I was diagnosed with arthritis when I was 23. People often don’t understand how difficult I find it to stand or walk for any length of time. Everyday things like being a mum are affected by my mobility issues. I can’t chase my child on her scooter I can’t crouch down to help her if she’s hurt. It can be really challenging to use public transport to get to work or meet up with friends. Commuters don’t necessarily see me as somebody who might need a seat. Every day I have pain in my joints, the pain can be debilitating and to make matters worse the drugs have serious side effects. My arthritis has also affected my ability to have more children. I’m a member of Arthritis Action. Since joining the charity I’ve met health professionals who’ve helped reduce the impact that arthritis has on my life. It’s given me the confidence to try treatments and self-management strategies that are new to me. Arthritis Action also gives me access to education and well-being events and allows me to be part of a community of like-minded people. Arthritis Action has changed my life, I now feel that I am in control and I know that help is available when I need it. I’ve seen a shift in the way I see myself and I feel a lot more positive about my life.