Rachel's Journey to 100 miles

Starting out on her new journey...

Hello everyone and welcome to my new journey!!

So I have been waiting to start this amazing challenge as a This Girl Can Suffolk Ambassador to help raise money for Suffolk Mind along with the help and support of the This Girl Can Suffolk & Active Suffolk campaign.

For the last few months I have been suffering with some very uncomfortable pain, swelling & flare ups in my joints and tendons affecting multiple areas of my body. Some days I couldn't even lift my feet to walk or even get up the stairs to bed. Luckily, I have a very special daughter who helped me no end when I couldn't do usual activities and helped so much with all the upset. After a trip to my fantastic Physiotherapist he quickly referred me for some blood tests, x-rays and rheumatology at Ipswich Hospital. The rheumatologist checked me over thoroughly and compared with my blood results and x-rays. It's not clear as yet what is causing the flare ups but it's likely to be the after affect of a virus or it could be genetics.

As I suspected, I have been diagnosed with Rheumatoid arthritis. I have some pain management options in place... but she thinks it's going to be a long road with lots of trial and error on medication to get it all right but I will get there one way or another.

With being so active as I am in and outside work I will need to be careful for flare ups however the best form of exercise for arthritis is WALKING, with so many other benefits too!!

And so even though I would much rather be running this, I will be walking it and it will give me something to focus on. I know there will be some good days and bad days ahead so I am not going to put a time limit on this, it will be done when it's done!

Suffolk Mind are a fantastic cause very close to my heart as I have used their services many a times before and have helped me through some tough times. I hope you enjoy my daily walk updates with some new routes planned too! I will be tracking my distance on strava and uploading everything on this page (featuring Bailey the Beagle who will be joining me for most of this too!!)

Reaching her goal and completing 101.2 miles by Christmas Day...

Thank you so so much to everyone who has followed my progress, walked with me, sponsored me, written comments, sent me messages, encouraged me to get out even when I really didn't feel like it too!!! It really does mean a lot and hopefully I have inspired you all to get out and do the same. There's been some lovely walks, and even when it has been absolutely peeing it down I've still managed to get my neighbours to join me!!

Obviously I will be continuing with my walking to help battle against my Rheumatoid Arthritis... because not only does it help to keep my joints strong and my muscles/tendons around them it also does wonders for the mind!!!

However from today I have now started some new medication and I will need to wean back off the steroids again. This is highly likely to make me feel a bit poorly for a couple of days and no doubt will have some bad flare ups again too. Like everything it will have some side affects. The new medication has to be taken consequently each week and can take up to 3 months to feel the benefit. So despite this being a step in the right direction it's still going to be a bumpy road but I'm remaining positive that it is going to work!! And then hopefully I will start to feel the benefit like everyone else has said, I have just got to stick to it and be monitored closely each week with tests.

AND then finally that long term goal is that one day... I might be able to run again!!