New diagnosis (I think)

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EllieT
EllieT Member Posts: 8
edited 14. Feb 2014, 04:17 in Living with Arthritis archive
Hi

I'm 43 years old and have had hip pain for many years, certainly since I was 10 years old. However, it's only since having kids it's got worse. I've also had recurrent back pain. I finally went to the GP, on the advice of a chiropractor who I'd seen privately and who made my pain much worse!

Anyway, GP prescribed Naproxen and X-rays (lower spine and hips), which I went for the results of yesterday. He read the results of the X-ray to me, can't remember much but disc erosion and narrowing (hips, I wish they were narrow!) were mentioned. He then turned to me and said "so it's arthritis. There's nothing we can do about it. Take paracetamol or paracetamol and codeine when it's bad. You might find it gets better in spring. There's no point taking NSAIDs, they'll just make you bleed in your stomach. Physio won't be any benefit either". He advised swimming (I can't). He told me to bend from the knees, I said I find that difficult because my knees are painful. He didn't ask about any other parts of my body being sore, nor did he ask how I was physically (exhausted and sore all over). He did say I could phone for a telephone triage appointment if I needed stronger painkillers but otherwise, there's no telling how quickly it will get worse but it will get worse.

I left in tears and spent the evening crying, but today I feel stronger. I also feel that I wasn't treated properly, or investigated thoroughly. But is that just me, or would you say that at the very least blood tests could also be done?

Sorry my first post is all me, me, me. From a brief read on here I see there are many others on here dealing with far worse than me. I look forward to getting to know you all.


Ellie (43 going on 93)

Comments

  • dreamdaisy
    dreamdaisy Member Posts: 31,520
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Hello, it's nice to meet you but I am sorry you have had to find us. :( Three thoughts spring to my tired mind:

    1. I bet this GP was of the male variety.

    2. He / maybe-she is a twerp because Naproxen is an NSAID (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug) and is usually prescribed with a stomach protector such as omeprazole (which I take - others are available :wink: )

    3. At the very least blood tests should be offered (if only to maybe rule out an auto-immune kind of arthritis) but GPs are the ones who 'deal' with osteo arthritis: if it is that then yes, they're right that little can be done but further exploration may be useful for both your sakes.

    I have an arthritic foot in both camps; I began with an auto-immune and that (due to lack of recognition, diagnosis and treatment) has led to OA in a number of useful joints. My rheumatologist ignores the OA and my GP ignores the other which is fine by me. Arthritis of any form hits us - and those around us - hard. I would like to say more but I've had a tough day so have to go. I'm sorry. :oops: DD
    Have you got the despatches? No, I always walk like this. Eddie Braben
  • hileena111
    hileena111 Member Posts: 7,099
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Hi
    Welcome to the forum
    If its OA I'm afraid it's the GP that deals with it.
    Have you got a diagnosis from the hospital? I've got OA but got a diagnosis from the hospital after asking to be referred there.

    Anti inflamms are one of the things we use but with omneprozol or as I take....... lansoprozol......think those are the 2 main ones.
    I also take paracetamol, codeine if necessary {as little as possible} I don't like the side effects :lol:
    There is also self management.
    Various things like relaxation, heat or cold {heat for me} distraction tecqniques etc. Why don't you get some of the booklets from Arthritis Care.

    Love
    Hileena
  • EllieT
    EllieT Member Posts: 8
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Thanks to you both for the replies. I haven't had a formal diagnosis of RA/OA and I'm concerned, given various other symptoms, that there is something autoimmune going on. And yes, DD, how did you guess it was a (late middle-aged) doctor?!

    When I feel more assertive I will go back and ask for blood tests at the least and possibly a referral.

    And thank you for the reassurance re the Naproxen. I'll ask about Omeprazole as well. Not taking it today I realise how well it had been working - and just how much of my body hurts when I have no pain relief. I shall have a look at the info available - found it very depressing yesterday so had to stop. Not helped by a friend who is a nurse saying "on the plus side, hip replacements are great now"!

