Raising three wild beans when mam has Rheumatoid arthritis

* Today, a beautiful and brave friend of mine has taken the time to write a brave and honest post about her condition. Talking about the condition itself and how life is raising her three littles while having the condition. It would be great if you could also take a look at her fab blog, here, once you've had a read. *

Before I get stuck into my post I’d like to thank Beth for letting me hijack her page for the evening! My name is Shan Williams, and my new blog is over at www.shanelliswilliams.com. I’d love for you to come and say hello. I have three children aged 14,10 and 2 and live with my partner Iolo in a house we’re slowly renovating. There is more to my life than just this. I’m newly diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis, which has stopped me doing some things I love recently, including my job. I guess blogging is one way of coming to terms with this.

What is Rheumatoid arthritis?
I got my positive diagnosis in November. I just went to the doctor because I’d had a chest infection that knocked me for six. I was stuck in bed for three days and knew something wasn’t quite right. Since my Uni days people have called me the pocket rocket because I don’t stop. Being still is a completely new thing for me. A few weeks later I was still stiff and feeling awful. When the doctor took the bloods I wasn’t expecting the result. I just thought I was run down.

I really didn’t know where to start looking for information. Most people know that osteo arthritis affects the joints. Rheumatoid is different in that it’s an immune disease. Your own immune system attacks your joints causing them to swell, stiffen, and generally not work. You also feel all feverish, and generally bleugh. There were days when I felt absolutely fine, and days I couldn’t even get out of bed. It was awful.
I was given ibuprofen for the swelling and told to wait to be contacted by a rheumatologist up at the local hospital. But this could take up to six months. In the meantime I had a family to care for. Iboprufen doesn’t seem to help much for me personally.
What I’ve found the worst thing is that over the winter I got very down. Being used to living an active life, and the sudden change to having to be sentient, I became quite reclusive and down. My anxiety hit the roof.

Being mum with RA
This has been the toughest nine months of my life. Some days as mentioned, I’ve been able to walk and go out with the little ones. I’ve always been the active mum, so walking and hiking, picnics in the outdoors, and exploring new places. It’s always been part of the regime. I’ve had to tone this down substantially since November. A day’s walking which was no problems last year, would see me in pain for up to a week.

I’ve been told to change my life style. It’s easy when you don’t have a two year old to whom you are the source of all cuddles, and support. In this period of time G has also ditched his pram completely which means if he gets tired he asks to be carried.  He also form time to time runs off at the speed of light. I feel awful when I can’t get going to catch him. He loves playing chase and kicking a football around. Some days I can’t even stand up and I feel like I’m letting him down.

Sleeping has been tough – not the 5:45am wake up calls we get from G but just getting comfy in bed. Pins and needles in my arms, back and legs have been a nightmare.
Last Friday I had my first steroid injection and I must say half term with the kids was awesome! I’m able to move more freely, and the electric shocks up my legs from my feet have completely disappeared. I’m feeling far more energetic so we’ve been on the beach, up a small mountain and running after the kids for big hugs.

Moving forward
I’m waiting to hear about the journey forward. I’m not sure if I want to be medicated for it yet, but have read that diet and exercise can help a lot. The kids understand that some days I’m fit for anything, and some days I’ll want mummy hugs on the sofa. Explaining this one to the youngest is so tough. My eldest is 14, and I’m blessed because she helps out a lot with the little one. She’s also so much faster than I am when he decides to run for it!

We are all keeping as positive as possible. I’m a warrior. And that fighting spirit to jump hurdles and obstacles when they’re put in front of me will never go away. My family has adapted so well to this surprise, and mam will continue on in doing the best she can for everyone.


  1. Thanks so much for having me over, I hope that this helps just one other mum who may be going through the same thing <3

  2. Gosh, what a brave lady! The steroid injections sound like they're helping lots xx

  3. What a brave woman, I've haven't heard of this condition before. It sounds like the steroid injections are making a big difference x

  4. Both of my sisters have RA but they have an auto immune disease called Lupus which is linked to RA and causes a lot of joint pain, exhaustion, illness and also linked to depression and anxiety. My twin sister has to choose between whether to take medication for the lupus or the RA as she can’t do both. It’s tough x

  5. Oh my goodness it sounds so tough. What an amazing women she is though x

  6. Being a parent with a chronic illness can be so tough. I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia and Joint Hypermobility Syndrome and some days everything seems impossible. It's so lovely that Shan's eldest can help out. I hope that the hospital appointment comes though quickly!

  7. What a brave lady you are. I had no idea what exactly this disease was and I feel like I have been educated. It sounds like the steroid injection really helped. I hope the journey forward sees you improving with the help of the NHS.


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