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23/04/2020 Living with rheumatoid arthritis: Rob’s story
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Rob, 51, London

The first symptom that Rob noticed was swelling in his feet and ankles when he sat down to do desk work in his job as a busy police officer. At first, he thought it was a normal part of aging, but then he started dropping things and losing strength in his hands. A trip to the doctor and subsequent blood tests revealed that he was suffering from rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Rob is one of nearly half a million people in the UK affected by rheumatoid arthritis1, a condition that causes pain and inflammation in the joints and can make everyday tasks a huge challenge.2 Rob spoke to us about the impact of RA on his life:
What was the hardest challenge you faced after you developed RA?
The first symptom that Rob noticed was swelling in his feet and ankles when he sat down to do desk work in his job as a busy police officer. At first, he thought it was a normal part of aging, but then he started dropping things and losing strength in his hands. A trip to the doctor and subsequent blood tests revealed that he was suffering from rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Rob is one of nearly half a million people in the UK affected by rheumatoid arthritis, a condition that causes pain and inflammation in the joints and can make everyday tasks a huge challenge. Rob spoke to us about the impact of RA on his life:
How have people reacted to your diagnosis?
My family and employer have been very supportive. However, one of the most frustrating things that happened at the start of this journey, was when I saw an acquaintance, the first thing they used to ask me was ‘how is your RA?’ I didn’t want that to be the first thing people thought when they looked at me. I didn’t want the condition to define me.
Was there a turning point in your journey with RA?
There have been many things that have helped me along the way. I’ve been fortunate to be able to access intensive residential rehabilitation that helped me move forward both physically and mentally. Working closely with my doctor to develop a plan to manage my condition has also been a significant part of my journey.

Samsung Bioepis has been in conversation with patients as part of our ongoing commitment to put patients at the heart of our business. We believe that by listening to our patient’s we can better meet their needs, now and in the future. To hear more of Rob’s story, follow our Twitter and LinkedIn.
References:
1. The NHS. Arthritis. Available from: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/arthritis/. Last accessed: December 2019
2. NRAS. What is RA? Available from: https://www.nras.org.uk/what-is-ra-article. Last accessed: December 2019
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