Newbie just diagnosed and struggling

mellivenelli Member Posts: 38
edited 31. May 2013, 14:51 in Living with Arthritis archive

just wanted to introduse myself. I'm Mel and am 38 years old. I've just been diagnosed with arthritis in lower back, facet joint degeneration and arthritis in my left hip which probably requires a total hip replacement.

I'm not sure what my future holds. I'm a midwife and I've been off work since January and not sure if i'll ever get back to be honest. I'm in pain all day every day despite my Gabapentin, MST and Oromorph and am heavily using my TENS machine to get through the day. I hurt even just sitting down. I can't take NSAID's due to asthma which doesn't help.

I'm stressing about money cos am due to go on to half pay soon as my Occupational Health Doctor says i need non clinical duties and my department manager says that can't happen.

I don't even know where to start looking to gain some sort of normality in my life. I can feel the depression and uncertainty descending upon me.

What do I do now?


  • hileena111
    hileena111 Member Posts: 7,099
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Welcome to the forum....sorry you had to find us and are in such pain.
    First thing that struck me is if you cant take NSAID's can you use the ointment {NSAID} Check that out
    It must be awful to have it so badly when you are so young...I'm retired so don't need to worry about work.
    I've got OA in my hips, lower spine neck and ankle
    Have they offered you injections for your spine?
    They work for some but not for others {like everything else}
    Can you go back to your GP again and stress how bad it is?
    Can you get a referral from him to a pain management clinic?
    They can be very helpful.....from discussing and possibly changing meds to clinical psychologists who could help you with the depression and uncertainity
    I'm sure there will be others along to offer some more help
    Take care
  • dreamdaisy
    dreamdaisy Member Posts: 31,558
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hello, it's nice to meet you and I hope we can help. I am older than you and have two forms of arthritis, an auto-immune one and the joint damage from that has led to osteo arthritis; from what you have said in your post I am guessing that this is the one that is affecting you.

    I have thirty nine affected joints so I can easily identify with the constant pain, I think many of us on here are experiencing something very similar. I have found over the years that the stronger the pain relief the more you are taken away from the pain, not vice-versa. I take it that you work in a hospital - would there be the opportunity for you to change to non-clinical work in another part of the hospital? I too have asthma and have been on NSAIDs for years with no trouble at all but we all react differently to meds as I am sure you know from your work.

    To be honest none of us know what our futures hold - I am reasonably sure I know what this afternoon will bring but tomorrow? I have a vague idea and none of it's lovely. :wink: This is indeed a frightening and bewildering time for you, there seems to be nothing but uncertainty complicated by grinding pain and discomfort. Do you have friends and family around you for support? If they are not understanding what you are trying to deal with then have them read The Spoon Theory and There's a Gorilla in my House; both give good explanations of what we are up against.

    Take one day at a time, make sure you chat to your GP about the possibility of an anti-inflammatory and maybe a small dose of an anti-depressant to help you through this. I was put onto Citalopram when I was first diagnosed with OA. I wanted to come off it after three months but my rheumatologist said no, her reasoning being that I would cope better with the pain if I was feeling mentally stronger. She has been proved right. I wish you well. DD
    Have you got the despatches? No, I always walk like this. Eddie Braben
  • barbara12
    barbara12 Member Posts: 21,102
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hello Mel
    And a warm welcome from me, only sorry you had to look for us in the first place
    I am a lot older at 63 and consider myself lucky to go so long before getting OA, I do sympathise has I have it in my lumber and I am due to have my first hip replacement soon.
    I have tried the slow release morphine...and the brutan patched but they did nothing for me ....I find that the antiinflams work on some of the pain, have you been referred to a pain clinic at all,,and like someone else has said there are injections you can have in your back and hip, but I do think you should see a physio just so you know what exercises to do to keep your joints moving..sorry if you have already tried all these.
    You now have us lot to talk to and that in itself is helpful just to unburden dont forget we are always here x
  • bubbadog
    bubbadog Member Posts: 5,544
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Mel, I was diagnosed young with Osteoporosis, so I know how your mind must be at the moment with 100's of questions flying round in it and not knowing where to turn next. You have come to the best place and we will all try to help answer any questions you have. The next step is you need to sit down and work out what's best for you in the long run, you say your a midwife and you've already been off work sick for a while it's only you who knows if you would be able to carry on your job. Do you have a good relationship with your G.P? As I feel you need to sit down with them and discuss how the illness is effecting you, and that your in such pain still because you may need to change to some more effective pain meds. Your G.P would be able to discuss with you about your employment and help you with understanding your options. I'm 40yrs old and if you ever wanna chat just PM (private message) me. Amanda.
  • Ryedaledigger
    Ryedaledigger Member Posts: 24
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi and welcome
    I have been though the same as you, what is the future. You need to look at the positive support that is available from all from various agencies like Turn 2 us, CAB, your employer and of course arthritis care for money worries. If you are getting a new hip the op is quick and the old pain goes away fast with a recovery of 6 weeks, physio is hard though. A small tip is to keep close family informed of your condition and how it makes you feel as I found, once I told them, they become very supportive and can take some of the pressure off you.
    TTFN Steve
  • constable
    constable Member Posts: 2,115
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Welcome from me. You have found a lovely forum here. I have had a total hip replacement of my left hip, now have it in the right. Have Arthur in my elbows, lower and upper back, and more. I must admit that none of the meds we take help loads with pain, just dulls. But I could never get used to Gabapentin, it made my mind even more dippy than it is now.

    You will have plenty of people on here that you can talk to and ask questions. You will be glad you joined.
    Karen xx