RA for years, now OA in hip/spine/elbow

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fayrose
fayrose Member Posts: 241
edited 29. Jan 2011, 11:26 in Living with Arthritis archive
Hi everyone, I'm feeling right sorry for meself today. :sad:

I've had RA for years and have really been one of the lucky ones, coping failry well with just sulphasalazine and occasional steroid injections, having found I could not tolerate mtx. I have also got thyroid probs, high bp and macular degeneration (dry at the moment).
A couple of months ago following awful pains in my spine and left hip I was diagnosed with OA as well.

I'm told the rheumatologist can't help and I understand that but what do I do now? The gp tells me to take painkillers and I have been given excercises from the physio. Trouble is I'm now taking co-codomol and ibuprofene throughout the day and night and must be taking nigh on 15 per day. This can't be right surely, AND as of the past few days the pain is getting worse and the painkillers are hardly touching it.

I've just been reading about some of you who are having steroid injections into the hips for OA. Can I ask who arranged those for you, is it your GP or another specialist?
I still work and am getting to the end of my tether with pain and tiredness because of it.

Any ideas/advice gratefully received.

Comments

  • jacqmun
    jacqmun Member Posts: 65
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Hi Fayrose :grin:
    Sorry to hear that you're suffering, 15 analgesics in a 24 hour period does sound excessive to me :???:
    They normally state 1-2 tablets 4 hourly and can be less according to the dosage.
    Tell your GP this and don't stand any nonsense from 'em!!
    As for steroid injections into joints, these, in my case are generated and administered by the consultant. The run of the mill jabby in to your buttock can given by the practice nurse.
    Chin up :P
    Jacqui x
    When it rains, look for rainbows. When it's dark, look for stars
  • bigAL
    bigAL Member Posts: 1
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    hi this is my first post to this but i may help with steroids i have had a few of this and they do help best bet is to go to your local gp and ask for them .they usually last for about 8 weeks hope this is helpful to you
  • frogmorton
    frogmorton Member Posts: 29,487
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Hi Fayrose

    Good to see you, but not good to hear your news :sad:

    The info on this site says that usually the GP has responsibility for OA so I guess he would be able to refer you for them? Unless you already see a consultant for it?

    Mind you maybe the RA rheumy might help there too?

    I would ask my GP as they are usually more accessible if i were in your place.

    Of course there are options including surgery if needed and pain clinics might have better ideas for pain relief? Have You thought of them? and physio?

    I am so sorry you feel in so much pain.

    Love

    toni xx
  • frogmorton
    frogmorton Member Posts: 29,487
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Hello BIG AL :grin:

    Good to meet you :grin:

    Toni xx
  • dreamdaisy
    dreamdaisy Member Posts: 31,520
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Oh dear fayrose, poor, poor you, I am so sorry to hear that. Firstly, ask your GP about stronger pain relief - a move to morphine-based tramadol may be something to try (if you can tolerate those sorts of meds, some cannot). As for the steroids, well, sometimes they work for people and sometimes they don't. There is very little that can be done for OA apart from exercise, pain relief and anti-inflammatories. Ask your GP about the injections - he may think they are suitable for you and if so, I sincerely hope you are one of those who does gain benefit from them. I think at their best they can last for up to three months, so here's hoping. I wish you well. DD
    Have you got the despatches? No, I always walk like this. Eddie Braben
  • fayrose
    fayrose Member Posts: 241
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Thanks everyone, as usual you have been very kind and helpful.

    I think I shall go back to the gp and see if he can either get me the injections or stronger painkillers. So far the physio does not seem to be helping.

    Nice to see you too Toni, I hope you are doing OK. :wink:
  • dreamdaisy
    dreamdaisy Member Posts: 31,520
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Ummmmm, may I be bold and suggest both, not either/or? You need the stronger pain relief now, and if the steroids do for you what they usually do for me (different form of arthritis tho) you will also need them then! DD
    Have you got the despatches? No, I always walk like this. Eddie Braben
  • frogmorton
    frogmorton Member Posts: 29,487
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Hi Fay

    Not so bad thanks :grin:

    I agree with DD - both would be good :wink:

