Dad’s condition started with a slight pain in his wrist, but turned into years of agony
The father spoke about his six-year battle with arthritis, which he was diagnosed with after a minor pain in his wrist.
John Burns’ joint inflammation quickly became so severe that he struggled to sleep and get to work. Much of John’s body became stiff and even climbing the stairs at home became difficult.
Eventually, the father of one child was diagnosed with the common arthritis that affects millions of people of all ages in the UK.
There is no cure, so the six years since his diagnosis have been especially debilitating for John. He had to quit his job as a math teacher due to illness.
Recalling the darkest moments of his condition, John told the Manchester Evening News: “It got to the point where I really couldn’t work. Those were really dark days where I can imagine that some people would not be able to cope, maybe even with life.
“It was not so much a disease as the depression that it brought. There was so much suffering. This affected the whole family. I managed to break out of this only because I have always been one of those opinionated people.
“My worst days were when I had to get up for work. I was supposed to get up at 6:40 in the morning, but I would not wake up, because I still did not sleep most of the night.
“At 3 am, I knew I couldn’t work. The next hours are going to be awful because they are going to be so depressing.
“I couldn’t get out of bed until my body warmed up, sometimes it took up to three hours. It was excruciating, like my whole body was broken.”
John from Didsbury, Manchester, regularly came to work sick, and then he had to decide to leave his post.
When he was offered expensive treatment—only for those with severe symptoms—things finally turned around. The medication meant that John was able to regain some of his life and returned to work three times a week.
After some pain relief, John decided to explore other alternative treatments, including acupuncture. The treatment, based on traditional Chinese medicine, involves the insertion of thin, flexible needles into specific points on the body.
John said: “It really helped me and made me focus in a different way. The acupuncturist told me that I didn’t have to take all my medications and I was hesitant and afraid because I was taking so much.
“I took a leap of faith and stopped taking all my medications. Some people might say that this is stupid and suicidal to some extent. After seeing a holistic medicine approach, I embarked on a journey to cleanse my body.
“I literally started over and only introduced foods into my body that I knew would benefit, like anti-inflammatory fruits and vegetables.”
While arthritis cannot be cured through diet, certain foods have been shown to strengthen bones, support the immune system, and fight inflammation.
John claims to have noticed changes in just a few months. “I couldn’t believe it,” he added.
“Every five weeks I had blood tests to measure inflammation. I had 140 at one stage, then it went down to 90, then 70 and 65.
“I knew I was getting better and got to the point where I could start doing some exercise. A year later, the doctors were baffled. I didn’t take any medication, just continued on this wonderful diet, and my physical activity increased.
“I got stronger and stronger. Doctors still cannot believe what happened to me. They can’t cure me because there is no cure for arthritis. fairness to anyone.”
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