what's next?

cmd104
cmd104 Member Posts: 18
edited 6. Jan 2012, 18:27 in Living with Arthritis archive
I posted a few weeks ago about my hands and that I was going back to GP to try and get some answers. I've had psoriatic arthritis for a few years now and havent been on any meds etc. Probably neglected it if I'm honest. I went back to GP had blood tests and was sent for X-Rays. Everything came back clear which might be good news. But my hads are still in agony. Simple things like stirring a pot of soup with a big spoon hurts like hell....

What can I do, if all the tests come back clear? Any ideas?

Comments

  • dreamdaisy
    dreamdaisy Member Posts: 31,520
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    It takes time to learn to adjust how things are done and to find new (and hopefully less painful) ways of doing ordinary chores. Over the years I have replaced perfectly good kitchen utensils with more arthritis-friendly ones: I swear by the Good Grips range of utensils inasmuch as they suit me, I cook sitting down, I use lighter-weight pans, smaller spoons etc but I am sure you will find your own way around these things.

    PA usually begins in the hands (or toes), it likes to nibble at the smaller joints first then may well move onto the bigger ones. I would advise you to consider beginning some meds soon, including pain dullers to ease the hurt, they may well bring things under better control for you and help your life to become easier again. You seem to be avoiding joint damage so far and it would be good to keep things that way, yes? DD
  • valval
    valval Member Posts: 14,911
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    dd has a point stopping dammage is the most important part that and controling the pain and exhaustion that can come with it good luck i do hope they help you val
  • cmd104
    cmd104 Member Posts: 18
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    it sort of feels like a cheat as all tests came back clear. I know that only the docs can say for sure, but what kinda of meds would it be? and would it be a daily dosage?

    Do you think I should follow up with my GP and look for a Rheummy apt? Can you just ask for one? I'm a bit naive with all this!
  • dreamdaisy
    dreamdaisy Member Posts: 31,520
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Only you can decide what you want to do. Who told you in the first place that you have PA? That is usually done by a rheumatologist but it sounds as though you have not seen one as yet. The meds you begin on are determined by the rheumatologist and if you want to see one then it is the GP that refers you. DD
  • cmd104
    cmd104 Member Posts: 18
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi DD :-) I had a Rheumatologist appt about 8 yeara ago and was told then. but never really had any follow ups etc, just had one consultation and that was that. To be fair its really only in the last 6 months where my hads have been getting progressively worse which has prompted me to do something about it.

    So do you think that the next step would be for me to get another GP apt and discuss whether or not i need to get another referral back to rheumatology?

    Thanks for your advice
  • valval
    valval Member Posts: 14,911
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    make an app. with doc explain how much pain you are in and ask for referral to rhummy the sooner some one looks at what going on the better val
  • magenta
    magenta Member Posts: 1,604
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hiya,

    I just wondered what your symptoms are in your hands? My hands get very red and fingers get swollen. I also have developed a sort of hard skin. It's exactly where you would hold a pen-on side of thumb and side of forefinger-and it's not going away. I've had it now for about a month. Is that similar?

    Hope you get some help soon and the pain eases for you,

    Magenta x
  • cmd104
    cmd104 Member Posts: 18
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Magenta,

    My symptoms are- pitted and brittle nails, knuckles are always red. 3rd finger right hand always sore. 1st finger on both hands bends like a banana, and wee finger on each hand isnt much better. Wake up in mornings hands are sore takes about an hour to warm up. When I make a fist, It feels like my hands have no power.
    I've difficulty with cutlery (but no problem with eating :smile: ). Pain is always right in the middle of my hands. I seems to get "some" relief, if i partly close my hands, though this doesn;t seem to be a natural position....

    * wee = little here in Ireland :smile:
  • magenta
    magenta Member Posts: 1,604
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi again,

    You made me laugh! I'm Scottish-I know what 'wee' means :wink:

    Yep,

    I have some of those symptoms too. I think at times my hands look like they've 'grown'-they get so swollen.
    My third finger on my right hand is the one that causes me most problems too.
    My hands just now feel like they're burning, right into my finger-tips. Plus, they feel like the skin is dry but it's not-weird.

    Thanks,
    Magenta x
  • cmd104
    cmd104 Member Posts: 18
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Sorry, didnt think to do a wee check first :grin: , hopefully you'll have a better 2012-
  • Mat48
    Mat48 Member Posts: 1,161
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    If I were you I'd go back to GP asap because you don't want the damage to set in so it is irreparable and I think it's really strange that you had a diagnosis 8 years ago but then got abandoned with no appropriate medication? Isn't PA much the same as RA in that it requires early treatment to delay damage? My rheumy said that I had sero-negative RA (even though i had a low positive rheumatoid factor) and that it didn't matter too much if the diagnosis changes at a later date - what mattered was that the inflammation was treated because it is this that does the damage.

    I often wonder if I actually have RA rather than PA or OA because my hands, wrists, elbows and shoulders have been the only joints affected over the past 3 months. It started in my knees and feet a year ago but I have hardly any trouble with them and all of the trouble is currently in wrists and hands. It sounds pretty similar to what you are experiencing and yet I'm on Methotrexate and see the rheumy every 4 months and have regular blood tests so I think it's high time you saw your GP now! Take care, Mat x
  • cmd104
    cmd104 Member Posts: 18
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I'll be making an appointment for the first week of the new year! I havent had anything by way of any follow ups since I was at university. But, it's entirely possible that I had letters sent to an old address where I rented.

    It's a wee bit frustrating for me, because I had really hoped that the recent xrays& blood tests would have shown something, but as Ive come to discover, there isnt much in the blood for PA.

    I've not really thought about the unseen damage until recently with my hands getting bad.

    Thanks for taking time to reply Mat !!
  • cmd104
    cmd104 Member Posts: 18
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    So I went back to GP following normal xrays and bloods and as is my typical form, i forgot most of what i wanted to say. But for now, GP thinks what I am experiencing at the moment is Arthralgia ( I think thats the spelling) and has prescribed Nepraxen to help along with some simple hand exercises with a stress ball etc. Follow up in a couple of weeks....

    Has anyone else had nepraxen?
  • valval
    valval Member Posts: 14,911
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    sounds like an anti inflamitory med, bit like naproxen should help with stiffness and swelling good luck
  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 27,098
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Do you mean Naproxen? It's an anti-inflammatory. I found it helped me a lot for years and a lot of people are on it. I hope it helps
  • cmd104
    cmd104 Member Posts: 18
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Sorry Val and SW, yes I meant Naproxen.... Damm dislexic fingers :smile:

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