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Four words that changed me…

“You have Rhumatoid Arthritis”…I was 17 working in a dog groomers when I first started noticing the pain and stiffness in all my body, I thought it was due to lifting dogs all day and being on my feet and didn’t think anything else of it. In April last year I moved out with my partner and was studying my Level 3 Animal Management until I could hardly move on a morning, it would take me around 30 minutes to an hour to get out of bed and then my partner would have to help me get dressed. I was diagnosed with Sero-negative Rheumatoid Arthritis at the age of 18 and my life has come to a halt. I was given different pain killers such as Naproxen and Cocodamol (Which I found out I was allergic too, yet another hospital trip). I was then given Methotrexate 6 tablets once a week and Hydroxychloroquine 2 times a day, this wasn’t doing anything so my methotrexate was changed from 6 tablets to 8 tablets once a week and I was also diagnosed with a Lupus crossover but again the tablets weren’t doing anything so I’m currently on Metoject pens, I’ve been on the pens for 2weeks now (so two injections) and both times I’ve been extremely poorly around 4-5hours later…It feels like it’s never going to end, I’m not in a stable position where I can work, I don’t know anyone my age that is also suffering with RA/lupus so I’m feeling very Isolated, it would be nice to speak to someone that was once in this position or someone that is my age and still is.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.


  • poppieimogen
    2 years ago

    Hi AlexLoui,
    I 100% understand your situation and I want you to know you aren’t alone in this! I was rushed into hospital in March 2016 at the age of 20 because I collapsed at home with pain! I was taken to the hospital and had a very high heart rate, high fever, and nasty infection caused by underlying RA. I was diagnosed with RA in May 2016. Now 21, I am finally coming to terms with everything (but believe me I’ve been in very dark places to get here). In just a year I have been on four treatments, and visited the hospital once a week since. My doctor told me that I am the worst case she has seen in all her years, and even called in other experts for advice – my year has not been easy. I pushed everyone away, lost sight of myself, quit my job, and even considered dropping out of university. One month ago everything changed! I was introduced (via urgent referral) to a biologic drug, and overnight everything changed. It’s very hard to believe it, but I can only explain it as medical magic. In the space of a month everything has become clear! I am doing well at uni, I have a new job, and I can party with my friends at weekends!! (Most important obviously! haha). I get good days and bad days, and I still suffer with tiredness but i’d rather have that than excruciating pain and abnormally large purple joints! I won’t go in to detail about how ill I was, because I am trying to look forward and not back, but I want you to know (as hard as it is) that there is something out there that will help you eventually, it just takes time to find it.
    I know what its like to have friends that don’t understand it, and what it is like to feel alone, like your life is older, like a burden to my parents, or why I don’t deserve to have this disease. There are always people out there that understand!

    You don’t know what a relief it is to find someone my age too!

  • Richard Faust moderator
    3 years ago

    Sorry to hear about your diagnosis AlexLoui, but glad that you are reaching out to a community for information and support. The emotional aspects of receiving a diagnosis can often take a backseat to the physical. This article from our editorial team looks at the emotional aspects of receiving a diagnosis, with some tips:

    As this article points out, your doctor may be able to assist you in locating a support group. While, for your protection, we cannot give medical advice over the internet, sometimes being able to sit down with people in similar circumstances can be helpful.

    In addition, you may want to check-out our Facebook page at as an additional source of information and support.

    Please keep us posted on how you are doing. Best, Richard ( Team)

  • AlexLoui author
    3 years ago

    Thanks for the reply

  • Lawrence 'rick' Phillips
    3 years ago

    I hope you will reach out using twitter and in the various RA and Lupus blogs around the internet. I am 59 and male so I am not likely who you are looking for.

    This site is a terrific resource to find others with RA. There are Lupus resources as well. I trust if you continue your pursuit, you will find more than you can imagine.

    Our community is populated by very caring and helpful people. I hope you keep reaching out.

  • AlexLoui author
    3 years ago

    Sorry I did put more than ‘thanks’ but it didn’t post it, I’m really just looking for someone recently diagnosed, although same age would be nice it’s not the most important

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