Jill's story - "It's a hard thing to cope with"
Jill Angus has suffered from arthritis for over ten years. As the years passed and the pain increased she started to struggle to carry out the most simple of jobs and she knew she needed help.
She went to see her GP who referred her to the Middlesbrough, Redcar and Cleveland occupational therapy service where she received advice on how best to carry out daily tasks such as making a cup of tea. They provided medical aids to help her but most importantly she found people she was able to talk to – and who supported her – when she was feeling down.
Jill of Guisborough said: “Arthritis is a hard thing to cope with especially when you’re used to doing things. I got really depressed and couldn’t cope with the pain. I found myself just sitting and crying.
“The occupational therapists are absolutely brilliant, they really lifted my spirits. They explained things and showed me the best ways of doing certain jobs so it wouldn’t hurt too much.
“I could talk to them and they always listened. When I was feeling really down they would come round to see me – they became like friends.”
Jill was also encouraged to go to a support group for people with arthritis held at Redcar Primary Care Hospital where she realised she wasn’t alone in the way she was feeling, meeting people in similar situations who she could share experiences with.
She added: “The occupational therapy service has definitely improved my quality of life. I recommend that anyone suffering like me should seek help and give them a call.”