Arhtritis in hands at 17?

SamuelM
SamuelM Member Posts: 6
edited 30. Mar 2015, 18:54 in Living with Arthritis archive
Any advice for coping with flare ups and general day to day tasks? Exams soon and no idea how to cope so slightly stressed as not diagnosed yet so no pain relief adequately deals with the pain I feel.

Comments

  • [Deleted User]
    [Deleted User] Posts: 3,636
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi SamuelM,

    Welcome to the forums where I'm sure you will get a lot of help and good advice from all the lovely people on here.

    It is a little quiet being the weekend, but I'm sure that someone will be along shortly to help.

    We are here if you need any support to do with using the forums. The mods have some of the many varieties of arthritis, or live someone with arthritis and we all know about the difficulties faced day by day..

    you might find some ideas from the 'Ideas to make life easier' thread in the Living with arthritis forum. I'm going to combine your 2 posts so they appear on the same thread and post it in the LWA forum too which is visited by most members.

    All best wishes

    Mod YEH
  • [Deleted User]
    [Deleted User] Posts: 3,636
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    New thread started by SamuelM - moved post here to link with initial post Mod YEH


    Hi, I am 17 and have been suffering with severe pain in my hands for the last year and a bit, which has started to get in the way of my revising and capability of holding a pen, which is not helpful as I have my AS exams in a few weeks, are there any tips or coping mechannisms as to dealing with flare ups or just making day to day life easier?
    Thanks
    Sam
  • Slosh
    Slosh Member Posts: 3,194
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Speak to the SENCO or Inclusion Manager at your school or college as they will be able to advise on access arrangements, these could include use of a scribe, a laptop, additional time and rest breaks. There are also different pens you could try, Stablio make an ergonomically shaped pen and pencil which we use a lot at my school with pupils who have fine motor difficulties or other problems including arthritis. They are available in a number of shops and on line and can be bought for left and right handers. The SENCO can also make a referral to Occupational therapy for you which does not depend on a diagnosis.

    Hope that is of some help.
  • SamuelM
    SamuelM Member Posts: 6
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Thank you, have spoken to Senco and got hold of a laptop for essay based subjects, but that doesn't help for maths or chemistry. The pen sounds good, I'll have a look into one. Thank you
  • Slosh
    Slosh Member Posts: 3,194
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Don't forget you can ask for rest breaks for Maths and chemistry and also a scribe, I'm an Inclusion Manager so I do a lot of this.
    Good luck with the exams.
  • SamuelM
    SamuelM Member Posts: 6
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Oh yeah, thank you for your suggestions, really appreciate them. Thank you, hopefully will be ok :)
  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 27,098
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hello Samuel :) You say you've not been diagnosed yet but, as you're posting om an arthritis forum, I'm guessing you've been told it's some form of arthritis just not which. Have you seen a rheumatologist? If so, have you neen prescribed any Disease Modifying Anti-Rheumatic Drug (DMARD)? It's very difficult to deal with a flare without them.

    I started with RA at 15. Back then (1961) there weren't the meds around. It was pain relief and the occasional course of steroids. There were days when I just had to stay in bed. I learned to write with my left hand to save my right for the important stuff.

    Stress makes it all worse so try not to but that's easier said than done.
  • SamuelM
    SamuelM Member Posts: 6
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi, I went to see a consultant in hospital and they said its likely to be a type of arthritis especially as both my parents and all my grandparents have the same type? I wasn't prescribed any medication no, they have to monitor it first apparently. I try not to stress, thank you.
  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 27,098
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Yours is not a very common situation. Although there can be a genetic component to auto-immune types of arthritis (and possibly OA too) I don't think I've heard of someone with both parents having the same type of arthritis let alone both sets of grandparents also. You must have copped for a hefty whack of that gene.

    In addition, it's not the norm for the rheumatologist to want to employ a 'wait and see' approach as the usual thinking is to clobber it immediately before it can get established. I guess, if the consultant isn't 100% sure it is arthritis that would explain the hesitation over prescribing the meds.

    You clearly need some sort of medication, though, to help you get through this exam period. Pain relief is better than nothing. Anti-inflammatories (which your GP can prescribe) ought to be better and possibly steroids would help in the short term but, if the rheumatologist is still in the diagnosing situation, he / she might prefer you not to have them as they can cloud the issue. When are you due to see him / her again?

    Hand / wrist splints might help as might physio. Your GP or rheumatologist could refer you for both. If you put 'exercises' into the Arthritis Care search engine their booklet on them should come up and there are some for hands.

    Have your family got any suggestions? They clearly have a lot of experience of this sort of thing but parents and grandparents aren't always the easiest - or even best - people to consult.
  • dibdab
    dibdab Member Posts: 1,498
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Sam,

    Sorry you're having such a struggle at a key time in your education. I think Sticky and Slosh have given you lots of good advice, maybe a GP appointment is your first port of call to try and sort out some non-drowsy pain relief? Like you I've had lots of hand pain with my arthritis, and as a retired teacher had to do lots of writing every day. I found things a bit less painful when I used a really thick barrelled pen that I didn't need to grip so tightly.....it might be worth a trip to some where like Staples to try our some pens.

    Hope you find some ways of reducing your pain. Good luck with the studies.

    Deb x
  • daffy2
    daffy2 Member Posts: 1,636
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    When you do have to write it might be worth checking how much tension you are building up - gripping the pen, pressure on the paper, angle of writing surface, how you are sitting. Get someone to watch you and perhaps feel if your shoulders and neck are tight. My son struggled with writing due to something called dysgraphia and tended to get very tense which increased the difficulty and discomfort. The other thing which helped him was learning how to touch type(a CD-Rom he used on the PC at home) so he could 'spread the load' over more than 2 fingers and also work more quickly. Like you he found the practical subjects a challenge(a soldering iron and wobbly hands made for interesting times in electronics!) but having help elsewhere freed up energy to cope a bit better. Things have moved on since he took A levels 12 years ago so I hope you will find it easier to access the right kind of support.

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