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glynis87glynis87 Posts: 12
edited 22. Jun 2011, 03:17 in Say Hello Archive
Hello
I have just joined this forum because I suffer from painful joints etc and it is really getting me down. I am off to see my GP tomorrow but I am not really sure why I am going as there doesn't seem to be anything that will help. The pain is making work really difficult and I can't afford to not work, so I am hoping to get some ideas from here as to how to cope at work.
I look forward to talking to you.
Glynis

Comments

  • liesaliesa Posts: 821
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Glynis
    i only joined here last week, its such a happy friendly forum and so much advice and stuff to read up in order to help yourself or get some tips, and to have a chat between suffering the same as yourself xx welcome xx
    love and hugs
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  • traluvietraluvie Posts: 2,579
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Glynis..

    Welcome to the forum..
    Sorry to hear you are not too good at the moment..
    Regarding work can you speak to your manager who can then refer you to occupational health.. they then should be able to help and maybe make some alterations in the workplace to make you more comfortable..
    Regarding the pain, if you are not having any relief from pain the Gp should work with you to find something that does help..You seeing a rheumatologist??What are you taking at the moment??
    It can be a very daunting time, but you are not on your own.. we are here and understand how you are feeling so if you have any questions just fire away..
    Thinking of you..
    th_tn_TisFORTIGGER.jpgxxTracyxx
  • glynis87glynis87 Posts: 12
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Thank you both for the lovely welcome.

    Traluvie, I am taking paracetamol 4 times per day and 60 mg codeine twice a day. Neither of them touch the pain. I am also taking glucosamine at my GP's suggestion. I am anxious about going this afternoon because I feel like I am wasting his time and that I should just get on and live with the pain. I am not seeing a specialist of any sort. My GP's view seems to be that this is 'simply' age related arthritis (I am 53!) and that I just have to put up with the pain. But it is really getting me down. I am already on prozac for depression even before all this flared up. I am so worried about my job. My manager has suggested occ health in my latest 'appraisal' but I don't know when that will happen.

    Thanks again
    Glynis
  • dreamdaisydreamdaisy Posts: 31,567 ✭✭✭
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hello glynis87, it's nice to meet you. It sounds as though you are suffering from osteo arthritis and it is indeed the GP who deals with that. Have you had Xrays of the affected joints yet? That may be something to ask him about. OA can strike anyone at any age, it is most common in women who are post-menopausal, it can also result after an accident or somesuch. There is not a great deal that can be done until things are so bad that surgery becomes an option, but even that is not straightforward nowadays. Treatments are pain relief (which only ever takes off the edge), possibly anti-inflammatories and finding a good combination of exercise and rest. Tiredness is a factor with all forms of arthritis and pacing oneself is an important skill to be mastered. I have two kinds, an auto-immune version and OA (which has badly affected my knees). I started this when I was 37, I am now 52 and have been in pain for all that time. You get used to it - well, I have. I have a range of pain relief for all occasions but I can usually get by on just four 30/500 cocodamols (that is codeine and paracetamol combined). I keep the bigger guns for the really bad days. I hope you get on OK at the doctors, let us know what he said. I wish you well. DD
    Have you got the despatches? No, I always walk like this. Eddie Braben
  • traluvietraluvie Posts: 2,579
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Glynis..

    Just checking in to see how you got on at doctors today??
    th_tn_TisFORTIGGER.jpgxxTracyxx
  • claud1neclaud1ne Posts: 6
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Glynis,
    Hope you got on well at the doctors.
    I noticed that you said you were finding it very difficult to cope in work, and that your employer has suggested that your Occy Health dept might be brought in to manage things.
    Do be mindful that, if you are suffering at work because of your health, you have RIGHTS, as well as responsibilities. One of these is that your employer helps you so that you can manage your existing workload more easily, and within your capabilities - or - if that isn't possible, moves you to a role that is more appropriate. It does pay to know your rights in the workplace.... (Because some employers are only too willing to bounce sick and/ or disabled people out the back door, as I know to my cost).
    Best wishes Glynis, Claudine x
  • glynis87glynis87 Posts: 12
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Thank you again for all of your advice. I cancelled the doctors appointment in the end as I decided to try and deal with the pain myself. Given my past experience at the doctors with these pains, the most likely outcome would be stronger painkillers - which are not an option in my job. I can't take anti-inflammatories because of stomach problems (I do take ginger though).
    My concern about making too big an issue of this at work is that I am afraid they might decide I am not fit for my job. I am a lecturer, and overall we do have excellent working conditions (sick leave etc) but I am afraid that if I don't 'keep up' and carry out my full workload that they will think I am not up to it and suggest that I reture early etc - which I can't afford to do. My husband is on long-term sick with mental health problems, so mine is the only income. Whilst I appreciate that it is a good income, it is tied up in all of the household expenses, mortgage etc, so without work we would be in a really difficult situation.
    I have had a book recommended to me (say no to arthritis) and I am going to try to put together a plan that might give me some relief without stronger painkillers. I don't know if it will work but at the moment I will try anything. I know that I should not really be going into work today, the pain in my right lower back, hip and leg is really bad, but I also know that I will keep going in spite of it - otherwise I will feel like I am 'cheating' in some way and my husband and I will just end up getting more and more anxious about losing everything if I lose my job.