    Thanks again and I look forward to talking more - hope things improve soon for you DD

    Ellie
  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 27,731
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Your GP certainly doesn't have a brilliant bedside manner :lol: From what you've written it does sound like OA to me (I have RA and OA) but no harm in asking for a blood test though they're not the ultimate decider. If it is OA you're stuck with the GP. He can prescribe pain relief, physio and referral to a Pain Clinic. Physio is important and techniques for dealing with pain do help. Have a look at some of the booklets Arthritis Care produces. (Publications and Resources at the top right of the page.)
    If at first you don't succeed, then skydiving definitely isn't for you.
    Steven Wright
  • bubbadog
    bubbadog Member Posts: 5,544
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Hi, Welcome to Arthritis Care Forum, I really can't add much more to what the others have said! If you don't seem to get a long with the G.P you are with now couldn't you see another G.P in your practice? I would ask for a blood test like DD said, that can tell a lot. You do need to sit down with a G.P who you can have a good relationship with (because your going to seeing each other for a very long time!) and have explained to you what is going on and what medication is going to be used. And as I say a lot we are a big family, we are here to support you. Welcome to AC Forum. :)
  • EllieT
    EllieT Member Posts: 8
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Thank you for the welcome:-) Our GP practice is notoriously difficult and it's only apathy that's kept me there for so long - I don't drive and it's close to home. There is one more doctor in the practice I can try, and I will do that. I do appreciate that doctor's are busy, but I think that if you're not going to take the time to explain anything and are going to actively discourage further contact, you could at least provide contact details for support organisations and an info leaflet - thank goodness for the internet! Ah well, I'll get my assertive head on (that was what I tried to do last time, failed totally!) and get myself back there - though obviously not for a week or two because that's how long you wait for an appointment.

    Thanks for the replies lovely people, I hope your days are going well.

    Ellie
  • barbara12
    barbara12 Member Posts: 21,281
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Hello Ellie and a warm welcome from me
    I always say GPs need to be retrained in treating Arthritis..because its been around for so long they don't seen to take it serious..many of us om here have had a battle with them..
    Like you say when you feel more assertive go along there and have your say..like the others have said they should do bloods and xrays...I do wish you well and hope you can get the help you need..
    Love
    Barbara
  • Tubby
    Tubby Member Posts: 177
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    I went something similar to you with my GP, however, I went back in and calmly insisted that I was referred to a Rheumatologist - I didn't leave ANY room for advice from the GP! This GP grumbled that I would probably never know what the pain was as it was 'un-refered' pain. I said that if that is what the Rheumatologist thinks, that I would come back for pain relief from her. She made the referral and within 10mins of seeing the Rheumatologist he said I had absolutely classic symptoms of Psoriatic Arthritis (tests had been done prior to me seeing him). Not everyone is lucky in getting a quick diagnosis from the Rheumatologist but I wouldn't have even have had the chance if I hadn't been 'assertive' with the GP! Keep going.....
  • EllieT
    EllieT Member Posts: 8
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Thank you both so much for your replies. I think what's frightening me is that I've had fairly low-level pain in lots of my joints (especially back, hips and neck) for a long time but last year I started running and could run (with no more pain than walking caused). Now even walking is really painful and all my muscles hurt as well as my joints - plus they keep twitching which is very odd. Having thought for a few days and calmed down, I can't go on like this without knowing that it is 'just' osteoarthritis. I'm shattered and sore - but I realise nowhere near as bad as most of you lovely folks on here.

    Ellie
  • hileena111
    hileena111 Member Posts: 7,099
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Hi Elle
    Pain is Pain is Pain :wink: Right!!
    Go back to your GP and insist on a referral to the hospital.
    Whether its OA or not you should get one and at least when you get a "label" you will have a better chance of coping with it.
    I said to you I had OA and GP kept saying "nothing wrong" so I just kept on at him about a referral and got it.......OK it was OA and its mostly the GP that deals with it but at least I know now.
    If you think some sort of aid will help you .....use it please. I know you are young. I'm older and I had a fight with myself each time I tried different things :lol: It was my daught who nagged me and told me I wasn't giving in and that it was a "coping mechanism" :shock: I thought " have you been at my self management classes?" :lol: but she was right.
    Let us know how things go :D

    Love
    Hileena
  • DebbieT
    DebbieT Member Posts: 1,033
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Hi & welcome,

    I have Psoriasis, Psoriatic Arthritis (PsA), Osteo Arthritis (OA) & Fibromyalgia (FM). I too am 43 but only until May :wink:

    Uve had great advice & I'm glad you intend to take it. Any diagnosis of any type of arthritis is bad & OA can & does cause an awful lot of damage to joints. Mine affects my joints more than my autoimmune type (PsA) which seems to enjoy wearing bone away in odd places :shock:
    :lol:

    Fm causes widespread pain in my whole body along with many other symptoms!! It was my Rheumy that diagnosed that too as it can't be diagnosed by blood tests etc as yet, well not in the UK. I'm not suggesting you have it too, tho ya never know, but I think seeing a rheumy is important for these reasons too!!

    The very best of luck Elle.

    (((Hugs)))

    Xxx xxX
    Healing Hugs
    Debbie.x