Yesterday I had an unexpected/great conversation with a colleague of mine. She usually works in another of our offices but sometimes comes up here. I ran into her yesterday and noticed she had a walking stick. Now, normally I am not the type of person to pry but we were having a catch up and she mentioned that she'd had an operation. As I have known this girl for a few years and we are friendly, I asked what/why (already guessing it was a hip replacement) and it turns out she has RA. How strange when you find out people in your life you've known for years are fellow sufferers! We had a long chat about our conditions, her operation and general RA-banter. Hers presented quite differently to mine, in the form of adult-onset Stills (which sounds very very scary!) but now after 16 or so years just takes the form of regular RA. She is such a busy, hard working, hard partying gal and I have great respect for her knowing what she's dealt with and how much she has achieved. Hopefully after the hip has recovered from the op she will feel the benefits of better mobility so she can continue living her fab life. I'd like to think that if either of us ever needed support, we would now know that there is someone in 'real life' that can lend an understanding ear.
That's two people now at work that I know have auto-immune illnesses and are on anti-TNF. Both under 35 and both don't 'look sick'. Someone really needs to come up with cures for these things so that young people (and older too!) can just get on with their lives without all this rubbish!