3 Hour written exam..any help with stiffness?

MumV
MumV Member Posts: 71
edited 27. Feb 2013, 03:31 in My Child Has Arthritis
Hello again,

Have spoken to my daughter tonight she is doing Uni exams, today she had 2 x2hour written exams, after this extensive writing she found she couldn't straighten her elbow for a while, it is ok again tonight, her next exam is Thursday 3hours :? She can have rest periods, so she will try this if she feels too stiff to write........Good luck with that.

As we chatted, we discussed the irony of how she feels at the moment...she is reducing her Methotrexate for JIA from 30mg and is currently down to 15mg, she feels really well in herself and is very active, she feels really good when she has been active, walking etc and yet when she sits still for too long her knees are stiff and now with extensive writing her elbows wouldn't straighten ( her elbows were the worst joints affected both bent without treatment)

I told her I would ask on the forum for her and she was pleased for me to ask, so her question is......
..does anyone have advice for combating this "sitting still stiffness ", does anyone have any tips of things that work for them?

Thank you in anticipation of replies, and for helping me to support my daughter. She is such a positive considerate and lovely young lady.

My deepest respect as always belongs to all people who are living with this hidden disease, I am eternally humbled.

Comments

  • ShulaArcher
    ShulaArcher Member Posts: 174
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hello

    Arthritis Care have a leaflet which you can download from the site, which includes exercises which can be done sitting down and which may well be helpful for your daughter. It's under Publications and Resources, then List by subject - Self-help - Exercise. Is your daughter in an exam room with other students or does she have special arrangements? I taught for many years and would most likely have advised that she needs to be in a room where she can move about when necessary so probably separate from other students. She may not want to be treated any differently, of course, but this should be available for her.

    Hope this is helpful and very best wishes to her for her exams
    Shula
  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 26,271
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Exams :roll: I had an amanuensis for my finals. It brought its own problems but worked OK. There are other students on here, MumV, but I don’t know how often they look in here. If you re-post on Living With Arthritis they’re more likely to see it.

    Your daughter has done really well to halve the meth dose. For what it’s worth, I got mine down to 15mgs some time ago and, when I suggest trying to take it further, my rheumatologist tells me 15 mgs is regarded as a very safe dose so no point in pushing things.

    For any stiffness, especially that resulting from any joint(s) being in the same position, or muscles using the same repetitive action for too long. I just try to get going the ‘opposite muscles’. As ShulaArcher has said, you could have a look at AC’s booklet on Exercise to see which might help. Everyone, arthritic or not, is advised not to sit for too long, especially in the same position. I try to vary my day alternating between ‘sitting stuff’ and ‘standing stuff’ and move from one to the other, not when the task is completed but when I recognize the first twinges of disapproval from a joint. Exams are a different matter, of course, but she might be allowed permission to take short, accompanied, walks round the room. Even if that’s not possible, a few simple stretching exercises might help from her seat. All this could use up extra time but the authorities might be willing to add it on.

    Your daughter is ‘such a positive considerate and lovely young lady’. As my old GP would say, “Now, who does she get that from?” :)

    P.S. I have PM'd you re another thread.
    "The deeper sorrow carves into your being the more joy you can contain." Kahlil Gibran
  • MumV
    MumV Member Posts: 71
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Thank you Shula and Stickywicket,

    Yes she is in a separate room with others with additional time, she said Thera are 2 adjudicating and she can take rest breaks....I think she will be allowed to go for a supervised walk too, I am going to encourage her to do this tomorrow...she said none of the others took breaks or anything the other day... I think a)she feels a bit daft, and b) wants to get the exam over!!!

    I suggested an amanuensis......not keen Stickywicket, again feels daft, I guess this is the first year she has had such long exams....I think it shocked her a little with her elbows, and of course, I don't want this to trigger a flare.

    Her Dad and sister are supposed to be Skyping her later(I'm not keen on that!!) so I have asked him to encourage her to take the stretch breaks and hopefully that will do the trick in the exam tomorrow.

    I will download the leaflet and forward to her, and forward your advice about opposite muscles, she's really good at keeping active, and will be open to these suggestions, when revising she is fine.

    Thanks again for the time to reply, I will post questions on Living with Arthritis, good tip thank you.



    My next thing is " working" good jobs bad jobs with JIA....but one thing at a time.

    Now to work out what PM'd is and how to access....I'll get there...personal message....

    Thank you lovely people. :)
  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 26,271
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    She's young and, of course, she wants to 'fit in' and be the same as everyone else. I'm sure she'll work out what's best for her and learn from this so that, next lot of exams, she knows in advance what to do...or not.

    Oooh go for skype! I skype my young American grandson every week. It's fantastic. Today I was offered a jelly sweet and a drink of milk :lol:

    PMs - look across the top bar, where you log out. Towards the right it tells you if you have any.
    "The deeper sorrow carves into your being the more joy you can contain." Kahlil Gibran
  • MumV
    MumV Member Posts: 71
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Thank you,

    Stickywicket, Jelly sweet and milk....lovely combination :D.

    It is tricky isn't it when you feel well with your condition...and you look ok, You are right Tuesdays experience has confirmed, she does need additional exam conditions, defiantly get these in place so that you have a choice on the day.

