I’ll start this post with an apology. It’s been weeks since I’ve given an update here, although I have been slightly more active on social media.

I have recorded podcasts queued up, articles waiting to be written and people waiting for me to get back to them for their campaigns. So although I may have appeared absent, the radio silence has been more due to how hectic everything has become.

Over the last month or so, I have been involved in some exciting initiatives and campaigns. So rather than try and list them all, I have provided some highlights below.

Versus Arthritis #ThePainfulTruth Campaign

One of the more visible events I have been involved in this last month has been Versus Arthritis’ The Painful Truth campaign. Working with the charity, I shared my story, and I had a few interviews with local papers, resulting in a full-page spread in the Eastern Daily Times (which can be read along with videos here), a front-page feature in another local paper and some videos of the interview shared online.

Although many phone calls and hours of preparation went into the event, it was disappointing that none of that exposure or story was shared by the charity itself. It was great to make the most of the opportunities to raise awareness that I was given; however, and received a lot of positive feedback from the interviews I gave.

Other Events

I had the pleasure of taking part in an arthritis awareness poetry reading event hosted by some good friends of mine over in the US. It was amazing to read some of my work aloud for the first time but meet some incredible people sharing their raw experiences too. There were many tears on the call, and I connected with some very inspirational people that I hope will help my awareness work in time. A recording of this event will be available to view shortly on Effie’s website, Rising Above rheumatoid arthritis (risingabovera.com).

I was also delighted to be asked to be a guest on the wonderfully hard-working Cheryl’s podcast over at ‘Arthritis Life’ – where we spoke about diagnosis journeys, pain management and living with arthritis. You can find ‘Ep.34 – The Worst Good News: What to do When Test Results are Normal but you Feel Awful?’ on all major podcast platforms, including iTunes and Spotify or listen directly on Cheryl’s website here: Joel Nelsonโ€™s Journey | Arthritis Life

Big News

I also have some exciting news to announce – some imminently (lookout for another post shortly or head over to my Facebook Page) and some over the coming weeks – all of which should take my awareness work onto a bigger stage, hopefully reaching more people than ever. So although right now, I am struggling to fit this growing project in amongst work and family life, I am still forging ahead. I can’t seem to stop myself. So bare with me whilst things such as the podcast schedule suffers whilst I find a balance and prioritise efforts.

Downtime

Finally, I was also fortunate enough to squeeze in some downtime, with a couple of weeks away from the day job amongst all this. And although the British weather typically let us down and it rained throughout, we managed to have some great family days outside, with the relaxing of lockdown rules here in England. I was also able to walk an incredible average of 7 miles a day over those two weeks – which has left me in a far healthier place than what I started.

So I thought I’d share some photos of our adventures.