like that, despite what motivational speakers might peddle, life is it a constant upward trajectory to peace, wealth and personal fulfilment. They just get paid to tell us that. Real life is messy and sometime heads off in a wholly different direction, and we just have to adapt and find a way to enjoy this detour.

    hang in there fella.

  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 27,719

    Is life worth living with RA? Absolutely. I'very been doing it for nearly 60 years.

    You are in shock right now and that is colouring your feelings. Lilymary has made some excellent points. Once the Disease Modifying meds kick in you'll feel differently but I do ask you to look forwards not backwards. Don't feel that only your old life is worth living. Adapt and enjoy. There is a whole new world out there to enjoy. I have done so many fascinating things that I'd never have thought of doing if arthritis hadn't blocked off other paths.

    If at first you don't succeed, then skydiving definitely isn't for you.
    Steven Wright
  • pcolley
    pcolley Member Posts: 3

    Hi Shamus,

    I had a similar experience although the road to diagnosis took about 7 months. At the end of 7 months, I was almost happy as I finally had a diagnosis but when the reality set in, I have gone through ups and downs and being terrified of the future. Illnesses of this nature, while they cant be cured can be treated which is a positive and there is a great deal fo research going on at the moment. My GP put me on a low dose anti depressant to assist with the low moods and that has helped. I also think forums like this and talking to other people will help you. Ive only known about my diagnosis for about a year and am still coming to terms with it but am finding there is a lot of support out there too. I wish you well in your journey but am sorry you are having to suffer as you are.

    Keep focussed on the positives and all the best!