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Have just been diagnosed, and feeling a little lost about it

mamajeenmamajeen Posts: 6
edited 29. May 2013, 05:36 in Young people's community
I was in a very bad car accident 3 years ago. As I managed to get myself out of the car, I was told by the hospital I could just go home and that I'd suffered no serious injury. I didn't even get examined. 6 months later, I was still suffering with hip pain and limping constantly. Dr's just gave me some paracetamol and told me it'll just be the after effects of the accident.
A year later, the pain spread to my back. I refused to be fobbed off with more pain killers, so they sent me for an x-ray. No broken bones to be seen, therefore I was "fine." I kept going back to the Dr's every week, and they sent me away for an MRI. Again no bone damage to be seen so I was "fine."
2 years after the accident I had to give up Uni, as I was in so much pain and couldn't attend lectures.
Just last week I was sent to a chronic pain clinic. I was told I have arthritis in the lower part of my spine, so deal with it and to keep taking co-codomol (which I've been doing for last year), and that over time it will most likely get worse.
I know very little about arthritis, and in all honesty my faith in Dr's is gone. I don't agree with having to take this much painkillers, as I know what damage they can do over a period of time. I also don't believe in just letting it "get worse." Surely, there must be something that I can do to help prevent it worsening.
Any advice on how to live with arthritis, and any therapies that help it would greatly appreciated!

Comments

  • stickywicketstickywicket Posts: 25,998 ✭✭✭
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hello mamajeen. I’m sorry to hear of your car accident and subsequent arthritis. Osteoarthritis can, indeed, come on as a result of a former trauma and it sounds as if this might be what has happened in your case.

    Most people here speak well of Pain Clinics. I’m wondering how yours managed to diagnose OA given that your x-rays and MRI didn’t show anything. Did they do new ones? I’m amazed that they only told you to take pain relief. That is a necessary part of dealing with OA but only a part of it. Usually they recommend exercises, distraction techniques and other approaches to help.

    OA doesn’t just go away. I’ve had it for years as a result of my RA. Like you, I believe in taking as few painkillers as possible but I know I’ll always have to take some. I discovered, post-op, that I could delay my next lot for quite a while by using distraction techniques and I also know I’d be in a much worse situation without my daily exercises. A healthy diet and a healthy weight also help. Have you checked out Arthritis Care’s publications (top right)? There are booklets on all sorts of things that you might find helpful. Or, you might like to ring the Helplines for a chat.

    Finally, I should point out that I’m not a young person – far from it – but I was when I first developed RA :roll: If you post on the Living With Arthritis forum more people will see your thread.
    “There is always a well-known solution to every human problem - neat, plausible, and wrong.” H.L. Mencken
  • mamajeenmamajeen Posts: 6
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Thanks for reply.
    They haven't done any new scans.
    I have constantly been dismissed by Dr's over the last 3years. And I'm at my wit's end with it all. I can accept that I'm most likely going to be stuck with this back problem, but I won't accept that it can just take over my life.
    I actually quite shocked by the way I was spoken to at the pain clinic.
    I've recently taken up swimming again, which has been great as it takes the pressure off my hip and back. But I'm only 20, and find myself having to use a walking stick just to get about the house.
    I'm trying to stay positive and get myself on the right mind set, but with the attitude of medics, its a real struggle.
  • stickywicketstickywicket Posts: 25,998 ✭✭✭
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hello again. I'll answer on your thread on LWA as it's probably better to keep it all together.
    “There is always a well-known solution to every human problem - neat, plausible, and wrong.” H.L. Mencken
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