Thursday, 13 January 2011

I Want Candy!

My decision to get a bit fitter and healthier in 2011 is proving harder than I thought. I decided to try and loose a few of my wobbly bits that have presented themselves since I was put on steroids and treated for malnutrition. I decided to try and loose a stone, which some of you may think is mad because I am at a healthy weight now, but the majority of this extra stone can come off my hamster face if it wants. Initially eating healthier is not that big of a challenge, I just wanted to make sure I replaced crisps, chocolate, cake and chips with things called apples and salad. Simple huh? Well the thing is my body thinks it’s now in a constant state of starvation because of the appetite increase the steroids have kindly given me. I am not starving, I am eating well, but if I don’t eat every five minutes the steroids crave sweets and all things calorific.
The exercise is also proving difficult. I was fairly fit before my diagnosis; trips to the gym occasionally and generally being very active kept me in tip top form. However, not only do I have to endure the physical challenge of exercise but I now have to endure the painful aftermath with swollen, agitated joints and achy muscles. For a normal person, you can expect to feel a little sore after a good session in the gym. But I am not having gym sessions, just walks, about twenty minutes on a static bike and a few of the wii fit games. It’s hardly asking my body for much, but it thinks I’m training for a marathon or something. So when it comes to doing a little exercise the day after, it’s kind of off putting because of the pain.
I am frustrated. I want to just do a little exercise for crying out loud without feeling like I’m climbing Everest! All I think about is cake and sweets and sleep and kebabs (well not so much kebabs but you get the point!)
On top of my trials and tribulations in the world of fitness, I have made the decision to start looking for work. I think I am mentally ready to return to employment after nearly two years out of the game. The decision is based on sheer boredom, frustration of living on the poverty line that is measly benefits and mainly the fact I need a new challenge. I need focus and goals and I believe employment will give me that drive I desperately miss from the workplace.
Here comes the moaning again.... Finding a job is a ridiculously hard process. I had forgotten just how hard it is to bang out CV’s and cover letters, scour the millions of advertised jobs on the internet and then find something I actually want to do. The problem is I am looking for part time work, I don’t think I am capable of full time just yet (I don’t want to run before I can walk). The only part time jobs that are out there are in cleaning (which I can’t physically do), bar or waitressing work (which I can’t physically do) or telesales (which I can’t physically stand). So my idea is to send out speculative letters (or begging letters as I like to call them), pleading with companies that I would like to work for to consider me for any jobs that come up or create a role for me based on my ‘excellent’ experience. (One can only hope). It will be interesting to see how employers respond to the fact I left employment in 2009. Inevitably they will question the gaps in my CV and then I will have to discuss my disability. While employers have the right to know about my physical health, I wouldn’t be asking for the job if I thought my condition meant I couldn’t physically do the job. So now I enter the world of potential discrimination because of my condition. I will be waiting for the phone to ring and offer me £100,000 for sixteen hours a week in a fantastic and friendly company that will let me go to doctors appointments and have time off as and when needed.... Hmmm.... somehow I don’t think it’s going to happen but I’ll keep my mangled arthritic fingers crossed!


  1. Fantastic blog! I'm now following! I get frustrated with exercise too, when I walk for 20 min I feel like I've worked full time for a whole week! Good luck with the job hunting! I think it's fantastic that you are looking for work,I really admire that. I'm currently on disability myself but I'm trying to make it a goal to get back to work sometime this year. I hope an amazing job becomes available for you soon!

  2. Hey, I have lived with arthritis for the last 4 and 1/2 years. I have tried everything from Enbrel, and joint injections; to Remicade, and now to double knee replacements. I have started my know chairty over the summer and I lobbied with Congress to get the Prevention, Control, and Cure Act. I am fully supportive of anyone that has arthritis. However, I feel as though sometime it is used as an excuse not to shot for the stars. Im sure that you are aware that after 10 to 12 years with rheumatoid arthritis, less than 20% of patients are free of disability or deformity. Wouldn't you want to work now, so down the road you have security?

    For me, having arthritis is not the end of the road, it is a small bump. Being treated at CHOP I see some of the world sickest children, and I feel grateful, that I have the freedom to leave the hospital walls.

    Please use your condition to reach for the stars. Don't let it hold you back, let it push you to try harder.

    Thanks for your time,


  3. Hey there,

    I came across your blog today and really like what I see. I'm also 24 and living with arthritis (my form is called spondylitis). I write a blog about my experiences and I think we have many things in common. Please check it out sometime:

    I can definitely relate to you - especially about feeling frustrated with physical changes. Check out this post I wrote only a few months ago when I was on steroids:

    Feel free to be in touch, feel good, and keep up the great work! I'll be reading along...