Sorry I have already been in this bit once this weekend but this has been on my mind and left me feeling a tad let down and confused. :???:
At only my second local AC meeting last Thursday the branch president attended our AGM to talk about developments in arthritis knowledge and treatment. He is one of three Consultant rhuematologists at my local hospital along with their team of nurses. He of course spoke of the continual strive and small successes to find better treatments with less side effects for those with all manor of inflammatory arthritis.
He kinda glossed over OA by inferring that since there is no proven research to say that anything much can be done to halt it's progress that we, and our often sometimes unknowledgable GP's are left to get on with it with painkillers and if an option at some point surgery. I did point out to him that I had actually found both physio and hydro HAD been helpful but that I was then discharged from both once I had been referred to the ortho Consultant whom I have seem once almost a year ago! Why is this? Do we not deserve the same ongoing treatment if it helps? Is there any research being done at all to look at ways of halting OA degeneration or are we just left in the hope that a new joint will be inevitable if this is option?
My physio was a lovely caring lady and it helped for me to have that regular contact with someone who just KNEW I could not lay on my back comfortably unless she put a cushion under my knee. It was just nice to have someone monitoring me and understanding things, but why for only 8 weeks?
The Consultant I saw once was similarly understanding and knew his stuff though at my six month check up last Nov, he was unavailable and I was told by the Registrar who didn't even sit down to speak to me that I should come back in a year or when I needed surgery! How do I know? We appear to be lumped in fracture clinic which will always have to take priority as emergencies occur.
My GP wants to help but what can she do? I am already maxed out on anti depressants and all she can really offer is painkillers, she certainly can't answer my questions regarding arthritis.
I am left feeling very much like the poor relation with OA and feel dumped, in particular since most of those at the meeting have RA or PA and share rhuemy nurses and treatments. They all have my sincere sympathy but at least I feel like they are being treated with as much consideration as resources allow with time to talk to knowledgable medical staff and treatment options on a regular basis. The speaker at the next meeting in a rhuemy nurse.
I am now wondering whether the local AC meetings are not for me and unfortunately this wallow in self pity is spilling over and making me wonder whether I should even be on this forum when I often can't contribute or help those who post on LW because the majority are juggling with RA/PA/Fibro meds and treatments and understandably need support here.
Sorry for this long whinge I mean no offence to anyone on the forums many of whom have been so supportive to me, but I really do feel like I have been dumped to get on with this by the medical profession.