Glad to Be Here

sivyaleah Member Posts: 4
edited 1. Apr 2015, 14:00 in Say Hello Archive
Hi everyone,

I've been trying to find an arthritis community for some time now. This is the only forum I've discovered where there are recent posts. It seems pretty active, a very good thing!

I'm nearly 56 and have been living with osteoarthritis for several years. I've had 3 knee surgeries due to injuries sustained in the past 15 years or so. First a meniscal tear on my right knee after lifting one of my nieces up (that was just strange, seems so innocuous!). The 2nd time was the left knee, happened at work when I lost my balance in a storage room. Items had been left in areas they didn't belong and I fell and got caught up in all of it - completely screwed up my left leg to the point where they initially thought my quad was ripped (it wasn't thankfully) along with the tear in the meniscus. Most recently (nearly a year ago) on my right knee once again after falling off a stool in my kitchen and suffering yet another tear of what was probably barely left inside to begin with.

So, 3 tears to the medial meniscus. Yay me!

Also, I have arthritis in my two big toes (no issues yet from that), and my neck, cervical C5 area, which I've known about for a while. It causes me some problems on and off (lately more off).

Anyway, the biggest problem is my right knee since it's been compromised twice. Surgery went well, and at least I can now walk fine and even do a quick dash to a train :lol: But, I am in constant pain. So far I've tried various OTC meds (Tylenol, Aleve, Advil) none of which help, Celebrex (did nothing for me), warm knee wraps (they fall off), had PT which helped quite a bit but since the co-pay for that is a huge sum of money, after 12 sessions I stopped. I've lost about 15 pounds since last May also, trying hard to shed some of the excess which I know surely doesn't help matters. I recently had dental surgery, so had some Vicodin here and that didn't even touch the pain in my knee. I walk daily - not far, but enough to get the joint moving. There are more, but I forget them off hand.

I am not a candidate for replacement. It hasn't gotten that bad although doing a squat is totally out of the question - if my shoes come undone while alone, it's almost impossible to re-tie them without finding somewhere to put my foot up on :roll: . I can function daily, but could do a lot better if I could find something helpful, whatever it may be. I have a full time job, where I commute long hours to from one state to another. It requires me to do a lot of standing waiting for trains - seating being very hard to obtain let alone if you don't look disabled. If things are delayed or stuck, I can be on my legs for unbearable amounts of time.

I'm hoping to educate myself further by being here, get tips and tricks and to find common ground with others going through the same thing. I don't know anyone who is suffering from OA at this age yet, none of my friends have had to deal with it so understanding is hard to come by.

Thanks for listening!


  • [Deleted User]
    [Deleted User] Posts: 3,636
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Welcome to Arthritis Care Forums from the moderation team

    As mods we are here to help with any problems you may have on the message boards.

    There are lots of lovely people here with a wide range of experiences with arthritis and the problems of living with the condition. Just join in wherever you like you will be made very welcome.

    I look forward to seeing you posting on the boards.

    Best wishes

    Mod B
  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 27,223
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hello sivyaleah. We're glad you're here too :D but, as we say in these parts, sorry you had to find us. Yes, the forum is active – even if we arent :wink:

    You seem to be determined to get rid of those knees :lol: I did ,and have never regretted it.

    So, you've tried painkillers (What a misnomer!) and NSAIDS though I suspect you're on the other side of 'The Pond' to us as you use the US names. I think you'll find us supportive, empathetic and helpful but that elusive rainbow of 'painfree' just doesn't exist and, for my money, isn't worth pursuing as it just means stronger and stronger pain relief, coupled with foggier and foggier brain cells.

    Well done on holding down a full time job with that long, painful commute! Long may it continue as any form of distraction from pain is good. Exercise is good (swimming and cycling are the best) as it keeps the surrounding muscles strong and strong muscles support the joints better. Some people find steroid injections help but others don't. I don't know if your earlier operations would mean that steroids wouldn't be a good idea as they do thin tissue.

    Anyway, do hop over (No pun intended) to Living With Arthritis where there are more contributors. I hope you'll feel as I do that, although arthritis isn't good, this is a good place to be if you have it.
  • sivyaleah
    sivyaleah Member Posts: 4
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Thanks for the kind words and support.

    Yes, I'm "over the pond" :) I didn't realize when I signed up but, that's no matter as we all are living with the same thing. Just different drug names I guess.

    I have tried steroid injections which only worked for about 2 weeks. Not eager to attempt that again.

    I do manage to do everything I need to do currently, and my partner is great about doing those things which I find too difficult like the laundry. That walk into a poorly lit basement with bags of dirty clothing not very easy as you can imagine. I do try to do everything possible for myself, I don't like feeling like an invalid in any way.

    Probably, I should make a bigger effort to get myself moving in safe ways. I've been thinking of purchasing a bike, used to have one but through many moves it has disappeared. I used to enjoy it, so maybe this could be one key in feeling at least a bit better without resorting to any medication.

    Anyway, writing too much here so I'll dive in and start reading everyone else's threads. Again, thank you for the warm welcome.

  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 27,223
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    The bike sounds like a plan. Even an exercise bike if that's simpler. And, yes, definitely avoid the dangerous situations. You don't need them.
  • dreamdaisy
    dreamdaisy Member Posts: 31,520
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hello, I have two kinds of arthritis, the first one began in my knees (and spread) then osteoarthritis moved in (and spread). Luckily for me I look disabled because I need a rollator to move around outdoors (a seat with four wheels, it's a boon) and I also have a wheelchair for other jaunts. Mine is in my toes, ankles, knees and hips so moving around is not easy and standing still a nightmare.

    Pain killers don't do that, they only blunt the sharper edges and the pain resurfaces at will. I have learned over the years to pace myself and I always sit with my feet raised on a footstool, knees supported by a pillow or cushions because they no longer straighten (nor bend too much either). I too have had three knee surgeries but for different reasons, to remove inflammation and prevent inflammation. Sadly none of them were that effective, injected steroids too were less than useful.

    As Sticky said the forum is active because we all know how tricky life can be when juggling it with any form of arthritis. Those who are doing better due to operations or meds don't post that often because they don't need to, which must be pleasant. :) I think we all have to find our own ways and solutions to the difficulties we face - my advice to you would be to employ a visual aid such as a stick or crutch, so people can see that things are may be not as they should. No-one will take a second look - look around you and see how many are already using aids, it may be more than you realise. DD
  • barbara12
    barbara12 Member Posts: 21,279
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hello Laurie and a warm welcome form me
    I started with OA at 57, well erlier really but never give much thought toit till my hip started to give way at the gym..and knee pain but that was refereed pain from the hip..I have since acquired OA in my Knee
    I see the other have given you a lot to think about, so I hope to see your name around the forum..