ARTHRITIS is not something that can be wished away. I have had it for the past 18 years and without faith in God, I would not be where I am today.
When I was diagnosed with the disease, no one knew what it was; my specialist said there was nothing wrong with me.
I asked my GP how it could be nothing when I could feel something was wrong.
Then I was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis.
No one explained the side effects of the medication to me or what exactly would happen to me. My son was then only three and juggling the disease and being a single mother was not an easy task. With the help of my parents I've made it work.
It's hard having arthritis; when your mind is active but your body says no. It is hard wanting to do something and you can't, like when someone closes a tap too tight and I can't open it. I get angry because every time I feel like I lose a little more of my independence.
I have arthritis in all of the joints in my body. They say it's not in my hips, but I can feel it.
You have to watch what you eat – I can't eat tomatoes or potatoes, I can't even take the smell of them cooking.
I can't pre-plan anything. For example, if I make a plans for Sunday, when Sunday comes, I might be in bed all day.
You become short-tempered. I can't stand a lot of noise. I don't know if it makes any sense but pain shouts at you and, when it does that, you can't focus on anything else around you.
Some people think you can control arthritis with mind power. If it worked, I would have been cured a long time ago.
There is no cure but sometimes I just need someone to hold me and tell me everything's going to be okay, that it will be better tomorrow. It's hard living with fears. I remember waking up one day and as I got out of bed I fell to the floor. It took a few minutes before I could gain enough strength to get up.
Days like that, when you are lying on the floor, for a moment you think that's the day that you lose the feeling in your legs, that's the day you are put in a wheelchair.
Sometimes I feel like I don't want to do anything but lie there and die.
However, after learning from the internet about arthritis, I realise only now how extremely lucky I am to not have more damage than I've already got.
It can affect not only your limbs but your liver, heart and your bone marrow.
I have a 21-year-old son who adores me and I am studying a facilitator, assessor and moderator course and passing it with flying colours at the age of 38. I am blessed.