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problems getting a diagnosis / treatment

TessTess Posts: 2
Hi there,

As a new person to all this I'm struggling to get my head round what's happening and how best to deal with it.

My partner was diagnosed with palindromic arthritis by a specialist about 4 years ago which manifested in large swellings on his wrists and was prescribed to take naproxen as and when things were painful. More recently he has started to get severe pain in his neck which affects his ability to sleep and therefore concentrate at work. He's seen 2 GPs at his practice one who said it wasn't related and another who said it was. He was told to take the naproxen regularly which he has done but which has led to some unpleasant side effects.

Whilst visiting his parents in Italy recently they managed to get him to see a specialist who did blood tests and x-rays, the latter showing damage to the wrists and the development of spurs on his neck vertebrae. This specialist thought he had spondylitis and prescribed arcoxia and methotrexate. We revisited the GP on our return and he was happy for my partner to take the arcoxia but suggested delaying the methotrexate until he had seen a specialist - at last a referral. Meanwhile the arcoxia is failing to reduce the neck pain and is producing side effects including stomach problems and severe diarrhea to the point of incontinence. The GP who referred him is away so he was given telephone apointment with another GP who has suggested voltaren as an alternative.

Now we're not sure whether to change medication again or put up with the side effects until we get to see the specialist. we've been back and forth to the GPs about this so many times and been told different things that it's difficult to have much faith in them.

Any advice would be welcome. My partner is 50 and is really struggling with this right now, previously we just had to limit his driving when his wrists were bad but the inability to sleep and work effectively is really getting him down and I'm not sure how to best help with this.

thanks

Comments

  • helpline_teamhelpline_team Posts: 1,964
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Tess

    It sounds as though you've both been going through the mill with worry and uncertainty. Unfortunately, as I'm sure you already know it can be a bit confusing when someone has palindromic arthritis as they can be seemingly ok and then be hit with a really bad flare.

    The first thing to 'try' and to is decrease the amount of stress it is causing as any amount of stress will just make everything much worse as will anxiety.

    Has your partner got a rheumatology referral date yet? Keep chasing them and let them know that if there are any cancellations you would like to be informed so your partner can be seen by a specialist asap. Or push for an emergency appointment through the GP if things are unmanageable.

    From what you have written I can understand the anxieties around changing medication and possible side effects, but on the other hand it also sounds as though your partner needs something to calm the inflammation. It may be a good idea to speak to the pharmacist and explain the side effects your partner experienced and ask if any of the ingredients in the Voltaren are same or similar to any of the medication that did not suit before. From the severity of the side effects it may not be a good idea to continue the Arcoxia particularly if it is not helping with any of the symptoms and causing extreme side effects. A pharmacist can also help with making this decision.

    Before he sees the rheumatologist it may help to have a brief history of events written down to help the rheumatologist to figure out the best way forward.

    Whilst your partner is waiting for all this to happen it may also be worth asking for a referral to see a pain specialist particularlary as he has been having side effects to drugs.

    In the mean time if it would help either of you to talk them please feel free to give us a call.

    Best wishes

    Simona
  • tillytoptillytop Posts: 3,460
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Tess

    I hope the helpline team don't mind me posting on their thread but I saw your message and wanted to say that, if you also post your message on the "Living with Arthritis" forum on this site, I think you will get lots of support and good advice from the forum members which may help you and your husband to feel less alone with this whilst you are waiting for a rheumatology referral.

    I am so sorry your husband is struggling so much at the moment and I do hope that he gets his referral very soon.

    Tilly xxx
  • helpline_teamhelpline_team Posts: 1,964
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I knew I missed something! Thanks Tilly - Good one! Of course we don't mind its all about helping each other on here.

    Stay warm and safe all,

    Best wishes

    Simona
  • dreamdaisydreamdaisy Posts: 31,567 ✭✭✭
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hello helpline peeps, I hope you are all OK today. Having read thro this a thought occurred - can one take a stomach protector with arcoxia? I honestly cannot remember - is arcoxia in the celebrex school of drugs, ergo no protector required, or is it summat different? Please enlighten me if you have the time. Thank you. DD
    Have you got the despatches? No, I always walk like this. Eddie Braben
  • helpline_teamhelpline_team Posts: 1,964
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    dreamdaisy wrote:
    Hello helpline peeps, I hope you are all OK today. Having read thro this a thought occurred - can one take a stomach protector with arcoxia? I honestly cannot remember - is arcoxia in the celebrex school of drugs, ergo no protector required, or is it summat different? Please enlighten me if you have the time. Thank you. DD


    Dear Dreamdaisy
    Thank you for your posting. If you look on the following link http://www.arthritisresearchuk.org/arthritis_information/arthritis_drugs_and_medication/nsaids.aspx this gives information on the different types on non steroidal anti inflammatories including arcoxia. We would always say to talk to your doctor or a pharmacist as those best placed to answer questions about medication and whether it is suitable. I hope this information helps.

    Best Wishes
    Dawn
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