“At 3am, I know if it’s going to be a tough day”

Peter knows that on any given day he can face desperate, unrelenting pain. He recognises the signs, and knows he is going to have to allow more time to get up, to get ready, to get out to face the day.

He knows that even brushing his teeth can be agony.

Gripping a toothbrush, manipulating the toothpaste with arthritic hands, and getting his hand to his mouth will take a lot out of him. And that’s before he has to leave to catch a bus to work.

But he fights it. He knows what it takes. He has been there. He doesn’t deny the pain, or the frustration. He doesn’t give in, and he doesn’t hide from it. It’s never easy, but he fights it every time.

He learned how to fight it, how to find his way after joining Arthritis Ireland. His eyes were opened - not to the pain. He knows all about pain. But to the fact that he was not alone. That there were others like him. Fighting. Like he does now. And they helped him.

So Peter gives back now. He volunteers with Arthritis Ireland. He helps others learn and cope. And he shows us what’s possible.