Hello from Emily

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

Hello guys, I'm still overwhelmed, currently in the process of getting an official diagnosis so bear with me if I'm a little chaotic.

A bit about me, I'm 22 and still at university pursuing BSc in Psychology but hoping to enrol for a PhD in Clinical Psych in a few years if everything goes well.

I was diagnosed with Autoimmune Hepatitis last year and got it under control only recently. I've been experiencing elbow stiffness and pain in my both arms and my liver consultant said it's likely to be RA as autoimmune conditions tend to grace us with their presence in pairs or groups - something I never realised until now. I got an x-ray done which didn't show any changes and now I'm waiting for the MRI scan and a blood test. Everything is so overwhelming at the moment I can barely hold my tears. Will I be able to function normally? Will I be able to be independent?

I am glad to be able to join this community. Please - if you could share some positive experiences, do let me know. I am feeling very blue, scared and lost.

Sending hugs,



  • Brynmor
    Brynmor Member Posts: 1,755

    Hi @emilia welcome to the Online Community, lovely to see you here.

    Good to hear that you now have your Autoimmune Hepatitis under some sort of control and hope that the tests you are having done all turn out OK. It is all very shocking when it appears to come on so suddenly and you get very worried about what will happen in the future.

    Many of our members have gone through the very stages you are experiencing and have come to terms with their new circumstances, including deciding that no matter what, they will still achieve what they set out to do.

    The Versus Arthritis website has a collection of stories that you might like to take a look at, including Keri's Story.

    Do join in across the community discussions, ask questions and call in to chat and let us know how you are getting on.

    All best wishes


  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 27,726

    Try not to let it get on top of you, Em, and get you down. You might not have RA but, if you do, I've had it for years and had a good life. I was diagnosed at 15, got a degree, despite the odd flare, married, had two kids and now pre-covid at lleast, travel to California every year to see one son and grandson.

    Try not to get ahead of yourself. One day at a time. And good luck.

    If at first you don't succeed, then skydiving definitely isn't for you.
    Steven Wright
  • emilia
    emilia Member Posts: 4

    Thank you for your help guys, I appreciate it a lot. I'm in a difficult situation at the moment, upcoming final year of uni, moving, and on top of this realisation that my mother is toxic and emotionally abusive. It's a lot but I'm hoping better days will come someday.

  • Mike1
    Mike1 Member Posts: 1,992
  • Lilymary
    Lilymary Member Posts: 1,743

    Sending hugs Emilia, it sounds like you have a lot on your plate. See if student services can provide some sort of counselling to help you find your way through your family relationships. When I did my degree (a zillion years ago) as a mature student I was suffering from fall out of the end of a long term relationship, and the student services counsellors were life savers.

    Meanwhile, try to focus on your studies. Odd as it may sound, you may find this helps you with your pain management, as taking your mind off pain is as good as analgesics sometimes. It will also take your mind off you problems at home, so it may be a godsend in disguise.

    Otherwise, be kind to yourself. The final year of your course will be demanding mentally, physically and emotionally, but it's the stuff character is built from, and you will get through it. Hell, if I did, anyone can! It seems a lot at the time but it will be ok. But this will take its toll on your RA as well, so do make sure you make time to look after yourself. Almost timetable it in. If you're having a flare up, do your best to rest and let it settle. RA can cause fatigue as well, so try to rein back on the party time so that you don't burn out physically, as it can be hard to claw back from that.

    Don't despair, it will all come out right, but do look after yourself.

  • emilia
    emilia Member Posts: 4

    Hello guys,

    It's been a while but I hope I can reactivate the thread.

    I got my official diagnosis of seronegative RA and started taking Sulfasalazine to handle the inflammation. I understand that it takes a while to notice any effects (it's been 4 weeks so far and no change yet) but I'm glad at least I'm doing something in the right direction.

    There are better days but now I'm going through a flare which is making me feel really scared and frustrated, especially in the light of the covid situation. Sometimes I catch myself looking at someone my age and wondering what life was like when my joints were healthy.

    I just wanted to send a huge thank you for your uplifting comments, I will definitely be a regular visitor. There is a lot of embarrassment in me for being ill at such young age and I feel like I'm not equally worthy as a person comparing to my healthy peers, especially thinking about a romantic relationship with someone at some point. Loneliness really got a hold on me and it feels like it will forever be like that. My nan passed away this year - I miss her warmth dearly.

    But I definitely agree with your advice @Lilymary, work can be a saviour and I'm very grateful to be able to study in the comfort of my room.

    Sending hugs to everyone, hope you're all doing well!