Devastated :(

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Lennyst8
Lennyst8 Member Posts: 5
edited 9. Aug 2014, 17:24 in Say Hello Archive
Hi all.

To cut a long story short about four months ago I suspected breaking my right wrist in a sport accident. I never sought treatment as it seemed to ease off relatively quickly. Now recently (over the last four weeks or so) I've been in increasingly horrendous pain in my affected hand and its moved to my left hand.

It's developed to the point in only a matter of weeks that I can't open the lid on my toothpaste, tie my laces, fasten my shirt.

I had a blood test yesterday which should be back Friday. I'm certain it's arthritis I've got pretty bad swelling on my left knuckle which hasn't sustained any trauma.

Previously I was in the gym four plus nights a week, biked, played squash and ran a very active life. I can't even pick up a mug with my right hand now, it's that painful.

Can anyone give me any insight as to what on earth has happened in such a short time period of time? I'm 29 and feel like my life is over, it's getting me down big time. Feeling totally isolated at the minute, if I can't exercise again it's game over.

Hope someone can help.

Thanks Lenny

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  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 27,730
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Hello Lenny. I'm sorry you've had such a shock. It must be very traumatic to go from being so sporty and fit to being so incapacitated by pain and inflammation. I can feel your panic but try not to get ahead of yourself just yet.

    I'm not a doc but I'd guess that you didn't break your wrist as they're complex joints and I'm pretty sure the pain would have had you seeking medical help if you had. However, there are other possibilities especially if you know you had a sports accident. You could have stretched or damaged ligaments.

    I confess the flaw in that argument is the swelling on the knuckle of the other hand. That does sound like the beginnings of arthritis. But, if your right hand is so incapacitated you'll be demanding a lot more and putting a lot of pressure on your left hand which might account for it.

    You've done the right thing by seeing the doc and he / she has done the right thing by having the blood test. The test is for inflammatory arthritis. You may well think there's only one kind of arthritis (Osteo) but there are over 200 kinds of inflammatory arthritis too. Rheumatoid is one of them. I have that. If you do have an inflammatory kind you will see a rheumatologist and be put on disease modifying meds. Thanks to the speed at which your GP has acted, that should mean you'll be on them quickly before any permanent damage can be done.

    If you do have RA, your life will not be over. I've had a very good life despite diagnosis at 15. You will have to modify it a bit and adapt but you will be used to that sort of thing if you're a sports fanatic.

    However, as I said, don't get ahead of yourself. It might be something else. Please let us know the results and, in the meantime, feel free to ask any questions (Living With Arthritis forum is best for that) or ring our Helplines just to talk it over. You might find some of Arthritis Care's Publications (near the top) useful too. Good luck!
    If at first you don't succeed, then skydiving definitely isn't for you.
    Steven Wright
  • dreamdaisy
    dreamdaisy Member Posts: 31,520
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    So, you thought you'd broken (or maybe fractured) your wrist and did nothing to check that was true? Have you now considered asking for an Xray to see if indeed you have? I take it you're not a doc so won't necessarily realise how a break can affect the areas around it and your other wrist may be hurting because you've been over-using it.

    Osteoarthritis can result from trauma to a joint (and isn't diagnosed by a blood test) but an auto-immune arthritis (of which there are close to 200 kinds) have a different trigger; don't assume that the blood test will prove 'arthritis' because it may not. Let's take this one step at a time, yes? There's no need to panic yet, there's more to life than exercise and exercise can be adjusted to suit various needs. I'd quite like to be able to walk properly again but I can dream on for that one! Please let us know what the results are and we'll take it from there. DD
    Have you got the despatches? No, I always walk like this. Eddie Braben
  • barbara12
    barbara12 Member Posts: 21,281
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Hello Lenny and welcome to the forum
    It must have been such a shock, but like the others have said Xrays should be done but maybe when the bloods come back they will.
    I went to the gym for many years before arthritis, I then had to have an hip replaced,I am a lot older at 64 but do try to exercise the best I can.
    Please let us know how you get on , and dont be shocked if the test come back with nothing showing this can happen..so will be backed up with Xrays or MRIs..please let us know how you get on.
    Love
    Barbara
  • Lennyst8
    Lennyst8 Member Posts: 5
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Hi all, big update and I'ts not good news : (

    Since my last post I've had two sets of bloods back. RA factor is fine, liver and kidney is fine but two inflammation markers are raised, and on the second test they were further raised showing an increasing pattern.

    I'd was signed off work for two weeks, given two weeks of naproxen, had x-rays requested for both hands and referred to a specialist on the 26th August.

    I went to work on Monday 4th and 5th August after my two weeks off and absolutely no different, could't work Wednesday as the pain was unbearable.
    Went back docs, signed me off for a further four weeks (x-rays still not back) and put me on celecoxib for a month.

    Now the worrying part, my hands where it started are pretty much useless at the minute, my feet are swollen and very difficult to walk on. I'm getting constant pain in my back, my left elbow is starting to get stiff and my left knee is now also getting painful.

    I cannot believe after such a short space of time it's got that bad is it even possible its arthritis? Surely it must me something in my blood carrying around my body?!

    My G.P. won't speculate until he is sure whats going on, I'm just told 'anything is possible.'

    Now I'm stuck at home, no money can barely walk and cant leave the house all in the space of a few months and feeling pretty helpless. I don't know what I'm even asking, maybe is this normal/even possible to happen!?

