I wanted to share a little success I had today... I got a teaching job! In my own classroom! With a longterm contract and possibility for benefits! WOOO!

Often it felt like there was no hope... like it really would never get better and like I was just meant to suffer for the rest of my days as a non-person...a sick person... just draining the people around me and not being able to contribute anything worthwhile aside from book reviews ( had loads of time to read!) I'm sure many can empathize with that sort of negative/hopeless outlook... I hope you will get some positive news/results/progress soon so you can be yourself again.

How did I get here?

After spending most of last year in bed with knees the size of melons and wrists and hands swollen like Micky Mouse gloves, with an invisible pinched nerve in my back due to some weird joint sack swelling, gritting my teeth from dawn till dusk and even in my sleep for days, weeks and months; I am now physically able to be employable! It is truly amazing that I am now back in a position to work full time as a teacher in London after a year of bedridden illness.

At this time last year my doctor told me to prepare for the worst... which was the likelihood for a life at home that included never working again, no children and very little physical activity... now (with this same doctor's help and his success in getting me on a biologic) I am on two legs, playing baseball, going to the gym, walking to work, being social and to top it all off... standing all day in my own very busy classroom and all of this =pain and swelling-free!!

I am sharing this story so that people who have lost all hope can maybe find a little strength to persevere until they find something that works for them.

One year ago I was shit-outta-luck on meds that were failing (MTX and Sulfasalizine/Luflunomide) seeing my future, my dreams and my expectations for life slipping away. I lost my job, career, had no sick pay or benefits. My husband (newlyweds one month before I was bedridden for most of a year! Yikes!) was working round the clock to try to subsidize my existence, my social life dwindled into nothing and my hopes of one day having a family were drowned. My dreams to stay living in the big city of London seemed impossible... Now after trial and error, after lots of support, perseverance and determination my Doc and I have found a cocktail of drugs and lifestyle that seem to be keeping me afloat... It feels like a miracle to have my life's not a 'miracle' success was much more methodical and pragmatic than that ... it was science and health care and determination and experience that helped me. I know it may not last forever (it's only been 6 months)...but I want those of you who are stuck at home in pain feeling like it will never get better to take some comfort from my story... Scientists and Doctors are finding better treatments and will continue to do so... and if you are pleasantly persistantly pushy with your healthcare system (NHS for me) you should get to something/somwhere that works! Don't give up! I nearly did! But instead I tried so hard to fix me! Try eating differently, try exercising when you can, try sleeping more, try meditation, try being in nature, try positive thinking, try talking to loved ones, try working part time if you can... try it all and don't give up till you've found something that works for you..... look where I am now! I'm once again a contributing member of society, happily working with kids and sharing my life with friends and family. I can take my painful, awful, sad and frustrating experiences with me as a strength in my job as a teacher and in life!

so....Full Steam Ahead!... well, with lots of breaks, good nights sleep, me time and 4 healthy meals a day and monitoring from my Doc and Nurses...all that to keep me balanced and flare free... there is more than one way to fight this illness...don't give up till you've found something that works for you! Good luck! xxx

I’m still where you were at,but I’m trying every day.Starting injecting mxt to see if it is better than the tablets but still feel dreadful gone from full time nurse to a part time job for a friend as I can’t always get there.l feel so helpless and rely on my family so much.I felt such genuine happiness for you when reading your blog.l know where you have been and understand in such depth.All the best for your new job and future.l hope I can message you one day to say I’m there too.

Anna! That is wonderful wonderful news. Good health and a real job …congratulations and all the best!

Congratulations! That's just fantastic news!

yes anna!! i am glad for you. that was my problem. i almost gave up too soon. i was in so much pain and stiffness, i couldnt see past the illness. Then i got medicated and things got so much better. Of course i have a long way to go, including surgery, but i know things can and do get better.

Congrats!!! I am so happy for you!