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broms
broms Member Posts: 24
edited 11. Apr 2012, 12:01 in Say Hello Archive
Hi folks

First post here so be gentle LOL.

I am a brit living in Ireland (becomes relevant further on) and have been recently diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis and ankylosing spondylitis. I also suffer with spine problems (first kicked off when I was 18 am now 54) which has resulted in having three nerve root decompressions, a graf stabilisation back in 1992 and I finally had the graf stabilisation removed and a proper three level L3 – S1 fusion carried out last year. I have DDD in every level of my spine but also have problems with my neck, which the GP thinks will require surgery to fix spinal cord compression – probably need a fusion there as well.

I have had RA symptoms for more then a few years but just put it down to getting more aches and pains as I got older but as time has gone by I am struggling more and more with each bout of it. Starts off in my eyes (have to sit in darken room for a number of days etc) and it was only when I mentioned this to the optician that he suggested it was a pointer for RA. Also have it in my hands, elbows, shoulders and hips. Should have cottoned on to it before when I had one of the nerve root decompressions done back in 2010 as the surgeon said I had massive amounts of arthritis in my spine. Anyway managed to convince the GP to do some blood tests and lo and behold here I am with the results confirming that I have RA, AS and connective tissue problems.

The GP wont start me off on proper medication as they want the RA clinic to see things at their worse but (this is the down side to living in Ireland) the clinic I have been referred to has a waiting list of over a 1000 people just trying to get their first appointment let along any treatment. Back to the GP this week to try and get them to do something medication wise as my hands particularly are a ruddy mess, eating my food with knife and fork is interesting LOL.

Thanks for reading just wanted to tell my tale of woe for what it is worth.

Phil

Comments

  • dreamdaisy
    dreamdaisy Member Posts: 31,520
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Hello Broms, it's nice to meet you and I am glad you have found us. We are a knowledgeable bunch about meds and treatments, a supportive bunch (we're always ready to listen to a moan or grumble and try to encourage) and we love the odd bits of good news we hear every now and again. I can't stop long as I have a massge at 9.30 but I look forward to chatting again later. DD
    Have you got the despatches? No, I always walk like this. Eddie Braben
  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 27,719
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Hey, Phil, we're always gentle with newbies :) We only lay into them later. :lol:

    Seriously, welcome from me too. As DD says, we have a fair bit of experience here on the forum and are a very supportive crowd.

    I can see your dilemma. That sounds a potentially very long wait to see a rheumatologist. Mind you, only they can prescribe the stuff that really does things for RA. Your GP could prescribe anti-inflammatories which should help and possibly steroids which may, if you were lucky, make you doubt you ever had a problem in the first place. But they won't tackle the disease head on.

    I think, in your situation, I'd be inclined to ask my GP about a different referral or, if he thinks the clinic he's referred you to is the best, some time scale and probably some anti-inflamms in the meantime.
    If at first you don't succeed, then skydiving definitely isn't for you.
    Steven Wright
  • broms
    broms Member Posts: 24
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Went back to see the GP yesterday mainly because my hands are so sore great difficulty driving LOL!

    Anyway turns out waiting list is 6 - 8 months unless I can short circuit the system (my partner works within the same hospital group so hopefully she can pull some strings). He has also prescribed me Tramadole and Celebrex in the meantime. He also gave me a steroid injection to try and calm things down a bit - I guess it is time to wait and wait and ......... LOL

    Meant to say as well - Thanks for the welcome - its just nice to bounce things off of like minded people!
  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 27,719
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    I think you've probably taken the wisest course. I do believe it's best for docs to see us at our worst but sometimes achieving that is just a step too far. I hope it all helps in the meantime.
    If at first you don't succeed, then skydiving definitely isn't for you.
    Steven Wright