“After being diagnosed I thought ‘finally, people recognise the pain I’m experiencing’.”
Amanda was diagnosed with palindromic arthritis 30 years ago, when she was struggling to hold her children’s hands.
“It started with extremely painful hands. My children, who were under 5 at the time, wanted to hold my hand but I found it too painful.
“I went to my GP who initially told me to take ibuprofen, but my condition only worsened.
“Eventually I went to see a rheumatologist who diagnosed me with palindromic arthritis after several tests.
“I was relieved to get the diagnosis. I had so much pain in my hands and feet but physically you couldn’t see anything was wrong. I thought ‘finally, people recognise the pain I’m experiencing’.”
Don’t let it define you
“I’ve never made a secret of my condition. When I was working, I made sure that my employer was aware of my condition. That meant that certain aids were brought for me that helped me to work to the best of my ability. Read more about aids and adaptations.
“My family have always been understanding of how it affects me - that I move slower than other people or might not be able to do some things.
“My husband has always been there to give me a hug, or look after me if I need a bit of help. He enables me to keep going.”
Keeping moving is so important to me
“Over the years I’ve never allowed my condition to stop me doing the things I want to do. I’m determined not to let it define me.
“My mobility is pretty poor these days as I also have osteoarthritis, but I make a point of walking – 10,000 steps – everyday!
“It’s a huge achievement for me to reach that target – especially on those days when my symptoms are particularly bad. I’m a great believer in the mantra ‘use it or lose it’ so I keep myself moving as much as possible!
“If I could give anyone with arthritis advice or words of encouragement, I would say: you’re still you. Don’t let your condition define you and try and stay positive.”
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