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Very worried about my hands

LolaLola Posts: 4
edited 1. Aug 2011, 08:09 in Say Hello Archive
Hi All, I am 40, I started having difficulty with my hands after my 4th baby, she is only 7 months now. I have been told I have arthritis but my bloods are not showing RA or autoimune disease. I have been refered to a rhaumatoligist. I was told by the hospital its a 13 week wait just to get an appointment. In the 7 months since my baby was born, I now have pain and stiffness in most of my joints feet ankels knees elbows etc it would be quicker to list areas not affected. But I am so concerned about my hands my right hand in particular (I am right handed) I have very little grip my thumb tip, doesnt meet with my index finger tip very well, and i drop things all the time. I have no strength in my hands at all, they cannot bare the cold, I get sharp shooting pains in them. I went to my GP last week he said he would stamp urgent on my case. So I hope I can see the rhaumatoligist soon, as I am so scared I will loose the use of my hands, because 7 months ago I didnt have a problem, it has progressed so quickly. I am having difficulty in all tasks picking up money, peeling veg, pegging out the washing, when shopping i use both hands to pick up items because otherwise I just drop them.

My Nan had RA, I feel that is maybe what i have. Does anyone have the same problem with their hands, can they get any better. I would really appreciate any information cos I am very scared, that if this continues to progress this rapidly, I will not be able to care for my baby.


  • tillytoptillytop Posts: 3,460
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Morning Lola and welcome to the forum.

    I am so very sorry you are struggling so much at the moment Lola and I understand completely why you are so worried. I know how scary it is - you could be describing me (symptoms wise) nearly 16 years ago.

    From what you describe and given your family history of RA it does sound possible that you have some form of RA or inflammatory arthritis Lola and I am pleased that the GP has now marked your referral as urgent. Blood tests alone are not enough to diagnose or rule out RA/inflammatory arthritis which is why a rheumatology appt is so important.

    You ask whether things will get better? Well hopefully they will because there are so many drugs available now, which would not have been available for your Nan. And whilst there is no curre for RA/inflammatory arthritis if it turns out that is what you have, drugs can potentially help slow the progress of the disease and to ease the symptoms.

    On a practical note - has your GP prescribed anti-inflammatories or pain-killers to try to give you some relief until your hospital appt? If not, I really think it would be worth asking for some. Also, I would urge you to keep chasing the GP and/or hospital about your rheumatology appointment - maybe you could offer to take a cancellation if one becomes available - because, as far as I understand it, the potential for joint damage in RA is greatest in the first two years so prompt diagnosis and treatment can make a big difference.

    Please do keep posting - any concerns or just a listening ear, we are here to help and support and, because we have all been there, in some form or another, we really do understand. The Living with Arthritis (LWA) forum is the best place to post, cos most people look there regularly.

    Finally, not sure if you know but Arthritis Care has a helpline if you feel you would like to chat to someone. They can be contacted by phone (number at the top of the webpage) or on the "Chat to our Helpline Team" forum.

    Thinking of you Lola.

    Lots love Tilly xxx
  • LolaLola Posts: 4
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Thankyou for answering so promtly Tilly, its nice to know i can get things off my chest on here, and maybe get some answers. I dont want to burden my family with my concerns all the time. Its bad enough that they are seeing me dropping things and open things for my etc.

    I am taking diclofenic (not sure if spelt correctly) 3 a day, but dont seem to be any better for it, although dont want to stop taking them incase they are helping. I just take over the counter cocodamol if I am struggling with pain.

    I have already asked the hospital about a cancellation, but they said they dont offer out cancellations. I will be calling them tomorrow as it will be a week after my GP visit when he said he would stamp my case as urgent. I hope i dont get the woman I spoke to last time as she was quite unpleasent, and reduced me to tears, although i am very tearful at the moment. I just want to get on some medication because I am already losing the use of my hands and 7 months ago I had no symptons.

    Thanks again Tilly.
  • tillytoptillytop Posts: 3,460
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Morning Lola,

    I am so glad you have found the forum - I have had some great support and advice here and it can really help to get things into perspective.

    I am so sorry that the Diclo and over the counter co-cos aren't really helping Lola.

    About the appt - would your GP chase it up for you d'you think? For one thing the GP has more clout to push for an urgent appt and it also means you wouldn't have to face the dragon again. Perhaps he could phone and speak to someone in the rheumatology dept, rather than relying on a letter. My GP has done that for me in the past for other appointments and it has got me seen very quickly. I am so sorry you got so upset but I do understand (been there, done that :roll:) cos it is really difficult to deal with things when you are so unwell.

    Thinking of you Lola - and please feel free to post here or send me a PM anytime you want a chat. I'm always happy to listen.

    Lots love Tilly xxx
  • stickywicketstickywicket Posts: 25,998 ✭✭✭
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hello Lola,

    You don't really need me because Tilly has given you some excellent advice and she is far more clued up with modern procedures than I am.

    However, I just wanted to say hello and welcome. We all understand on here about not wanting to be moaning on to family members all the time so talking things through with others on the forum is a good way of getting things off our chests and also finding some much needed support. You are not alone. We all do it.

