My story is simple and one of four parts.

Osteoarthritis diagnosed in 2009. The osteoarthritis was diagnosed after age and a series of falls happened while I was living and working in England. Although saying this my knees had been damaged since I was a teenager.

Migraines which developed as a teenager and stayed away for many years and then returned with a vengeance in my 30's. The migraines can cripple me at times but I try to manage them as best as possible but combined with many other things life can be interesting at times.

Ross River fever was diagnosed in my early 20's but I had thought that this did not contribute to the pain levels but it does when it reoccurs in Autumn almost every year. Joints swell, fatigue sets in, fever happens for a few days and my skin is so tender.

At the same time that I was diagnosed with arthritis I was also diagnosed with skin cancer and the initial treatment of freezing did not work so the only alternative was surgery. This has happened three times now with the most recent happening in June 2015. This has left me with neuropathic pain in my skull which combined with the migraines makes life hell. There are times when I do not know which is worse. The constant numbness of the neuropathic pain combined with headaches and then pins and needles. Or the combination with the migraines and tension headaches. Three times in the last year I have been to Emergency to be provided with stronger medication than I have on hand at home.

All of this combined has ended the hope of continuing a career in hospitality which was something I loved and had been hoping to develop. The combination of severe migraines and then months off with cancer surgery with arthritis does not make for someone who can work long hours standing and working in noisy and often hot environments. I survive with the support of my husband and friends. My one joy at this time is being an Instructor and Stores Officer with Australian Naval Cadets which does get me out of the house at least one day per week.

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