Rheumatoid Awareness Week 2021: Trish's story

Written by Trish Peters, 15 September

"To me living with RA means being brave every day." writes Trish Peters

My diagnosis story

I was diagnosed at the age of 11 with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis after a year of swollen knees. Eventually we figured out the arthritis was all over my body and tended to show up in my wrists. Ironically now, my arthritis shows up more in my hands then my legs. I struggled through my teenage years not being able to talk about the feelings I was going through and was only able to come to terms with my diagnosis when I started playing rugby at the age of 14. Rugby made me feel powerful and invincible, something that my disease wasn’t able to do. But it also helped me learn that I was more than the diagnosis. It pushed me into advocating.

RA affects my everyday life by affecting every move I make, every decision to do something and leaving the house. Every day, I know that the decisions I make can affect me a lot different than they could affect someone else my age so doing normal stuff like partying, staying up late or going out with my friends is something I have to pick and choose about. It’s sad that sometimes people don’t understand that mentally having arthritis can be a stopping block from doing a lot of things because you don’t believe you can do them.

To me living with RA means being brave every day.

Image source: Towfiqu Barbhuiya, Pexels

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