A bit of advice needed please x

maria2k Member Posts: 6
Hi all
Just a few questions to ask if you don't mind giving me a bit of advice.
I was diagnosed with Osteoarthritis last summer. Its is affecting my knees, hips, ankles & hands. Also around the same time i was diagnosed with Autoimmune Thyroid.
I was prescribed painkillers for the arthritis & Levothyroxine for the thyroid antibodies and sent on my merry way. A letter was sent to my docs for him to inform the rheumatology dept if i got any worse.
So basicly i feel like i have just been left now as my doc told me its just all part of old age. I'm only 50
I struggle on a daily basis with tiredness and getting around. I have had to change to part time at work. Also i feel that where i don't look outwardly ill some people are just classing me as lazy when this is not the case
A friend has told me i should be claiming PIP but i have heard so many stories that you can't get that now i don't know what to do.
Is it worth trying to put in a claim.
I am so glad i have just found this site :)


  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 27,106
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Maria and welcome to the forum.

    I know very little about claiming PIP as I've had higher rate DLA for about half my life but this is AgeUK's fact sheet on claiming PIP. http://www.ageuk.org.uk/Documents/EN-GB/Factsheets/FS87_Personal_independence_payment_fcs.pdf?dtrk=true

    I also know very little about thyroid problems (I'm not doing very well here, am I :lol: ) though I've a feeling fatigue does come into it.

    I'm guessing, from what you write, that your GP referred you to rheumatology and it's the rheumatologist who said you have osteoarthritis (OA) rather than an auto-immune kind. In this situation it's perfectly normal to refer you back to the GP. They are the ones who deal with OA. However, by saying you should go back if it gets worse, it sounds as if the rheumatologist is leaving the door open. Auto-immune arthritises can be very difficult to diagnose. Do you have any family members with it? I assume the rheumatologist asked that.

    I well remember the shock the first time I was told that some problem I had (I can't even remember what now) was 'normal for my age'. People do associate OA with old age but, in the words of the song 'it ain't necessarily so'. Your GP can prescribe physio which should help ease the pain by keeping your muscles strong. He can also prescribe a Pain Clinic where you will be shown techniques for dealing with pain.

    Do remember, though, that you have the option to return to the rheumatologist if things worsen. Keep a diary of any joint swellings. Take photos also.

    If you have questions about the arthritis rather than the PIP, post on Living With Arthritis forum as more people look in there. Good luck :)
  • Boomer13
    Boomer13 Member Posts: 1,931
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Maria, and welcome from me too. I'm from Canada so can't comment on your wanting to apply for support but, I wanted to say I thought Sticky's reply was very thorough and offered some very good advice.

    Do keep a diary of your symptoms. Sometimes a pattern will become evident over time that can really help your docs.

    Best wishes, I hope sorting out the thyroid issue will help your tiredness. I know how difficult this is to deal with although mine is from a different rheumatic problem. As for the looking-well -feeling -terrible problem, you are not alone here either. No easy answer, I'm afraid but to try not to let it get you down. Sorry I don't have more to offer.

  • ButtonsMum
    ButtonsMum Member Posts: 2
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Maria,

    I was diagnosed with autoimmune thyroid disease in January and inflammatory arthritis in June of this year.

    I don't know how often your are having your thyroid levels checked but I recently started to suffer extreme fatigue and my rhuematologist insisted that my doctor recheck and adjust my Levothyroxine dose, my T4 was borderline but my TSH was still high, it can take 12 months or more to get this right, whilst i am still in considerable pain i now have the ability to at least get out of bed in the morning.

    Best Wishes
  • Lubs
    Lubs Member Posts: 155
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00

    Sticky has hit the nail on the head. Age concern UK, helped me to fill out my forms and when I was first rejected they then helped me to appeal. They are the best people placed to know if an application will go through.

    Boomer13, also has the right idea. I suffer from PsA, Fibromyalgia and spondoyltsis. But all three together give me a lot of fatigue, when I'm questioned by anyone I cannot remember. I'm not stupid, in fact I'm a secondary school teacher who is off sick at the moment. But what I have done is in my diary is kept a key on how I'm feeling, 1-10 for tiredness, 1-10 for pain. When it's really bad I will write in short hand how many times I've had to sleep in the day or where the pain is. Again this came in very handy this Friday for my OH meeting - the women was shocked and could see that I'm not making it up! :shock:

    I used the same diary with my rheumatology consultant, this helped a great deal, usually I leave feeling like I've not achieve my purpose, but that day I made my appointment count with them. You only get one appointment every 9 months so it's important they realise what you are going through.

    Sorry I can't give you additional advice but just back up the two that have already given very good sound advice. Good luck.
  • maria2k
    maria2k Member Posts: 6
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Thanks for all your advice. The age uk looks like it could help
    I did keep a diary and a list of all my pains last year but i think my doctor just thought i was being a bit of a hypercondriac.
    My thyroid levels are checked every 6 months. They are just under borderline at the moment but the thyroid antibodies are very high. The antibodies will eventually kill off my thyroid apparentely so they just up my dose of Levothyroxine every 6 months.
    I am going to start my diary again i think and then take it from there
    Thanks again for all the advice :)

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