Jacqueline Payne shares her story for World Arthritis Day
“Hi, I’m Jackie Payne and I have lived with arthritis for the past 7 to 8 years. Originally I was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis, but my rheumatologist revised this to psoriatic arthritis, with osteoarthritis in my hands.
My initial symptoms included pain and a loss of movement in my hands and feet, plus severe tiredness. There was quite a delay in getting a proper diagnosis; my GP had very little knowledge and I had to do my own research and recommend referral to a rheumatologist.
Arthritis has had a big impact on my life. It has required a total lifestyle change – I am more dependent on my husband around the home, and in the workplace I am more dependent on staff. It is the ‘invisible’ issues Arthritis has on your well-being; it’s like becoming old – very early in life.
Things that help with my arthritis are exercise, rest, hydration, yoga – and most of all hydrotherapy in a heated pool.
I think it’s important to raise awareness about arthritis and the impact is has on those affected. Arthritis can dampen your self-confidence; normal tiredness feels like exhaustion, some mornings you need a rest just after you’ve woken up. I am 100% convinced that non-affected people couldn’t possibly comprehend the magnitude of a flare-up – or sometimes even a normal day in the life of an arthritis sufferer. I still work full-time – help as much as I can in our motel business BUT I am looking forward to an early retirement.
My involvement with Arthritis & Osteoporosis NSW – particularly with the Armidale support group – has been exceptionally good for me. By getting involved in fundraising and being a support person within the group, I have been able to look beyond my personal difficulties with arthritis and focus on who, how, and what I can do to help others.”
Click on the image below to view and hear Jackie’s video message: