AT Home with Dr Chris Steele - September 2011 - (Page 81)
‘Sometimes I can look about 90’
For Christie MitChell, 29, FroM london, turning the pages oF a book Can be a struggle, but she’s deterMined not to let arthritis rule her liFe…
fter a long battle to attach a name to her condition, Christie was finally diagnosed with arthritis last year, at the age of 28. ‘According to my consultant, the arthritis I have is quite a rare one because it didn’t show up in any X-rays or MRI scans, although my blood test results were indicative of the condition. Finally receiving a diagnosis was such a relief.’ Living with arthritis has had a drastic effect on Christie’s everyday life. ‘I’m restricted as to how long I can type on my laptop because my finger joints start to hurt and seize up. I even have trouble holding and turning the pages of a book or a magazine after a few minutes. ‘On bad days I struggle to stand up from a sitting position and look like I am about 90 years old!’ It’s this age-linked idea of the condition that surprises people when they learn of Christie’s arthritis, she believes.
Contact Arthritis Research UK (www.arthritisresearchuk.org), a charity that is dedicated to finding better treatment for this condition
Words: Jessie Bland
‘It isn’t something that other people usually connect with youth,’ Christie says. ‘Most assume that arthritis only affects the elderly and so they seem quite shocked when they hear that I developed it at such a young age.’ Christie puts this misconception
about the condition down to a general lack of awareness. She has undergone a number of treatments for her arthritis, ranging from specialist physiotherapy and rehabilitation to hydro-therapy and even an infusion of the anesthetics, lidocaine and ketamine, administered through an intravenous drip – but has found that painkillers currently provide the most effective relief.
prescribed medication with noticeable side effects, six sessions of physio or, in severe cases, surgery.’ While living with arthritis can be restrictive at the best of times, Christie is determined not to let it take over her life. ‘I refuse to give in to this condition; I may have got it at a young age but there is a lot out there for me to do, just as long as I p.p.p – plan, prepare and play!’
How yoUR GP CAn HelP
Your GP will examine signs of swelling and any difficulty you have with joint movement during your appointment. However, as Christie points out, diagnosis can prove tricky as there’s not one single test that can
If your joints are causing you pain or are noticeably swollen, then make an appointment with your doctor confirm arthritis. Having a combination of X-rays, which can uncover joint damage caused by the condition, and blood tests, which can reveal anaemia and thus how much inflammation there is in the body, are necessary. n
Looking to the future, Christie hopes that more beneficial treatments will become available. ‘These days, people who have arthritis must choose from
www.athomemagazine.co.uk SEPTEMBER 2012 | 081
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of AT Home with Dr Chris Steele - September 2011
A DOCTOR’S WELCOME
SAVE THE DATE
A SENSITIVE TOUCH
UNDER THE HOOD
CELEBRITY HEALTH SECRETS
THE BIG INTERVIEW
WHAT A MARVEL
OUCH, THAT HURTS
A HAPPY HEART
WAVE GOODBYE TO SMOKING
THE LOWDOWN ON DIABETES
HARD TO STOMACH?
ARTHRITIC AND UNDER 30?
BOOST YOUR BONE DENSITY
TRYING TO CONCEIVE?
ON THE BALL
CAN HE BREAK HIS PENIS?
TIME FOR A TOP UP
ULTRA SWIFT SUPPERS
SO, YOU THINK YOU’RE EATING RIGHT?
GLUTEN-FREE FOODS ON TEST
AGE-PROOF YOUR FACE
TOP HEALTH TIPS
DON’T SWEAT IT
AT Home with Dr Chris Steele - September 2011