I was coming down the stairs one morning - shortly after being diagsed with arthritis at the age of twenty seven - in a lot of pain, and I remember saying to myself, Uncle Arthur, you are a swine. I realised then that I had called my arthritis something else and from there the character to my illness was born. I have often felt quite alone and isolated in my journey with arthritis so creating Uncle Arthur has almost given me someone to talk to, and I find writing a great way of releasing some of my emotions. Living with arthritis has brought me feelings of anger, frustration, embarrassment, struggle, loneliness and pain; it has also brought me an inner strength I never knew I had. Sadly I am longer able to do some of the things that I used to enjoy doing but I can still live my life and hope to believe that a cure will be found one day. The author has used an original and imaginative device of personifying the arthritis as his Uncle Arthur which helps to capture the dynamics of an abusive relationship; the power games involved and the pattern to which arguments explode from the dialogue. By daring to challenge his Uncle Arthur in a quest to lead as rmal a life as possible, the author is soon confronted with conflict and battles with his unwanted companion which leads to a self admittance of struggles with other problems which are occurring at the same time. Told with dramatic honesty and dark humour, Me and Uncle Arthur: Arthritis and Alcohol takes us from the very forefront of dealing with life's issues to showing what is possible despite the confines of a disability. A highly engaging often emotional but ultimately inspiring story of one person's will to overcome the odds in an attempt to achieve a lifelong dream.
Diagnosed with arthritis at the age of 27, David Smalley has come to terms with the fact that he is no longer possible to do some of the things that he used to enjoy doing, such as football and running. Shortly after being diagnosed he began to call his arthritis 'Uncle Arthur'. By personifying it, it gave him someone to focus on when he was in pain: sometimes, swearing or having something to blame can be beneficial and therapeutic. From there he started to document some of the ways in which his newly found companion was beginning to affect his life. David's arthritis has brought him feelings of anger, frustration, embarrassment, struggle, loneliness and pain - but it has also brought him an inner strength he never knew he had. The battle with arthritis is not fought alone. Everyone with arthritis fights along side approximately nine million other people in just the United Kingdom alone.