18 with Arthritis

Hi guys, just got diagnosed with RA today. It was during my A levels that I randomly started getting pains everywhere. It got to the point where I couldn’t walk and was limping to school every morning. I can’t work cause of the pain so all I do is sit at home and sleep. Anyone else in a similar position ? Does it get better ? I haven’t started treatment yet and haven’t told any of my friends and family about it because I feel embarrassed.


  • Ellen
    Ellen Moderator Posts: 1,569

    Hi @N_xox55 Welcome to the online Community.

    I see you have literally just been diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis after being in what sounds like considerable pain doing your A levels. I have to say well done for doing them at all.

    Unfortunately the Young People's Community tends to be quite quiet on here so I am going to give you this link to look at:

    and also give you this information to read it has been specifically designed for people who are recently diagnosed:

    This thread is a recent one which might be worth a quick read we do get young people posting and of course everyone here understands pain so do please ask any questions you want to.

    I hope that when you have had time to get your own head around this diagnosis you will reach out to your friends and family for their support.

    I don't know whether you'd want to ring and speak to a person, but just in case you do we have a helpline:

    Best wishes


  • frogmorton
    frogmorton Member Posts: 29,236

    Hi @N_xox55

    I am old....trust me I am!

    But my daughter is, (referred to I think in the last link Ellen posted), she had cancer at 16, then hip surgery and a shoulder replacement at 18 and 19 due to the treatment for her cancer. She is doing well now at 24 working and happy.

    I am so sorry this has happened to you. It shouldn't have, but it has. This is so unfair. Please do talk to someone a good friend maybe or your Mum (she will be worried already) try hard to get up every day and not spend all day in bed. It can be easy to get depressed with a long term condition my Lucy did just this for a long time.

    It really should get better when you start treatment and the right meds combination is sorted out for you. I was lucky that it started for me when I was in my very early 40s, but I did initially think my life was over. I found this community and did not want to be 'one of them' I cried and cried over every kind genuine post I received. I wouldn't plan anything; I was (the opposite to you) an Arthritis bore I worried all the time. BUT here I am now 14 years later still on my feet life has been absolutely fine - not what I expected, but really good.

    Sorry you haven't posted to speak to me, but I just wanted to tell you things WILL get better they really will just hang on in there and please start talking huge ((()))

    Toni xx

  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 27,686

    Hey you, there's absolutely nothing to be ashamed of in having RA. I got it at 15 and I, too, remember limping to school, leaning on my friends. I did O-levels, A-levels and uni as have several people on here. Find someone you trust and talk to them. Don't be alone with it. And, as @frogmorton wisely says, try not to stay in bed. I admit, even the doc told me at first to stay at home when I wasn't doing my exams but it's always best to keep things gently moving.

    Like @frogmorton my life has not been as I might have expected but it's been so good. I have a great husband (met at uni so he's never known me without RA), two great sons (either side of 50 now) and grandsons who keep me entertained.

    Things will improve. Do check out Arthur's Place as Ellen suggested. You are not alone. RA will give you some bad times but also some terrific friends and insights. You can do this. You really can.

    If at first you don't succeed, then skydiving definitely isn't for you.
    Steven Wright
  • Cassienova
    Cassienova Member Posts: 19

    @N_xox55 Unfortunately I am not 18 anymore but I got diagnosed at 25 (27 now) with inflammatory arthritis and I understand how terrifying it is.

    Happy to chat if you need to :)