    Thanks again
    Glynis
  • dreamdaisydreamdaisy Posts: 31,567 ✭✭✭
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Why would a stronger pain relief option not sit well with your job? Have you tried any or are you presuming knowledge? When things are really rough for me I use tramadol 50mg at night as they help me to go to sleep but to cope with the day I use a slow-release tramadol 100mg, which is utterly brilliant. I am not affected by drowsiness, the edge of the pain is sufficiently removed to enable me to do my usual day (which involes one-to-one tuition for dyslexics) and it gives me the illusion I am beating the pestilence, which is always a good psychological boost! :smile: You don't seem to know what kind of arthritis you have - you need at least that basic knowledge to help you battle it. If it is OA then I gave you some tips above in a previous answer, but if it's an inflammatory one you do need medical intervention and proper treatment.

    Arthritis is a degenerative and progressive disease. At what rate yours will degenerate your joints and progress no-one knows, we are as individual in our arthritises as we are in life, but by the sounds of it yours is too advanced now for any kind of non-medical remedial help. People swear by copper bangles, cod liver oil, diet etc etc etc - I think they are the ones who don't acutally have arthritis, just the aches and pains of a naturally aging but healthy body. Those of us who do have it know different. You do need to see your doctor - if you feel he/she is not emapthetic enough is there another one in the practice you could visit? I am concerned that you could be harming yourself further by putting your needs on the back burner, but I recongise that the pressures on you are very intense. DD
    Have you got the despatches? No, I always walk like this. Eddie Braben
  • glynis87glynis87 Posts: 12
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hello DreamDaisy

    I was prescribed tramadol a few years ago but when I read the side effects (and based on what other people have said) they would make it diffiult to concentrate at work. However, your experience seems to be a more positive one, so maybe I should have more of an open mind and try them. I have tried a couple of GPs in my practice, but they do seem to simply dish out prescriptions. They don't seem interested in the effect of the arthritis on my everyday life. I have osteoarthritis, rather than rheumatoid (I was tested for rheumatoid about 5 years ago when I first started having problems). You are right that I should really go back to the doctors, I guess I feel like I am being a nuisance because I have been several times already and I just get told 'it's arthritis'.

    G
  • traluvietraluvie Posts: 2,579
    edited 14. Jun 2011, 05:27
    Glynis..

    I understand that you are worried about work/income.. but really you need to look after yourself too...
    I know it can be very scary but your health is important and i don't believ you should keep suffering..
    Could you not speak to your manager, they have a right to help you in the workplace..
    Maybe change doctors too so you can find an understanding one..
    maybe you could speak to the helpline people too, maybe they can give you some advice on what to do..
    Whatever you decide we will always be here to support you as much as we can..
    th_tn_TisFORTIGGER.jpgxxTracyxx
  • dreamdaisydreamdaisy Posts: 31,567 ✭✭✭
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    They are right, it is 'only' arthritis, but they should be doing a much better job of explaining it to you than they are. One of the biggest problems with OA is that is so damn common the docs tend to forget the effect it has on people. There are what, ten million plus with some form of arthritis in this country, and the vast majority of those have OA. There is not a lot we can do about it, true, but there are things we can do to help ourselves, and it is by joining somewhere like here that you begin to discover what they are.

    Right, side effects. These have to be listed by the manufacturers as a protection for themselves, I guess. They cover everything one is likely to encounter (I am waiting to grow another head but in green, hah! That'll get me some money from them!) but just because they are listed does not guarantee they will turn up. I occasionally read the leaflets that come with my meds, just to check matters, then I fold them up and put them away and get on. Yes, I have some to deal with, tinnitus, the occasional bout of nausea, constipation, but they are manageable as they don't hurt and for the latter I have docusate. If you are worried about stomach trouble with the anti-inflammatories, were you also prescrived a stomach protector? I have omeprazole and so far, so good. (I am on more meds than you due to the inflammatory nonsense I have).

    We are all different in how we react to meds, but one or two set-backs does not mean that there isn't anything out there to help one. There are all kinds of pain relief, all kinds on anti-inflammatories, there has to be something out there that can help. This is where you need an empathetic GP. You are not a nuisance you are a poorly person who needs help from her doctor.

    Have you looked at the LWA forum? That is the place where questions about meds and treatment etc are dealt with. If you post your concerns on there I am sure you will get more answers and support - not many look in on this forum, I am the forum slut tho - I go everywhere! :grin: DD
    Have you got the despatches? No, I always walk like this. Eddie Braben
  • dreamdaisydreamdaisy Posts: 31,567 ✭✭✭
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Morning Glynis, how are things? I hope you are feeling as OK as you can be. DD
    Have you got the despatches? No, I always walk like this. Eddie Braben
  • glynis87glynis87 Posts: 12
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hello dreamdaisy

    Thank you for asking after me. I am struggling but I know from reading the forums that I am a lot 'luckier' than many on this site. How are you doing?

    Glynis
  • dreamdaisydreamdaisy Posts: 31,567 ✭✭✭
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Me? Rough as guts today. Never mind, I've been here before, I will be herer again, this is arthritis and this is what it does. The cruddy meds I take for the PA suppress my immune system (to stop it firing up and attacking my joints) so the nett result of that is I can pick up a bug or infection but not know as I do not produce symptoms. I suspect that is going on at the moment. I could be sitting here with a temperature of 103 and not know it! Eeeeek! (I'm not, I am checking my temp four times a day and so far, so good, tho it is slightly up for me.)

    No-one on here is worse off than anyone else. We all have our trials and tribulations and while some can handle a damn sight more than others everyone has their bar to what they feel is an acceptable level of difficulty. As we plod on with our lives that bar rises, simply because it must. Keep in touch, please, I have been thinking about you. I am glad to see you posted on LWA, I shall scoot over there now and see who else has answered! I wish you well. DD (Do call me that, it saves a deal of typing!)
    Have you got the despatches? No, I always walk like this. Eddie Braben
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