    Good luck for today my girl!! :!:
  • Steph88
    Steph88 Member Posts: 29
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi, I appreciate this is a bit late but I assume your daughter has many more exams to go so thought you might want to know!

    I was diagnosed at 13, sat my GCSE, A levels, English degree and trained to be a teacher. I have done nothing but write 3 hour exam papers for years and now I mark 30 in one sitting so I feel the pain, literally!

    I can't say that my experience is the norm but I can tell you how I coped. As I was going yo uni my methotrexate dosage was being reduced. When the deadline days arrived I was experiencing flare ups and was diagnosed with tendonitis and a thyroid disorder. My specialist said that although I felt well the underlying stress of Uni exams would not be helping and recommended I put off lowering the dose. I was fuming, I thought I had been doing great! I learnt the hard way that she was right. I upped medication during exam time and lowered it in between. It was a case of listening to my body and not sacrificing my health in the long run. I used to strap up my wrist too when I was writing for so long. Heat packs and relaxing evenings were a big help as well.

    I'm now 24 with my perfect job and (touch wood) feeling good. I'm still on a lower dose of the methotrexate and take enbrel.

    I hope that is in some way helpful!
  • MumV
    MumV Member Posts: 71
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Steph88,

    Thank you for your reply...it's never too late, as "things" as you know change from day to day, I really appreciate your reply.

    I am not surprised you were fuming, that is one of the hardest things in the early days being told "your doing really well...and you should be able to reduce and even come off...."

    That's good advice, listening to your body and not sacrificing your health in the long run.......and I think that is the key to allowing your child to be independent, allowing them to (with careful overseeing)..take the lead, let them from as early as possible be the ones to speak to the consultant (backed up by your observations)....sorry I digress.

    I am sorry you got tendinitis (I assume you we're prescribed the impossible task of "resting the tendons" to get them better) :roll: and you have a thyroid disorder also in the equation, I hope you have it under control also.

    I am really pleased to hear you managed through all your exams and what a wonderful result...the perfect job..you young teachers are simply...the best!

    Thank you for your positive and inspiring message. Yes it does help.

    (I must get her some heat packs)


    PS my second daughter is hopefully about to embark into Uni life....English &Linguistics or just Linguistics depending on Uni's!

    Good luck with your future in Education...although, to me you sound like you have it sorted (hard work and dedication and passion driven) and heartfelt regards and wellness wishes are hoped for you.

    MumV
  • Steph88
    Steph88 Member Posts: 29
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Thank you for your lovely reply.

    Life with arthritis is never easy but you've just got to not let it beat you, and during bad days that's any easy thing to forget!

    You've got to love the advice of resting your foot when you have to walk up a hill to uni! Bangor may be beautiful and have a fantastic course but at times it wasn't the best place to be!

    I hope both of your daughters continue with their successful paths into higher education. You are clearly a very supportive Mum. I know I wouldn't have got through everything without my Mum :)

    Steph
  • MumV
    MumV Member Posts: 71
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Thank you Steph88,

    Your positivity comes through in your message it's uplifting, I bet your students love you :D

    Yes I guess you don't really think about the lay of the land when choosing a course to study, and why would you, as its not really you who chooses it's the Uni who chooses you!! Glad you survived and clearly did well. One thing my daughter did say in retrospect, about choosing modules....she could have chosen more that we're course work based and not 3hr exam based!!!

    My heartfelt respect lays with everyone living with Arthritis, I like your approach don't let it beat you, I can't say that but you can. My daughter advocates keeping busy, surrounding with friends, smiling laughing and says when she is happy she feels well.

    My hope for you all is for a cure, or as near as can be, but in the meantime remission or Arthritis well under control. :D

    MumV
  • Bydand1980
    Bydand1980 Member Posts: 35
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi

    When I was at school I had a scribe to write my exams but I found that a bit difficult. Later when I went to Uni I had arrangements where I could use a computer with the internet connection disabled to write exams and for me that was the best option. The downside was the first time I done a language exam the computer kept trying to auto correct stuff into English which the tutor marking it didn't take into account. I had my grade raised on appeal.
    Even with using the computer they still gave me a standard exam script for writing any notes or for drawing things like logic trees and diagrams that were not so easy to get across on MS Word! The balance between typing most of the exam and writing when needed worked for me.

    Even if it is a bit late for this exam diet, your daughter should ask her uni disability office for help making better arrangements, particularly if she is finding writing getting more difficult. The other bit of advice is that where you have extra time and rest periods, use them even if you don't feel you need it. When she gets to a natural break or finishes a section or question then take a couple of minutes to walk, loosen off the joints and rest your brain for a few seconds before getting ready to focus on the next bit again.
  • MumV
    MumV Member Posts: 71
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Bydand1980

    Thank you for your reply. Some really good advice there I will pass on.

    I am sorry to hear you had to go to appeal because of a flaw with the computer, things are never straight forward are they, but well done you for persevering.


    Your right too, if you don't ask you don't get, it should be the other way round really.

    I wish you well for your future and hope things are going well for you.

    Thanks again for your input.

    Kind regards

    Mum V