alexholmes Member Posts: 4
edited 2. Sep 2013, 16:02 in Say Hello Archive
Hi am new to the forum ... Have recently been diagnosed with OA in my knees from mri scan I am 43 and have to say i am gutted. The mcas dept rang me to inform me while i was on my holiday in cornwall. At first i got the so what i will get better i can beat this ..... Then i look round, over the last 9 months i have gone from being in pain and limping and now i am fully dependant on crutches .... And now i dont know what to do i have a 10 year old and feel so guilty i am not running round with her as i did with my other 2 children. I try to manage my pain with tramadol & ibruprofen and i am failing, i just feel sorry for myself at the moment. I really do try to walk as much as i can but even though i have sweat bands wrapped round the handles of my crutches my hands hurt so much .... So any ideas on pain management and positve management of this horrid disease will be greatfully accepted ... And i am really not so grumpy honest :oops: Alex


  • maria09
    maria09 Member Posts: 1,905
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Alex
    I can totally empathise with you
    I started with OA 10 yrs ago when I was 40 and my children were 9 and 7 its very hard when you realise you can't do certain things with them that you used to do luckily for me my husband is fit and well and he could do all the fun stuff with them
    I also had to reduce my hours at work and only did 2 shifts a week and never 2 days together as I needed time to rest and recover from all the pain and fatigue I felt
    Then 4 years ago I started with Spondlyo Arthropathy a type of inflammatory arthritis which really knocked me for six ending in me taking ill health retirement at 49
    This I found difficult to accept as I had worked as a nurse for 30 years and now nothing! This totally got me down and depressed feeling I was no use to anyone certainly the most darkest time in my life
    I now take each day as it comes bad or good I have realised my limitations and have accepted my conditions and I'm happier in myself it just took a long time getting there
    With our conditions its a long slow process and finding the right medication and pain relief is a bit of trial and error
    It also helps having a good GP and Rheumatology team which I have
    I'm getting there slowly with my meds but I'm still in constant pain of varying degrees every day my drug treatment has to follow the NICE guidelines where they try certain drugs before they go for the really strong ones as they cost thousands of pounds so I'm at the trial and error stage still
    If you have any questions you think I can help you with please send me a pm
    I hope I haven't confused you at all
    Take care
  • dreamdaisy
    dreamdaisy Member Posts: 31,520
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hello, it's nice to meet you but I am sorry you have had to find us.

    OA is the most common form of arthritis, I think there are over 8 million with it in the UK and obviously us on here know how tough it can be. I have it in both knees (my other arthritis began in my knees) and it's gone to other joints too but no matter. I have been on crutches since 2002 and have now graduated to a rollator which makes life a deal easier. Luckily I don't have children (nature got at least one thing right with me, I have no maternal instincts whatsoever :wink: ) but I can empathise with the lack of mobility and the pain - it's a blasted nuisance to say the least. :)

    Do you use ergonomic handled crutches or just the usual NHS barrel-shaped ones? Ideally crutches are there to be used for balance and stability, not leaning all your body weight on to them. It is also better to use them as if you are a quadruped - right leg forward with left crutch and then vice versa (I was taught this my a physio). That spreads the load more evenly across the body. I buy my own sticks and I will soon be investing in a pair of flexy foot ferrules (they are on the interweb) because they reduce the impact of stick-hitting-ground so I hope that will help my hands.

    As for pain relief well, that is it, really. The stronger the relief the more you are taken away from the pain and with children that is not an option. I have had years to get used to being in pain, it's always there, it has been since 1997, gently twanging away and if I give it heed it ramps up - if you can keep yourself distracted from it helps to 'lessen' it. Exercise is helpful in keeping the muscles surrounding the affected joints stronger so they better support the joint but it is not easy to achieve when stuff hurts. Have you tried swimming? That is the perfect low-impact form of exercise, cycling may be another option. Walking is a fairly high-impact form and it doesn't help our hurty bits too much but it does help our muscles.

    I have to go - shopping beckons. :( I wish you well. DD
  • frogmorton
    frogmorton Member Posts: 28,179
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Alex

    I am so sorry about your news :(

    It must be a real shock to you even though you have obviously been in pain for around 9 months.

    What I can say is now the only way is up. There is lots can be done and life isn't over for you even if it feels like it just now.

    There is physio, Pain relief, pain clinics hydrotherapy etc. An occupational therapist can look at making your crutches more comfortable and that is without looking at surgical options.

    Hopefully you will get to see an orthopaedic consultant who can tell you what options there are for you surgically in the future.

    In the meantime your daughter loves you for who you are.....you will be a really good parent, I promise, because you will put more thought into her care than others, who have their health, have to.

    I am glad you have found us because talking about it all and getting informed is really the very best thing just now

    Take care


    Toni xx

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