Initially, when first being diagnosed my specialist sat me down and went through the facts about arthritis. That was useful but through the shock of the diagnosis, I didn't really listen to as much as I would have liked to, and came away with loads of questions I needed answers for. The next time I went to see the specialist, I made sure I asked everything I wanted to know about arthritis. The specialist obliged with the answers, but for me who understands very little about joints, muscles, inflammation etc, the answers were too "medical" and I felt it very hard to relate to the answers
Desperate for some advice and more information I started searching the Internet for some kind of support and guidance. As I feared at first all I found was sites that explained things about arthritis, but did not really explain what it was like to live with arthritis. Then there were the sites that claimed to have the "only genuine cure for arthritis". Those sites upset me because I knew there isn't a cure that will make my arthritis go away, it just seemed to belittle what people with arthritis go through on a daily basis
Then finally I started finding sites written by people with arthritis or who have dealt with people who have arthritis. These sites were a bit of a revelation to me, finally I could discuss and learn what it is to live with arthritis. I found these invaluable and cannot overstate how useful these sites have been for me and my family through our journey of arthritis. One of my favourite sites is http://www.rheumatoidarthritisguy.com/ , this site is excellent and is something I read regularly. Its sites like his, that only helps sufferers but also informs non-sufferers what it is to live with arthritis.
I really wish that after being diagnosed with arthritis I was directed to sites that contained information from other sufferers. They are my modern day support group and have really been useful to not only me, but my family also. I thank anyone who has written about there experiences with arthritis, as I know its not easy to be open about something that can have such a huge impact on your life, you are all true inspirations to me and other arthritis sufferers.