    Love

    Toni xx
  • fayrose
    fayrose Member Posts: 241
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    dreamdaisy wrote:
    Ummmmm, may I be bold and suggest both, not either/or?
    Thanks DD, I'll try. Do you find that the docs can get a bit sniffy if you ask for something though, rather than waiting (hoping) they will suggest it?
    I'll make a most diplomatic try for both. :wink:
  • fayrose
    fayrose Member Posts: 241
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    frogmorton wrote:
    Not so bad thanks :grin:
    Hope that right and not a brave face being put on things. :wink:
  • dreamdaisy
    dreamdaisy Member Posts: 31,520
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Do I have sniffy doctors? No, not at all. I have a very supportive rheumatology team and a new GP who is one of those rare beasts, one who is actually interested in her patients. The GPs have never offered steroids, that has only ever been done at the hospital. All the GPs I have had in the past few years (it's a huge group practice, you see whoever is free, not a wonderful system) have all sensibly admitted that they know very little about my condition, so they prefer to leave it to the hospital. That suits me fine. If you have info on something which you think will help you then you HAVE to ask - GPS are not clairvoyant, they won't pick anything up with their 'spidey senses'. DD
    Have you got the despatches? No, I always walk like this. Eddie Braben
  • dorcas
    dorcas Member Posts: 3,516
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Hi Fay

    so sorry to read of your added OA diagnosis. :roll:

    lots of good advice already offered on your thread. I just wanted to add my tuppence worth! From the way you describe the constant pain you're in and sleep disturbances it seems that you definitely need to see your doc or rheummy to get stronger pain meds and something that might help you sleep at night too.

    There are so many pain meds and no-one should be left just to soldier on.... so please do as DD and Toni & others suggest and make a double appointment with your doc so that you can talk this through without being hurried.

    Managing pain is critical.... especially if you're also balancing work and home responsibilities.

    No-one wants to take the heavy duty pain killers but sometimes it's out of sheer necessity, as it's all we have that works!. At the moment I take 2Tramadol and 2paracetamol 4 times a day and 50mg of Amatriptyline at night. I've also had IM steroids and joint injections alongside these pain meds.

    I'm not happy to be taking as much as this but as the pain reduces (hopefully) so the pain meds can/ will be reduced.
    It's all about management of pain and arther.

    I do hope you can strike the right meds balance for you...

    Let us know how you get on?

    Iris xxxx
  • fayrose
    fayrose Member Posts: 241
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Firstly DD and Iris, thank you both for your wise words of advice and support, I had missed these. :roll:

    Phoned rheumy specialist nurses last Friday because of so much pain in my hands and bless then they got me an appt Monday morning.
    Without going into too much boring detail, I was told the pain in my elbow was mainly RA though I also have OA in it and that the RA was causing considerable inflammation all over the place. Upshot is I had a steroid injection in my bum rather than into the joints .......... but its not working :sad:
    Why not?
    When I get the jabs into the joints its like magic and goes through my entire body, so why on earth when I get one specifically designed the affect the entire body does it have virtually no effect? :???:

    Flummoxed and fed up so any thoughts much appreciated.
  • dreamdaisy
    dreamdaisy Member Posts: 31,520
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    I have never had any notable benefit from steroid jabs, whether into joints or in my incredibly large behind. Sometimes they work for one and sometimes they don't, they are temperamental. I have always found the oral steroids much, much better, but due to the health implications of long-term use I am now devoting this year to giving them up.

    It is a real problem having the two kinds of arthritis as they are so different in cause and nature. I have no idea if oral steroids are a go-er for OA (I would think probably not). I know that exercise is recommended, but that could aggravate the RA, yes? I too am flummoxed, may I have a ponder over the next few days and see if any wondrous ideas hit the brain? You could also contact the helpline on Monday, see if they have any literature about OA and steroid treatment. I am sorry, fayrose, what a muddle to be in. I don't often say this but really, it is not fair. :sad: DD
    Have you got the despatches? No, I always walk like this. Eddie Braben
  • fayrose
    fayrose Member Posts: 241
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Ah, bless you DD, that is so true, none of this is straight forward is it?

    Would be so much easier if the docs could say, right its arthritis and the treatment is 'Blah', regardless of type.

    Cloud cuckoo land awaits. :wink:
  • dreamdaisy
    dreamdaisy Member Posts: 31,520
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    The problem is the docs do say that, and their 'treatment' IS a pile of blah, no matter what form of this pestilence one has. For us auto-immune types we are promised the world and it usually fails to arrive. For the OAers, well, they're told 'get on with it, there's nothing we can do apart from pain dullers and anti-inflammatories.' We all feel cheated, one way and another, probably because we are. I can count on the fingers of one hand those who have had success with the meds etc (they are the ones who still bother to post, that is, the rest have trotted off into the sunset, all mended and lovely). That's my take on it, anyway. Yikes, cynical or what? It might be time to log off! :grin: DD
    Have you got the despatches? No, I always walk like this. Eddie Braben
  • fayrose
    fayrose Member Posts: 241
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    :lol::lol: You cheer me up and make me laugh DD. If I ever need to fire off another 'tell-it-as-it-is' type of letter - and I have to fire off a few - I shall ask for your help with the verbals. I've no doubt it will be mighty colourful. :grin: