A moment that changed me: my dream job healed my excruciating pain

The autoimmune disease lupus had ruined my life until I landed an interview at the Southbank Centre. After years of trying to fit in I’d found my tribe – and a way to get better

When I was 26, I went to see a new GP. She scribbled down some notes and then said something that surprised me. “Do you feel like Job?” I let the silence hang and grimaced before I gave my reply. “Yes,” I said. I hadn’t dared tell anyone that I felt like the Old Testament character who loses everything, but I did.

Two years before, I had come back from a holiday with a pain in my left ankle which then spread up to my knee. Within a few days, I had such excruciating pain in both knees that I struggled to walk. I had seen doctor after doctor, but no one seemed to know what was wrong. Blood tests had been lost. A year on, a receptionist had told me over the phone that they had been found and that I had an autoimmune disease called lupus. The medical dictionary said there was no cure.

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