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Rheumatoid arthritis

A childhood infection has given me rheumatoid artritis

My Rheumatoid arthritis was triggered by an infection following childbirth. It only affects the finger joints in my right hand. It is worse in the morning when my finger joints look swollen. It causes pain and stiffness doing simple tasks such as holding an umbrella or holding the hoover attachment when it will ache after a few minutes. I also have mild osteoarthritis of the knees triggered by running a mini half marathon without sufficient training. This causes me pain if I cross my legs in a certain position, otherwise it is a condition that causes no problems unless I do aerobic exercise which can cause a flare up so bad it is too painful for me to go up or down steps so this has adversely affected my fitness levels.

Emma, UK

My story behind setting up the NRAS (National Rheumatoid Arthritis Society)

My father had ankylosing spondylitis with active peripheral arthritis and iritis and was severely ill all his life. He died early from a stroke at age 62. Despite this family history, when I started to experience symptoms of a painful, swollen knee, it didn’t occur to me that I might have inflammatory arthritis. My parents’ generation kept their health problems private and didn’t really share their difficulties with their children. So although I was aware my father had something called spondylitis and was taking various drugs, I didn’t really understand what this meant, what caused it, or what the future might hold for him, or me.  Read more...

Ailsa, UK