Being Brave and Joining Online!

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

Hi Everyone,

I'm Sarah, 33, and have arthritis. There's a sentence I find hard to say or type! I was diagnosed Juvenile Arthritis aged 6, Rheumatoid in my late teens/early 20s and last week diagnosed Osteo in my knee. I wouldn't use the word 'suffered' but I have 'coped' with this pretty much on my own throughout my life because I'm embarrassed. I know that can get backs up. Lately I've really been finding things difficult and have bitten the bullet, talking to my colleagues and employers (I'm a teacher) They have been amazing and so, so supportive- not to mention shocked that I'd never mentioned this before and have been getting on.

I've been married for one year, and worry that this condition will affect my relationship, my child and my job but then I realise that I'm listening to the wrong people and need to get up and go.

I hope other people are feeling more confident in admitting or acknowledging their condition that myself. This has been a big step for me, writing this!

Take care!



  • Brynmor
    Brynmor Member Posts: 1,755

    Hi @SarahJS and welcome to the Online Community, lovely to have you join us.

    Having coped with arthritis for more than 25 years without letting on, finally saying that you have it is a fantastic achievement. Absolutely well done for speaking to your colleagues - not an easy step to take if you are not sure of their reaction.

    With your long experience with arthritis it would be great to hear what works for you in daily situations that people can often find difficult - what practical situations that you have managed to overcome.

    Do join in across the Community, ask questions or just call in for a chat to say how you are getting on. We do understand what it is like to live with arthritis and will always be here.

    Best wishes


  • wazz42
    wazz42 Member Posts: 233
    edited 19. Dec 2020, 13:14

    Welcome from me too @SarahJS

    My journey with arthritis isn’t as long as yours, but telling others is very familiar! However there are lots of things out there that can help us, from simple like a kettle tipper, to classroom/computer help to make your life easier, maybe a high stool so you can sit rather than stand. By talking to your colleagues you can access those. No cost to your school either.

    Another thing to do now you are being brave - don’t feel you have to do everything, let go of the need to peel the spuds, negotiate over housework, I find the vacuum difficult so my oh does that and so on.

    Heres a booklet about working and arthritis

    I hope that’s helpful


    wazz42 x

  • SarahJS
    SarahJS Member Posts: 14

    I've got to say that I'm enjoying being a part of this online community. Things like this are so much more important than ever before considering the current situation we're in.

    I'm a primary school teacher and have spent all day in school today, preparing for the children to return on Wednesday. This meant that I was sat in a three hour meeting, sweating under a face mask and listening to someone drone on for an age while I extended my to-do list. I've recently been experiencing new pain in my left hip. This hasn't been a problem area before and I have gotten by with a hot water bottle to take the edge off while I sit and work on a night. The meeting was excrusiating today- all I did was fidget so I got by this by going for a walk to 'loosen up' on the tea break and popping for a toilet break in between. The movement really helped.

    We've obviously just been informed of the latest national lockdown, so tomorrow I will be going into school to prepare for some sort of strange schooling until the February half term. I worry about this for my physical health as I'm expected to sit at a desk most of the day (I've been having some real trouble with my hands and wrists typing too) but also my mental health as I really struggled with juggling the workload and a toddler in the last lockdown.

    We are, of course, mostly in the same boat and I know we will get through this. I made a big step this evening, confiding in my team about my mental concerns and urge others to take this step if they need to. It's just as important as your physical help. Although there are many times that we feel alone, there is always someone ready to listen- even strangers will lend you a helping hand (or ear).


  • GillM
    GillM Member Posts: 1

    Hi Sarah. This is the first time I have been in here, I was diagnosed with osteoarthritis in my left hip in November last year, I am 58.

    I haven't told many people because like you I am embarrassed.

    It is getting more and more painful but I try and hide it.

    Reading your post has helped me to see that i do need to talk to people and get help.

    Thank you


  • chrisb
    chrisb Moderator Posts: 691

    Hi @GillM , welcome to the versus arthritis forum. I note you joined in November and that this is your first post.

    You have osteoarthritis in your left hip, diagnosed very recently, and it’s getting more painful.

    If you’ve not already visited our main website then you may find it a useful source of information. The following links will I hope be of interest:

    I hope that having dialogue with other forum members continues to be of benefit.

    Best Wishes

    ChrisB (Moderator)

    Need more help - call our Helpline on 0800 5200 520 Monday to Friday 9am to 6pm

  • Trowton_92

    Hi Sarah,

    I completely understand and with you on feeling embarrassed for telling others about Athritis. It's so difficult for others to know what it's actually like and that it isn't just for 'old people'

    You sound like you have a super supportive partner and child who, i'm sure really aren't embarrassed by your condition. I'm 28 and have had JIA since I was 3. I find it really hard with being single and having to tell dates of my condition as I have a limp due to currently waiting for a hip replacement. Finding this very frustrating as I've never had major joint issues and always a keen runner.

    Yoga can be really helpful to stretch it out :)

  • SarahJS
    SarahJS Member Posts: 14

    Hi @Trowton_92

    I'm so glad that someone else 'gets it'. It doesn't matter how many times people who already know you tell you that there's nothing to be embarrassed about, you just can't help it sometimes. I dance as a hobby which has always kept me going but lockdown has done me absolutely no favours at all. I've continued to stay as active as possible in other ways but it just doesn't have the same impact!

    Fingers crossed we'll get back to some sort of normality soon, but in the meantime I've found that the online community here is very friendly and welcoming. There are so many people to chat to and who are willing to help!

    Take care,