we all seem to be so different ??

Ella Member Posts: 8
I was diagnosed with OA a couple months ago and before I had flare ups which were extremely painful in my hands and right ankle were it began a year before. My hands at times became useless leaving them very weak and was unable to use very as they were so swollen. On being checked out by the doctor I take paracetomal and ibuprofen when bad and it usually lasts over a couple days before the next bout appears maybe with a day or two able to get on with my life. Since this started I have had some kind of flare up sometimes without any swelling but a lot of pain and since I saw my doctor two weeks ago I have had pain in my groin, right shoulder and today my right ankle and almost unable to walk.
I have put myself onto a none acid ‘no dairy, meat, bread etc diet and this I found helps and homeopathy but resort to the pain relief pills I mentioned when bad. I never know when it is going to hit which is usually during the night and after just a mild ache which seems to build in to something extremely painful and I find rather crippling.
I sometimes feel this to be something other than my conception to OA but never had experienced this before always being fit and active. I had ME in 1984 badly and feel this all started back then with the development of nobly fingers but never any pain since I recovered from it.
Sometimes it gets rather scary as I am on my own like so many others and hard at times to cope with caring for myself. I keep as busy and do my garden and care for my dog etc so keep a focus to keep my mind right but there are times I become rather anxious to my future and staying independent.
I have recently joined the website and there seems to be so many differences between everyone.
God Bless and I hope to hear your remarks concerning my situation.


  • helpline_team
    helpline_team Posts: 3,032
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Dear Ella,

    Thank you for your enquiry to us here at Helplines. Our medical group are dubious about diets affecting oa much unless they are for losing weight. The chief difficulty with arthritis is its unpredicable nature, and that can be a worry at times.

    To be honest some of us need little encouragement to worry about things. It's bad enough feeling rough without worry increasing the discomfort. The trick for dealing with anxiety is individual. You will know what is helpful for you. I imagine that other forum members will join in with suggestions for managing such difficult moments.

    If distraction or cuddling the dog don't help on a bad day, then what are the techniques that you use?

    Often if we are faced with a crisis we cope, but worrying about what might happen can be a really easy pattern to get into.

    I hope that's helpful

  • elnafinn
    elnafinn Member Posts: 7,412
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Ella

    I have OA and have had it for a goodly number of years. I have it in my thumbs but the fingers seem ok - so far so good. I have been told by a hand consultant that my thumbs are as bad as they will get. I do not get much pain in them anymore but they look unsightly at the base of the thumb. I can manage mostly but they are not anywhere near as strong as they used to be. I also had OA in both knees but have had two TKRs so they are ok now. I have just had three toes dealt with and am 5 weeks post op.

    Over the years, I have tried not eating this and not eating that, but nothing has made much difference. So I eat what I like now. I have tried different potions and again, nothing particularly good has come out of that.

    I find stress can aggravate aches and pains. It is best to try to keep busy and not think too far ahead. Live more in the now. We do not know what the future brings so why spend time, worrying about it.

    This forum is a great place to call in when you are not feeling so good or when you are too. At least you are with others that come under the umbrella of "arthritis" so understand more than others do. Even gps come to that. :lol:

    Some people have found using wax baths for hands/feet of benefit. A hot shower/bath at the start of the day. Some benefit from acupuncture, physio sessions.

    None of us are keen to take medication really, but I find that an anti-inflammatory med daily helps me very much. I have tried to be without and notice the difference after a few days. I also find taking medication regularly is better than when you feel pain/discomfort and stopping when it goes away, only to return again some time later.

    I do stretching exercises 6 days out of 7 and find that these really have helped me over the years to keep going. I have been doing these for so long that it is part of my life. I ride my bicycle locally and since having my knees done and being given an exercise bike to help me post op, I still do 10 minutes daily on that too. I may be kidding myself that this helps but it is harmless and is free, only takes up about 50 minutes of my day in all.

    On the whole I would say I am a fairly positive kind of person which to my way of thinking can help too.

