Kirsty Young admits chronic pain ‘has blighted my life’

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The 54-year-old, who hosted nearly 500 editions of BBC Radio 4’s Desert Island Discs between 2006 and 2018, left to undergo treatment for fibromyalgia and rheumatoid arthritis. Appearing on a special edition of the castaway programme yesterday, Young told Lauren Laverne, who took over her presenting role, that she is now feeling “so much better”.

Kirsty explained that she originally spent a year seeing different specialists trying to work out what was the nature of her condition until she found a “brilliant” professor of rheumatology who diagnosed her.

She said he also warned her that she had to take her condition “seriously” and reduce the stress in her life.

She said: “It was said with extreme kindness but it was just a moment of absolute reality and clarity, and I remember I pulled my car over and just had a good old, to use a good Scottish word, a good old greet [cry] and I thought ‘right, well, them’s the facts and you’re really going to have to think about this’.

“I was in pain and a chronic long-term pain condition is an absolute pain, literally and metaphorically, to deal with. It grinds you away, you lose your personality, you lose your sense of humour, you lose your sense of self.

“There’s all sorts of things that go with it. It’s awful.

“So I had to take it seriously if I was going to get better. So, I did.”

Fibromyalgia is a long-term condition that causes pain all over the body.

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