A ‘horrible, depressing’ condition
KEREN LEWIN, 69, from East Finchley, is an arthritis sufferer. She says: “I was born with curvature of the spine. When I was younger, I would have flare-ups, but as I’ve got older, it has got worse.
“I now have neck problems, shoulder problems and feet problems, all of which affect me on a daily basis.
“A few years ago, I had microfractures in the thoracic area of my spine, caused by osteoporosis. I was given kyphoplasty, where they put in bone cement. It improved the problem, but I now have bursitis, inflammation around my joints. I am having steroid injections, but you are only allowed a certain amount per year.
“I find it so hard getting help. There are such long queues at the NHS, and I don’t see my GP as often as I would like.
“People don’t understand what it is like. It is horrible and depressing, and I feel constantly uncomfortable.
“I try not to let my problems stop me from doing anything; I still drive. But my mood changes all the time, depending on how much pain I can deal with.
“Iliveonmyownandmyfriendsdon’t want to hear me moaning. But I want to be able to talk about it with somebody.”