Recently diagnosed college student

annor Member Posts: 2
edited 28. Nov 2023, 14:07 in Living with arthritis

As the title suggests, I’ve just been diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis. I’m in second year of college with mock exams coming up in a couple days and I have no idea how I’ll be able to write for 3 hours straight, and on some days twice in the next two weeks. I’ve been struggling with hand pain silently and struggled just writing notes on lesson and I don’t know what to do or who to contact for assistance. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.


  • Poppyjane
    Poppyjane Moderator Posts: 780

    Hello @annor and welcome to the online community.

    As well as being recently diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis you have mock exams for the next two weeks. You have come to a supportive, safe place to look for information and help. Some of which just put on the back burner until after your exams, don't get distracted!

    Firstly, may I suggest that you go to your Health Centre and ask for a dispensation letter from your doctor and give that to your personal tutor and your lecturers for each exam . This should allow you extra time in each exam . An alternative might be that it is possible for you to dictate your answers? This might save your hands.

    Secondly work out how to best care for your hands and wrists e.g. heat , cold, splints, cream (capsaicin cream or ibuprofen cream but make sure you read the instructions)

    One of the crucial things to focus on in the next couple of weeks is to get enough sleep. Fatigue is a big issue with RA and if you are adding to it with extra stress your immune system will be vulnerable so take breaks from your revision, get some fresh air, and try not too over do it.

    The young peoples community is a thriving group so when you have time to browse the community (post exams) get in touch to see if you can join in with someone in your area.

    I hope you feel able to make contact with your College health staff, we will be thinking of you during the next two weeks and beyond so get in touch when you find some time after your exams.

    Take Care


    If it would be helpful to talk to someone ring the Helpline 0800 5200 520

    Monday - Friday 9.00a.m. - 6.00p.m.

  • HaroldAustin

    My time in medical school was unforgettable, especially when I was doing research and writing on the topic of arthritis. Studying this disease has given me a deeper understanding of its causes, symptoms, and treatments. This work has expanded my knowledge of rheumatology and inspired me to seek new knowledge and contribute to the health of people suffering from arthritis.

  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 27,723

    Hi @annor ,

    Excellent advice from Mod @Poppyjane . I'd also say contact your Head of Department and find out who is in charge of pastoral care.

    Personally, I'd say there's no way you could, or should, do all that writing. When I was first diagnosed with RA I was doing O-levels (think GCSEs) and only allowed into school when doing exams with no more than one per day. When it came to Finals at Uni, I had a private room with someone to write for me. That was back in 1967 and there are much better provisions now for students with health problems so do make sure you take advantage of them. And good luck!

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