Living with Arthritis

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My nan has been dealing with rheumatoid arthritis for many, many years. She’s just celebrated her 82nd birthday, and whilst plagued with health problems lives completely independently. In fact, considering she can only walk a few steps, and that’s with a walking frame or stick and holding on to someone, the fact she lives by herself in an ordinary two storey house and goes out to the shops is pretty damn amazing.

I guess living with something as long as she has meant you just kind of get used to it, and adapt your life accordingly. My nan is not one to moan, not in the slightest, but I know her arthritis must be incredibly painful and is progressively getting worse.

Rheumatoid arthritis, according to the NHS website is ‘a long-term condition that causes pain, swelling and stiffness in the joints’. It affects pretty much every part of my nan’s body, but mainly her hands and her feet. They’re misshapen and swollen and constantly hurt her. Some days are better than others, but I know that she has had to make so many adjustments to her life in order to carry out the day to day tasks we all take for granted.

Her home has been adapted as much as possible to help her. When she was unable to get up and down the stairs, she had a stairlift fitted. She has a chair which reclines and rises to help her get off it. Her bath is fitted with a chair that lifts her in and out, and she has things like handrails by the front door step and a seat which raises the height of the toilet. She still drives an automatic car, and when out and about in the local shopping centre she hires a scooter so she can zoom about and go for a coffee and a mooch in Marks and Spencers. She’s also found her own little ways of making life easier – a wooden spoon in the kitchen to help her turn the taps on and off, a litter grabber at the side of the wheelchair that she uses downstairs to pick up things off the floor. These things don’t sound like much, but it makes all the difference to how she copes with and lives with arthritis. Imagine how many times a day you turn the kitchen taps on and off, and not being able to do that at all, or without it causing you an incredible amount of pain?

She’s also found her own little ways of making life easier – a wooden spoon in the kitchen to help her turn the taps on and the light switch on and off, a litter grabber at the side of the wheelchair that she uses downstairs to pick up things off the floor. These things don’t sound like much, but it makes all the difference to how she copes with and lives with arthritis. Imagine how many times a day you turn the kitchen taps or light switch on and off, and not being able to do that at all, or without it causing you an incredible amount of pain?

Arthritis Care Week runs from 14th to 21st of May, and Adjustamatic is creating an e-book around living and sleeping with arthritis. As soon as it is launched, I’ll be sharing the book with you, but until then, I would love to hear how you or anyone you know who has arthritis manages it.

 

 

One thought on “Living with Arthritis

  1. Arthritis is certainly one of the most painful conditions out there. It’s really important to diagnose the problem early so that you can get the care you need! It sounds like your grandmother has adapted to her illness well, which is great because it makes it so much more bearable. This was a really insightful and personal post. Thank you so much for sharing!

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