    Take care, look after yourself and hope to see you posting more on the forum.
    Elna x
  • Ella
    Ella Member Posts: 8
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Thank you for your advice I do appreciate your experience. I have always been positive and not as much a worrier more a realist and the same with this situation I find myself in. My concern is I live alone on a smallholding with a few sheep and no near neighbours and after last night’s painful and swollen ankle I was unable to walk until later in the day with the aid of a stick. I have for many years been food intolerant to some foods since I had ME years ago which is one of the things that it leaves you with. I am used to thinking one day at a time but not knowing the future I have with this arthritis I wonder if it would be wiser to move to a smaller and a more populated place, plus easier heating rather than solid fuel just one thing which is of concern. This would be most difficult as I love where I am and staying reasonably active with the animals I have about me. I realise that life brings changes; I am in my late 60s so the changes would be very unsettling for me with much stress. But at present not sure ‘as we all are I do realise’ how mobility and my life will be, I just wanted to find viewpoints of other folks experiences of the way this could affect me.
  • elnafinn
    elnafinn Member Posts: 7,412
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Ella

    You will probably find that you have quite a lot in common with our Cris on the forum - her username is Skezier. She has a smallholding and none of us knows how she manages to carry on - but she does. Bless her. I am 60 years of age and Cris is younger than you and me but has been suffering with "arthur" for a l-o-n-g time. She is always ready to offer support/sympathy to us on the forum although she is struggling herself. There are others too that always have time for everyone, even when they themselves are so unwell. Cris has made many firm friends on the forum and some visit when they can and help her out as much as they are able to do so.

    Chin up,

    Elna x
  • skezier
    skezier Member Posts: 11,333
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Ella,

    Welcome to the forum from me as well..... its a good place and they are such a good and supportive group of people.

    I know exactly where your coming form.... Elna has told you also have a very small sh.... it used to be productive its now just grazed but I have made a commitment and well i had to really decide what it was that made me me.....

    If I did give up my way of life I would cease to be me and i have no idea what i would become but I would feel guilt at the put downs I would have to do and the idea of a nice bungalow in a cul de sack... well its juts not me....

    I made my choice and will go down fighting to stay as I am..... :lol::lol:

    I am my way of life..your right though tis some hard.... Can you turn a sheep any more :lol: i kinda do a small wrestle and we both end up upside down :lol: Water and carrying buckets... but I made a yoke.... still hurts but its a bit easier.

    Collar anyone you can is my new motto..... Can you get someone in to help with the sheep? The garden? anything to just make it a bit easier?

    Solid fuel.. you can't beat a good wood buner but they also burn anything id its a multi..... shoes, books anything you don't want anymore :lol: never quiet got my ex in.... :lol::lol:

    Like Elna said I have had the oa since a teenager... I have often wondered what it was that made me fight it tooth and nail..... Its something I was fortunate to get young so i don't remember not having it..... I am sure that helps. I have the pa long enough to hate it and almost long enough to ignore it... mind thats a bit more difficult cus its gone after the ribs and breathing can get painfully......

    You probablly know all this but the small serrated proper hoof clippers (not the lamb ones) are easier to use than the big ones, hand shears are hard but its an easier way though longer... and mine don't have an outlet for their fleece anymore so it doesn't matter if they are done in sections over a few days... they might get laughed at by the other sheep but they will have the last laugh cus they belong to a veggie committed to them having a full and long life.... Ella I did it all wrong. Got the land, got the animals, got the conscience and they die of old age..... useless folly's that I just love rather than useful flock members...... :lol:

    In the end flower it comes down to how much do you want to stay where you are and if you do what can you do to make it all a bit easier? Could you get a grant? Could you get someone in a few hours a week that kind of thing.

    The thing you can;t do is worry about how bad you might get.... it could be you don't get any worse than you are and if you do then there are ways round things I am sure.

    In the end both of us will have to give it up i guess.... for me its not yet and only you know deep down what you will be happy with and if thats staying there then just try and make it all a bit easier.

    Nice to meet you and so glad I am not the only idiot with arthritis out there :wink: Cris x