Hello, and a right old moan!

Hi everyone,

Just wanted to say hi, as I'm a newbie, having just joined today.

I wanted to have a good old moan about all the little things that I can't do with what I believe is RH (I've given blood tests, and had ultrasounds of my hands and elbow, but still awaiting diagnosis from the rheumatologist). Not only to get it all off my chest, but also in the hope that I can compare with anyone reading this, how mild, or bad, my symptoms are:

  1. I can't bend my left elbow fully, or twist it in a certain way, which means I couldn't even put my long hair into a ponytail, or style if for my daughter's wedding. I've therefore just been to the hairdresser to have it cut into a much shorter and manageable style. I also can't put on earrings that have a backing.
  2. I can't grip with my hands, so twisting off jar lids can be quite painful, and nigh-on impossible.
  3. I can't sit for long periods, as inactivity seems to make my feet worse (difficult, when I have a sit-down office job).
  4. I can't put on lots of my close-fitting shoes, as my feet have swollen.
  5. I struggle with putting on and taking off my coat.
  6. I can't use scissors to cut thick things, as I get pain in the base of my thumbs.
  7. I can't twist the gear on my bicycle, so I stay in the same gear when cycling.
  8. In the car, I can't press and change the gear stick to reverse with just one hand, I need to use both hands.

Interestingly, the pain comes and goes. For months I had pain in my knees which meant getting up from a sitting or lying position was really hard - but that knee pain has now gone, to be replaced with pain in the balls of my feet. When the foot pain went, that was replaced by pain in my elbow. The hotspots move around! I now have knobbly fingers where there is/was inflammation, so I don't like showing my hands.

I feel like I'm 90 years old, but I'm 54!

If you made it reading this far, thank you! Grumble over. I'd be interested to hear how RH has impacted your lives, in a practical way.


  • Anna
    Anna Moderator Posts: 731

    Hi @jscanjscan and welcome to the online community,

    You've come to the right place to have a moan - all our members have experience of living with some form of arthritis, and can certainly understand the need to have a grumble sometimes! Everyone here is friendly and supportive and I know will make you welcome.

    You mention that you have been diagnosed with RH - I presume you mean rheumatoid arthritis? I’ve had RA for 40 years and I recognise each one of your symptoms, and I’m sure many others can too.

    Versus Arthritis have put together a useful site especially for those newly diagnosed. Here’s the link below - it talks about symptoms, treatments and also suggests ways you can help manage your condition:

    Do keep posting, ask questions or join in any conversations you feel comfortable with. It’s great to have you here!

    Anna ( Mod)

  • Woofy
    Woofy Member Posts: 133

    Hi there.

    welcome to the club. I was diagnosed with R A last year. I have been to the hospital 3 times and still getting my meds adjusted.it does take a bit of time to figure out how to do everyday stuff, that you once took for granted. The pain often limits what you can do on certain days. I was having problems raising my arms, as my R A is in my shoulders, and various other places.

    I now dry my hair with my head downwards, which hurts less. Wearing stretchy t shirts jumpers etc helps too. I feed my arms in, then kind of wriggle into my clothes lol. Coats aren’t easy, but I buy a size bigger, so it’s more roomy. I bought a plastic thing that grips jars in Tesco’s pound section which is really useful. Like you I struggle to get close fitting shoes boots on, so have bought some wide Doc Martin type shoes with laces, that are really comfy, and a bit trendy so my daughter told me.

    it does take a while to do stuff sometimes, but it’s about finding what works for you. I’ve moved a lot of stuff around in kitchen cupboards and stuff so it’s easy to reach. Still finding new ways to do things. You will go through every emotion under the sun, but you will find your way. Good luck.