Your stories

  • Minority Male Statistic

    I feel very honoured to have been asked to write a small piece for NRAS outlining my story. I am 43 years old and am one of the minority male statistics who has Rheumatoid Arthritis. Wow this feels like AA – not that I have ever attended! Whilst you would guess from my surname I come from Greek origins, but was born and raised in the UK.

  • Taplow Revisited

    Lynda recounts her memories of life with JIA. It’s June 1953, around the time of Queen Elizabeth’s coronation oath. Imagine being 3 years old and you’re travelling to London with your mum and dad, by train as you don’t have a car, whilst your two sisters have to stay with relatives. But this wasn’t the start of a big adventure. I hadn’t been feeling very well and my knees were incredibly swollen, so I was being taken to the Canadian Red Cross Memorial Hospital at Taplow in Buckinghamshire. A long way from my family home in Nottingham.

  • My Life with RA

    I have had RA for 36 years. It all started when I was 22. I was working as a temporary gardener in the park, weeding, digging, mowing, hoeing, pruning roses and driving a tractor. My work mates also expected me to lift the huge teapot to make everyone’s tea! It was a real struggle, my toes, wrist and fingers were so painful every day, especially in the mornings, but I had to keep going as all my work mates were chauvinistic males and I didn’t want to confirm their stereotypes about pathetic females! At night I put my hands under the pillows to try and numb the pain so that I could sleep.

  • The Artist

    At the age of 15 I woke one morning to find my feet had seized up. The only way I could describe it at the time was that they felt broken. Within days my hands had locked. The doctors put it down to growing pains but my mother persisted and eventually I was diagnosed at 17 with rheumatoid arthritis. I was studying art at college at the time and was devastated. Since the age of eight all I ever wanted to be was an artist.

  • Juggling with RA!

    When I was asked to write about being a performer with RA I wasn't sure where to start. The whole experience was so complicated and painful I was worried that it would come out in one huge agony-tinged stream of consciousness.

  • Donna's Story

    Becoming a mum was the best thing that ever happened to me and to develop RA so soon after has been hard to deal with I first became affected by RA in February 2009, 9 months after having my first child. Becoming a mum in 2008 was the best thing that ever happened to me and to develop RA so soon after has been hard to deal with. I have since learnt that pregnancy can be a trigger factor in developing RA for some women.

  • Learning to walk with Pacerpoles

    I know I have been lucky to remain free of Rheumatoid Arthritis until I was sixty – my mother was stricken with it at 48 and was wheelchair bound within five years. I was shocked and distressed by her rapid deterioration.

  • Nicola takes on the Great North Run in aid of NRAS

    I’ve always considered myself to be an active and healthy person, but shortly after giving birth to my daughter in 2006, I awoke with the most excruciating pain in my shoulder. It was as if a red hot poker was being twisted inside me. After a day of taking painkillers, the agony eventually subsided as quickly as it had arrived. Sadly, by the next morning, the same pain had reappeared in my other shoulder, although once again it faded just as quickly.

  • My experience of working with RA

    Aside from the shock of having been diagnosed with RA at the age of 34, the worry surrounding my career and if I was going to have to give it up was weighing heavily on my mind. I was diagnosed with RA in October 2010, two weeks after I had had major back surgery to correct a prolapsed disc. Having to inform my employer that, after already having 7 weeks off for the operation I was now facing an uncertain future and the possibility of more time off was more than I could process at such a daunting and uncertain time.

  • Life with a Canine Partner

    Lorraine Harrison, 46, from Plymouth in Devon was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis when she was 18. She is married to a Naval Officer in the Submarine Service who is sometimes away from home for long periods, and she has a young daughter, Abbie, to look after. She was unable to get dressed or undressed by herself, and many other simple tasks became a real struggle. However, help came from an unexpected source... in the shape of a golden retriever called Moray.