Thursday 11 October 2012

Two Special Days

Yesterday was World Mental Health Day. One of the messages of the day was for people to open up about their mental health issues. That makes sense and so...

...I don’t think I’ve ever admitted here on my blog that I left full-time teaching due to a nervous breakdown. I've since spoken to many other teachers who have had similar problems and it helps to know that I'm not the only one. I’ve never completely recovered my composure since then but I’m a whole lot better for having had counselling and the chance to talk about things.

Tomorrow is World Arthritis Day. This is another one that I can identify with. About ten years ago I was diagnosed with the early stages of Rheumatoid Arthritis. I saw a Rheumatologist who prescribed anti-inflammatory pills and said, “Ask your GP to increase the strength when these are no longer strong enough.” I didn’t take them. My arthritis has hardly worsened and I dread to think what my stomach would have been like if I’d been stuffing it with those drugs for the last umpteen years.

That doesn’t mean that the Arthritis doesn’t trouble me. It does but it’s manageable. I’ve tried various exclusion diets. Wheat, dairy, they made no difference. I cut out oranges, plums, tomatoes and rhubarb. That helped a little and it does get worse when I feast on delicious cherry tomatoes from Mr A’s greenhouse. I do Pilates once a week. It's Clinical Pilates. There are only six of us in the group and the instructor knows about our individual needs and adapts moves accordingly. This exercise does more than anything to keep things moving so I suppose I’m one of the lucky ones.

Arthritis Care are asking people to raise awareness of World Arthritis Day. About 10 million people in the UK alone have arthritis so this is relevant to a large percentage of us. Pop over to their website, ArthritisCare, to read about the facts of arthritis, get contact details of people who can help you cope with the disease and find out more about this campaign.

Do you have any tried and tested ways to ease the symptoms of arthritis? If you do then please share them in the Comments below. A lot of us will be interested to read them.
[Apparently this week is National Chocolate Week. Who needs a whole week to remind them to eat chocolate? Every week is chocolate week, isn't it?]