    Babies and arthritis are a difficult mix. I did it twice and can guarantee you the pain is worth it. Don't be afraid of using unorthodox techniques. I used to terrify my mother-in-law with the way I picked mine up (Bent them over my forearm then hauled them up over it) but it worked for me and was safer than putting yet more pressure on the weak spots. I also enlisted the older one's help with the younger one.

    You have 4 which can't be easy. Try to relax on the housework front. Something has to give. better the housework than your joints.

    I do hope you get an appointment soon. Take care.
    “There is always a well-known solution to every human problem - neat, plausible, and wrong.” H.L. Mencken
  • prefabkid47prefabkid47 Posts: 1,314
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Lola
    Sorry you are suffering but glad you have found us.We are a supportive and understanding crowd here and can speak from experience.
    I have RA in the hands and RA and OA in the ankle.My hand were were swollen and very painful especially in the knuckle joints and lost a lot of strength in the hands.Cold weather made things worse.
    Have been on methotrexate for some years and has given excellent control with only occasional twinges.This may not work for or suit everybody but there is always something which will!!I'm sure from experience they will soon get things sorted.
    Ron xx
    ''Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy''. Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790)
  • traluvietraluvie Posts: 2,579
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Lola..

    Welcome to the forum..
    You have already recieved some great replies..
    I just wanted to give you some comfort..I have inflammatory arthritis.. my hands were very swollen and painful.. Now i am taking hydroxychloroquine i have been alot better, still have no strength, and some pain and slight swelling but not as half as bad as it was..so things can improve although it may not be a miracle cure, things can improve and as you go along you tend to find your own way of dealing with things..You may notice you are more tired, you do need to slow down and see if you can get some extra help round the house, be it family or the older children..You will learn to listen to what your body is saying..
    We are here for you, so feel free to ask as many qusetions as you like, or even if you just want to talk.. We are a good bunch and can have a great laugh too.. brightens up my day many a times..
    Wish you well and keep us posted as to how you are getting on..xx
  • jac1566jac1566 Posts: 12
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    i understand how you feel. i have just been told i have oa in both of my hands. i am right handed to and droping things all the time. i have cps as well . i am now seeing the occupatanel therpist who is now helping me to cope with the pain. xx
  • chile168chile168 Posts: 384
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Lola and welcome to the forum.

    You describe the pain a lot better than I, I always say it feels like someone is stretching my bone but you are right, they are sharp pains. I hope you get your appointment soon after all that waiting. :sad:

    I have RA and when I get severe swelling or notice unusual things, I take a photo and log down the flare ups because it's sods law it won't be there when you see the rheumi.

    Also wanted to say congratulations on your 7 month baby.

    Good luck and fingers crossed your appointment comes soon.

  • silverbirchsilverbirch Posts: 63
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hello everyone,

    Amazed thet this subject is about what I came on here for today.

    I got up yesterday morning with my right hand very swollen ( my knuckles have vanished ) I have had RA for about 5 years now but never had my hand swollen like this before, I am on Hydrocloroquine and wondering whether to go on Methatrexate injections, as I was told I could if this medication didn't work, trouble is that it has up till now.

    I was on Methatrexate tablets but they made me ill,,,,what to do.....

    PS, I love this site, much better that the Ouch site, thankyou very much to all involved in the running oof it.
  • LolaLola Posts: 4
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I just want to thank you all for your replys, sorry i didnt respond sooner, but i have been feeling pretty awful, terrible fatigue, and feeling so incredibly weak. I have felt a bit stronger the last couple of days but my joints have got worse, more pain and stiffness. My knees keep giving way too. Is that some thing that is common with Arthritis?

    I have received an appointment for august 11th, which seems a life time away with the way I am feeling. I may go back to GP in the mean time to see if I can try some other anti inflamatories as the diclofenic dont seem to help much. Feel as my body is being wrecked whilst I wait.............

    My older children 15 and 14 yr old boys have been very helpful, but i dont really want to burden them, or worry them to much about my condition.

    Thanks again all xx
  • weejeanweejean Posts: 361
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Lola

    Things are just so awful for you at the moment, no wonder you feel so tired and down. I hope your GP can help you with better pain medication until you get to your appointment. I have osteoarthritis in all my joints and like yourself I was very worried that I wouldnt be able to care for my son properly when he was a baby. I managed well once I got some of the pain under control and accepted help from friends and family. My son is now 18 years old and we have a wonderful relationship, he has helped me so much over the years and I think it has made him a very caring and understanding young man. Your older children will surprise you at how well they will cope with your condition and will be a great help to you, kids accept things much easier than adults do and adjust well so try not to worry too much about burdening them. Hope you start to feel a bit better soon.
    Big Hugs
    Jean xx
  • dotty123dotty123 Posts: 122
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Lola I am with you on this one. My hands really suffer and are not as strong as they used to be and not forgetting the lumps and bumps that are appearing now. LIke you I feel cheated and not old enough to have this. I thought arthritis is what old people get. Wrong
    I hate not doing all the things I used to do and the mental side of it is eating me away :(
    Welcome to the site I am new too

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