Dan was diagnosed as a baby. His arthritis got worse over time and damaged his joints and bones. He has a good consultant who he can talk to about anything. He has been more mobile since passing his driving test and volunteers at his hospital.
axDan was diagnosed with arthritis when he was three months old. He was too young to remember his first symptoms but his mum said that he had warm and swollen joints. Dan said that his arthritis slowly got worse over time. He now experiences pain and swelling in every joint. He also has restricted movement in his joints. If he walks he feels a sharp pain in his knees. If he stands for too long his back will start aching and he will feel tired. The joints in his fingers and legs are curling and slowly getting bent. He may need to have surgery in the future to straighten them out again. Dan said that while I can hold a pint, I’m fine but as soon as I can’t then I’ll go in for [an] operation. Dan does not want to have his legs straightened because he can still walk. If he had the surgery he will have to wear leg braces for a year and will spent most of the time lying down.
Until the age of sixteen Dan said he rarely left the house. People in his area were scared to be around him because of his disabilities. He found it hard growing up because he did not have many friends. When he was sixteen he joined a youth centre for disabled people. He enjoyed the centre and made new friends. He eventually became one of the centre’s volunteers. If Dan feels lonely he can speak to his consultant about it. Dan’s consultant tries to organise his appointments around the same time as other people his own age so he can meet others with the condition that know how he feels. Dan sometimes volunteers at the hospital and speaks to patients who have recently been diagnosed with arthritis.
Dan has been in the media a number of times to raise awareness of arthritis. He has also been in the press because of kind donations (such as his scout group raising money to buy him an electric wheelchair).
Dan takes steroid tablets, relifex anti-inflammatories tablets, etanercept injections, buprenorphine patches and pregablin for the pain, and Adcal to build up his bones.