Hello from Edward.

Edd Member Posts: 2
edited 28. Nov 2023, 14:05 in Living with arthritis

I was diagnosed with RA on 11th Janurary 1999, I have been cared for by the same Rhumatologist ever since, blood tests every month, dispite a GP trying to change me to once every 2 months.

In 2005 I cycled to Brussells for the British Legion sponsored bike ride, I had improved massivliy.

I have since got the addons, Sorjoen Syndrome and Angolosing Spongalitis, The SS mildly and the SA, may be the reason for my stomach disorders.

I elected to take early retirement due to ill health, there was a tax incentive, but looking back, it was a mistake, when you have no need to struggle, you tend to give up.

My marriage failed and I am now 67 years old, on my own and lonely.

I hope the moderators will correct my poor spelling

Kind regards,



  • AlanM
    AlanM Member Posts: 46

    Hi Edd and welcome to the forum, it's good to see you here.

    You have been living with a Rheumatoid Arthritis for over 20 years and have a number of other arthritis-related conditions. Having taken early retirement and following the break up of your marriage, you're feeling detached and experiencing loneliness.

    Coming into the forum is a good start and hopefully you will find people here who have some understanding of your situation and can share their experience. Of course, with the pandemic and the impact of lockdown and distancing, this is a particularly difficult time to get among people and make new contacts and friends.

    Although it was developed to help people deal with the 'January blues', there is some advice in this link which is worth looking at.

    However, the forum is a great place to share (and please don't worry about spelling, your message was clear and concise) and it might be a good idea to spend some time here and engage with some of the topics. Joining in is what matters.

    Good luck, Edd and we look forward to seeing you here as an active new member.

    Best wishes


  • Mike1
    Mike1 Member Posts: 1,992

    Greetings, I am 62 with OA and live alone, added to that my driving licence has been withdrawn by the DVLA on disability grounds so I cannot get out and about as I used to. As a wheelchair user buses are not viable either. I would recommend that you find something you enjoy doing, such as a hobby or two to help fill the days. I would also recommend getting a cat to look after which will also bring some joy.

  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 27,719

    Hello Edd and welcome from me too. I’ve had RA for many years so you have my sympathy especially if you’ve also developed Sjogrens and AS. That’s a lot to deal with.

    To the best of my knowledge AS doesn’t cause stomach problems but virtually any of the meds that we take can. I was on anti-inflammatories for years and they messed my stomach up so much that I now have to take omeprazole every day (topped up with Gaviscon) although I’ve not had an anti-inflammatory for years. Do you take a stomach-protecting med? If not it might be worth having a word with your GP or rheumatologist.

    I had a little wry smile when I read “when you have no need to struggle, you tend to give up.”. I think we struggle every day but I do know what you mean. We all need something to live for, something that encourages us to get up each morning. As Nietzsche wrote “’He who has a why to live can bear almost any how.’ I think Mike was making this point when he suggested hobbies and / or a cat. Mind you, if you're considering a cat I'd be wary. Ours was lovely but some insist on winding themselves in and out of your legs - a nightmare if standing is hard to begin with.

    Retirement is a big deal for very many people. My husband agonised for a year or two before taking the plunge. He has never regretted it but he is very active, both physically and in other ways – helping the local foodbank and church. If, in a short space of time, you have ‘lost’ your job and wife and a great deal of independence and gained only pain and disability it’s only natural to feel very down about life. I have always made a point of taking up something new, and ‘doable’, for everything I’ve had to let go of. It’s led me into some interesting things – driving (I never drove a car until I got a Motability one), Riding for the Disabled, learning how to create a website and news sheets for the latter and later church. There is always plenty we can do and usually plenty of people wanting us to do it. In my spare time I’m addicted to cricket and baseball.

    Anyway, you’re not alone now that you’ve found us. Have a look round and join in anywhere.

    If at first you don't succeed, then skydiving definitely isn't for you.
    Steven Wright
  • Lilymary
    Lilymary Member Posts: 1,742

    Hi Edd, welcome to the crew.

    I'm sorry you've been having such a tough time, and that it's lead you to a difficult place. It's easy to feel left out when it's so hard to get around, as well as the huge changes in your personal circumstances. Then the lockdown put the tin lid on it for many people. When you're in pain and feeling low, it sometimes seems easier to just stay home where it's safe, but no good comes of that either.

    I used to be really active like you, it was a big part of my life, and I miss it terribly. I'm self-employed and still working, just about, but my income has been slashed as a result of reduced mobility, pain and exhaustion.

    The link Alan provided gives some useful tips, but making the first steps can be the hardest. I'm rubbish at getting out and meeting people, but I have occasionally forced myself to join the odd evening class, a bit of volunteering or meddling in local affairs. Sometimes it comes to naught, but sometimes I have met a few lovely people that I clicked with and who have stayed friends. Taking up new hobbies is another route into meeting different people, and with time on your hands, this is a good opportunity to try out stuff you'd never thought of before, or those little ambitions you kept putting on the back burner.

    I love gardening, and I have a philosophy that "every dead plant is a purchasing opportunity". Or put even more bluntly, when a relationship ended in my younger days, I saw it as "an opportunity to trade up". Try to look for some positives in life, rather than focus on all that you've lost. It's hard I know, and I hate "fridge magnet psychology", but you may find it leads you to some interesting places.

    Who knows what will be happening with evening classes for a while, but it might be worth you seeing if there's an arthritis support group near you, or some other local activities. Failing that, I've even made a few friends through online activities and forums, but nothing beats getting out and actually meeting people. I''ve mostly found that everyone else was as terrified as I was, or wondering what on earth they were doing there, when meeting at classes and events etc, so don't let those feelings stop you.

    Hang on it there, if you keep your eyes open, something will come up to get you started again.