So right now I have an injury and I can't run. It looks like my injury is from doing too much running, especially hill runs. Because of my Rheumatoid Arthritis, I am more susceptible to injuries and problems. It's frustrating because I am fit enough to run far, and pretty fast, but my legs and feet can't take the pounding. I've been signed off exercise for five days. I am on day two and I am already being a bit grumpy, and the guilt has set in.
Recently, I've been doing a load of stuff around RA. I've done some interviews and worked with The National Rheumatoid Arthritis Society (RNAS) to raise awareness and break down barriers to better, faster care for patients. I've been connecting with loads of awesome people on Twitter and Instagram who are fellow RA sufferers. We've been sharing stories, and tips. I've been called inspirational. But I feel like a fraud, because between and you me, I'm bloody knackered.
I have so many people contact me to tell me thier RA stories. My heary hurts for all of them because I know what it feels like to feel lonely and alone with this awful illness. Below is an interview I recently did for an RA magazine. I thought I'd share it here too, it might help shed some light in the dark.
I am a 34-year-old mum of three and I have Rheumatoid Arthritis, an auto-immune disorder that effects joints, causing swelling, stiffness, pain and exhaustion. When people hear the word 'arthritis' they often think I mean a sore knee or a dicky hip, like your nanna has in cold weather. RA is a chronic auto-immune disease that affects the whole body. There is no cure. When the Specialist diagnosed me, I thought she had made a mistake. I was 30, had just had my third child and exercised five times a week. When she went on to list all the medications I would need to take and their possible side effects my head swam. My whole life changed in fifteen minutes.
So after qualifying for a clinical trial, I had my first infusion of the Anti TNF drug Tocilizumab. The trial is to see if the drug can be taken without Mexthotrexate too.
I don't know if I will be one of the people who has their Meth reduced. I am grateful to be on the trial either way. The people who run the Brighton and Sussex Clinical Instigation and Research Unit are amazing.