Sonya - "Carrying a tonne of bricks on my lower back"

Sonya’s Patient Story

I have had chronic pain since I was 13 years old but it has become worse over the past 10 years. I was diagnosed with Osteoarthritis which is now not only affecting my back but also my left hip and knee, my ankles and more recently my hands. If someone, like a doctor, touches my lower spine with a tiny bit of pressure it feels like they just hit me with a hammer. The pain in my hip feels like someone has pulled my leg out of its socket. And my ankle pain feels like I've sprained it when I walk. My hands become so stiff during the night I find it difficult to open or close them, and they also cramp up when holding something for too long such as a hairbrush.

My pain in my hip, hands and ankle affect me on and off, but I have back pain every day. This causes me great difficulty if I stand for more than a couple of minutes and to do even simple tasks such as, tidying the house and shopping. It's also difficult to make any social plans as I don't know if I'll be able for it and if I do go out with friends for an afternoon or evening I will suffer for at least two days afterwards. Sometimes, when my back is at its worst it is nearly impossible for me to dress, or stand up and walk, which means I am stuck in bed for a few days each time until I am able to get back on my feet.

Chronic pain is an invisible disease that people cannot see, only those closest to you can see the impact it has on your life and they will never truly know how hard it is to live with pain.

If you share Sonya's frustrations about your own situation, take the 'My Pain Questionnaire' to increase your chances to get a correct diagnose and adequate treatment.