    I cant carry on like this please help and thanks for reading, I'm only 29 if I cant work I'm in big financial trouble : (
  • dreamdaisy
    dreamdaisy Member Posts: 31,520
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Oh mate, I am sorry. This is what an auto-immune arthritis can do (there are around 200 kinds so an accurate diagnosis can take some time). I have a version which does not have a positive rheumatoid factor but my ESR and CRP blood measures (the inflammatory markers) were always high (160 plus for both) so I was classed for a number of years as an 'inflammatory arthritic' . When my skin obliged with a bout of pustular psoriasis the medical penny dropped and I was labelled as having psoriatic arthritis but nowt else changed.

    Your GP is right, he doesn't know enough but at least he has referred you to a rheumatologist - I guess that is the specialist you mention? I loved Celebrex because it made a difference for me and I hope it does the same for you. Please keep in touch and it may help you to contact the Helpline on here (it's a Freephone number on the top of every page) or to begin reading the threads on the Living with Arthritis board just to get some background and acquire knowledge.

    Yup, it's a scary time for you. I am so sorry. DD
    Have you got the despatches? No, I always walk like this. Eddie Braben
  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 27,730
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Hello again. I'm so sorry things are no better and, indeed, in some ways worse. I'm afraid it is possible that it's arthritis. It can come on very quickly. The pattern is different for everyone and your GP is right not to speculate but it does sound very likely. That's the bad news.

    The good news is that you have already been referred to a rheumatologist and, if it is an auto-immune form of arthritis, you will be put on disease modifying medication quickly. You can 'carry on like this'. We will help you. You are not the first to have your life turned upside down and sadly you won't be the last but you don't have to face it alone.

    I think you'd do well to take up DD's advice and ring our Helpline. They are good listeners and can also give practical advice if you're worried about financial matters.
    If at first you don't succeed, then skydiving definitely isn't for you.
    Steven Wright
  • Lennyst8
    Lennyst8 Member Posts: 5
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Firstly thanks a million for the replies I really appreciate it.
    Until now I just thought arthritis was associated with the older generation and it was no where near as serious as this, its nice to know I'm not on my own.

    A couple of questions if you don't mind:

    What do you lot do for hobbies/exercise as I can barely walk/leave the house at the minute and feel like blowing my brains out! :(

    Do you know how long the celebrex roughly takes to work as the naproxen did naff all.

    Will I ever lead a 'normal' life agaig and be able to return to work?

    Many thanks Lenny
  • Sharon2960
    Sharon2960 Member Posts: 329
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Good morning Lenny, sorry to hear you're feeling so awful. I have a good idea how you feel - I remember feeling the shock of being told that the RA is forever, and worrying about the future, as well as dealing with the pain, fatigue, feeling very lonely because, generally, the day to day people in our lives don't have a clue - they thinks it's a few aches and pains which will go away and, because we look ok, there can't be much wrong! But, on the positive side, my rheumy was really good, did lots of tests, prescribed medication which kicked in quite quickly. I'm now slowly coming of the original steroid meds, and going onto DMARD. It's not always easy - I reduced my working hours to 3 days a week from 5, and only do stuff at home when I feel I can. In terms of exercise, I try to walk round the fields most days - sometimes it's only for 5 - 10 minutes, sometimes it's longer. I also took up lawn bowls, which is quite gentle exercise, but includes bending and stretching, and gives me something else to think about, because there are plenty of rules to learn! Anyway, sorry if I've waffled on for too long, I hope you quickly get the help you need, and find some exercise you like, and look forward to reading your updates.
  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 27,730
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    I think most people believe that arthritis is an old person's disease. They think all arthritis is osteo. Evene osteo can affect younger people but auto-immune arthritises can strike at any time. I was diagnosed at 15 but, if you dare to look on the 'My Child Has Arthritis' forum, you'll see even toddlers can and do get it.

    Let's take your last question first. There are a lot of people with arthritis who are leading near normal lives. The golfer Phil Mickelson has PsA, the man who perfomed the world's first heart transplant, Dr Christiaan Barnard had RA and also the actress Kathleen Turner. A forum like this one is unbalanced because those who are living easily with it are not here. I hope you end up as one of the lucky ones but there is no way of predicting. Early detection and meds are the best help.

    I've never taken celebrex. Naproxen doesn't work for some people. The meds thing is often a matter of trial and error but, especially with the ones the rheumatologists prescribe, we have to be patient as they usually take some time to kick in.

    Hobbies? I've done a lot in my arthritic years – hiking and horse riding to name but two. I'd no time for hobbies when my sons were little but I spent many hours on the boundary ropes / touchline watching them playing cricket, football, rugby etc. When it's all very new, however, it's not so easy. Pain is scary then because, in non-arthritic life, we'd see it as a sign of a problem, solve the problem with meds then return to normal. 'Normal' with arthritis, usually includes a certain amount of pain. We just learn to work through it. There are times though when the full whack of pain, fatigue and inflammation just flattens us. Then books, computer games, any form of distraction is good. That's when we need a good friend to talk to and, because we don't want to be bleating on to our friends all the time, that's where these forums help too.

    I know you've not been diagnosed yet but you might find this helpful. http://www.raunspoken.co.uk/
    If at first you don't succeed, then skydiving definitely isn't for you.
    Steven Wright
  • Lennyst8
    Lennyst8 Member Posts: 5
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Thanks a million for your replies everyone I really appreciate it. Managed to go out last night and did a fair amount of walking (and drinking!)

    Needless to say my feet are horrendous today but I'm just happy iv'e managed to get out. Really thought in my head I'd be better now for some reason.

    Anyhow x-rays should be back Monday/Tuesday so I shall keep you updated. 8)
  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 27,730
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    I'm so glad you got out. A spot of normality is a good tonic even though it has to be paid for later.

    Elevating your feet might help.

    I hope the X-ray results are 'good' - whatever constitutes good :wink:
    If at first you don't succeed, then skydiving definitely isn't for you.
    Steven Wright