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I dug out my gym bag last night. It was just over a year ago that I hid it away, unable to bear its garish brightness mocking me from the bottom of the wardrobe. It was still full of my old life. Sweatbands, running socks, toe-cushions and headphones. I tipped them all out and replaced them with a towel and a swimming costume, and that is all.

So we want back to see the specialist yesterday. The results of the bone scans show the RA has moved to my elbow, wrists, fingers, heel and shoulders. Deep down I knew this, because they bloody hurt, but when she said it, I felt two things.

One of the hardest things about RA is trying to explain it to someone else. When you do not have pain and inflammation in your joints, you cannot understand how each step is like walking through quicksand, and your hands feel like a bunch of bananas. Useless.

One of the things I find hardest about having RA, is how lonely it makes me feel. Because I look more or less the same as I used to (unless you look at my feet) it's hard to see how different I have become.

I'm also aware of how boring I am.

I have Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA). When people hear the words 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.