Great sympathy with the messages I’ve read.


I was diagnosed with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis when I was 8. Spent a year in hospital. Flat on my back for 7 months with my arms and legs in plaster. No pillow. My long hair was cut. Visiting was for half an hour three times a week. Quite barbaric by today’s standards but at the age of 73 I’m still here 😊. Reading some of the posts my heart bleeds. It’s such an insidious disease and pretty much invisible. Four years ago I was told I also had osteoarthritis. I think I’ve done pretty well but now I am struggling. My hands are very deformed ( but great for holding a mobile phone!) and packaging is the bane of my life. I have just got a Blue Badge which will help. I feel that lockdown aged me at least 10 years as do a lot of my friends. My family all live abroad and feel pretty helpless. Thank you for letting me post this. Always happy to hear from others. All of you take care.


  • anneb82
    anneb82 Member Posts: 317

    Hello @Maddy

    Welcome to the online community and thank you for joining us.

    So you were diagnosed with Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis when you were 8 years old and you are now 73. Four years ago you were diagnosed with Osteoarthritis which you are now struggling with. Your hands seem to be the area that you most struggle with. Packaging is the bane of your life but you have just gotten a Blue Badge which you think will help your quality of life. You feel like lockdown aged you which is a common agreement between you and your friends. Your family all live abroad so you can feel pretty helpless at times.

    I was also diagnosed with RA at a young age so can relate to your early experiences. Things have certainly come along with since then with regards to treatment and drugs available. Unfortunately, I don't think our symptoms will ever change. To then add Osteoarthritis to what you already have to deal with must have been quite frustrating and another adjustment to your life. You sound like you have a very positive outlook though which I think really does help on a day to day basis. It can't be easy to have your family living abroad but it does sound like you have a lovely support system with your friends and now that you are a member here, you have a new support network available to you whenever you need us.

    I've attached some information below that I think may be of use to you so please do have a read when you have the chance.

    I hope these are of help to you. Please do let us know how you are getting on and do also keep getting involved in the community. We are always looking to make new friends and are here to support you in anyway that we can.

    Take care

    Anne (Moderator)

  • cardyfreak
    cardyfreak Member Posts: 11
    edited 23. Apr 2022, 10:02

    Hey Maddie, I suspect you’re one of those people for whom there hasn’t been a hard time invented that you cannot endure. And sometimes that’s the best any of us can do; endure. We endure and we look forward to a brighter day, because we refuse to be beaten. And lady, that brighter day is just around the corner 🙌🏻

  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 27,726

    Well done you, Maddie, for sticking it out with such good humour for so long. I'm slightly (only sllghtly😉) older than you and a few years later in diagnosis but, yes, things were different back then, there were no provisions or concessions and you sank or swam on your own. You are clearly an excellent 'swimmer' so good for you.

    You've done well to avoid OA for so long and it's interesting how we are all so different. I positively hate my mobile phone. The landline is fine - long and thick and I can grip it just about enough to hold it to my left ear with my right hand, but the mobile is too broad so I use it only for WhatsApp video calls (son in USA), internet and texting if vital. Packaging should come with a health warning. By the time I get into some I've used up my energy for the next hour or so not to mention my extensive range of expletives.😊

    If at first you don't succeed, then skydiving definitely isn't for you.
    Steven Wright