What it’s like to be young & have Arthritis

At 22, I was diagnosed with Psoriatic Arthritis. I should have been loving life & going out every weekend with friends but instead I spent most of my time at home resting. I made plans when I was well but often had to cancel them due to the high pain levels. I still hate that part.

You’re young, enjoy your life. You should probably go out more & you’d feel better”. Outsiders were always full of unhelpful advice & opinions. 

Then when they heard I had Arthritis it was “You’re too young for that” or “Have you tried yoga/pilates/ginger/turmeric/losing weight/changing your diet/going to the gym/copper Pain relief bracelet. The list goes on. 

The truth is I’ve tried it all. Everything. There was no miracle cure despite what people suggested. 

You Don’t Look Sick

Even now, at the age of 29, people still say this to me. I don’t look sick because I’m a Mum, a Wife, I work Part Time & I make an effort when I go out. People often see what they want to see. Look deeper; I’m a well supported Mum with a great family. I have a Work From Home position so I’m able to manage my Arthritis & I make an effort to look well for me. It gives me a boost. 

Just because I don’t look sick, doesn’t mean that I’m fine. You can look well & still be unwell. 

I’ve spent much of my 20’s in pain because of my Arthritis. I grieve for the old me, the one that was full of life & active. The carefree & fun person that had that get up & go. Of course I feel like I’ve missed out & robbed of my youth. 

I might not look sick but I am. It takes a great deal of strength to pretend I’m okay & to get through the day. My Arthritis is invisible but I’m not. I’m now 7 years on from my diagnosis & I’m learning to adapt with life with Arthritis. Let’s just say I’m enjoying life at a different pace. 

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18 thoughts on “What it’s like to be young & have Arthritis

  1. Thank youu for sharing this post. It’s definitely an eye opener that not everything is visible and people could be going through things you don’t realise. It’s always about stopping for a moment and thinking that something could be wrong despite not looking that way. There is definitely not just visible disabilities and diseases, thank youu for sharing. It’s good to share your story to educate people! I will now think twice and be supportive for those around me.

    Gemma | https://anoceanglimmer.wordpress.com

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Man I can relate to so much of this. I got diagnosed with Inflammatory Bowel Disease at 19 and it’s completely stolen my life since! I’ve been completely signed off work, gone through treatments on the same wavelength as chemotherapy and 3 weeks ago had to have my bowel removed because it got so severe. People don’t understand that these diseases can happen to young people and just how completely debilitating and life-changing they are. Sending lots of love and well wishes that your health gets better and easier for you!
    Alice Xx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s completely life changing and it turns your into a different person. Sounds like you have went through the same cycle of myself with medication. I hope you have positive results from your surgery and recover well. Leann

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  3. Well done for being so honest. I think you’re absolutely admirable for sharing this with everyone. People often think that they are giving good advice and helping but it’s nearly always far from that. This post reminded me of an incident at a public toilet, a lady went to use the disabled toilets and when she came out she was taunted by another that she wasn’t allowed to use it and she replied ‘not all disabilities are visible’.

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  4. Great post. Even though arthritis is seen as a disease for the old, thats doesn’t mean it occurs exclusively in old people. It’s great that you’re sharing your story so that people can get to know that and also so that people can know that there are different types of arthritis eg psoriatic arthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. There are actually more types of arthritis than I can list.

    Yvonne Wabai | https://yvonnewairimuwabai.weebly.com

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  5. People really need to stop with the whole “you don’t look ill!” thing now! I suffer with bad anxiety but some days I’m okay – but that doesn’t mean it’s not still there and I’m not still struggling. I can’t begin to imagine what arthritis is like, especially at such a young age but it’s great you’re talking about it and hopefully helping other young people who have it feel less alone!

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  6. Hey your the first person I came across that was diagnosed with arthritis at such a young age I will be 25 in 2 weeks and was just diagnosed with arthritis in my lumbar spine and neck along with scoliosis, dis they offer you any treatment to help? My specialist wants to do injections and I’m terrified but I’ve been in pain now for over a year and I have 2 toddlers so I’m desperate for some relief 😪

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    1. Sorry to hear that you are recently diagnosed with Arthritis. What kind of injections are they offering you? I’ve had steroid injections and noticed the difference with them. I always think it helps my mobility and gives me a boost when running about after my son. I’ve found that physio exercises help and recently went for acupuncture which was so great.

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