Hi, I'm a newbie

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Louise81
Louise81 Member Posts: 9
edited 5. Sep 2015, 08:46 in Say Hello Archive
Hi all,
I just wanted to pop in and say hello. I'm 33 years old and was diagnosed with osteoarthritis in my hands 4 months ago. I put off going to the doctors about the pain in my hands until I was losing my grip and experiencing shooting pains in my knuckles. My first visit to rheumatology led to me being told there was nothing wrong and being discharged from the clinic. Luckily on my gp was not happy with this and sent me back where scans showed spurs on several of the joints. I was coping ok for a month or so until other joints started to become painful and show signs of inflammation and I was so worn down I would come home from work and go straight to bed every night. I am now signed off from work after trying to keep going and failing miserably. I've had one previous rheumatoid arthritis test which came back negative about a year ago but am booked for another blood test next week. I am so relieved to find this forum, and to have found a sympathetic gp. I'm really looking forward to sharing and hopefully making some new friends who understand that although the outside looks ok the inside is hurting. Xx

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  • [Deleted User]
    [Deleted User] Posts: 3,635
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Hello

    Welcome to the forum. I'm sure you will find support, advice, light relief and friendship here.

    I'm one of the moderation team, we all have one or more arthritis "hangers on" or look after family with the same. If you need any help with the technicalities of the forum just get in touch via a personal messsage.

    CK Moderator
  • 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. I have two kinds of arthritis, psoriatic (PsA) and osteo, my rheumatologist ignores the latter and my GP the former. Rheumatologists deal with the auto-immune kinds - is there a history of those in your family? My hands are affected but so far only by the PsA, the meds for that don't touch the osteo which is not surprising as that is a different beast, albeit from the same stable.

    GPs are the ones who deal with OA and swelling can be a feature, along with stiffness and pain. I know that some on here soak their hands in warm water with an added small amount of Epsom Salts, it may help to give some temporary relief (any measures we take are temporary). My GP prescribes my pain relief and an anti-inflammatory tablet, what has yours suggested for you? 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 Louise and welcome from me too. You do sound to have a very good GP and that's so important with any chronic disease.

    I'm trying to work out a timetable for what you've written. It seems you were tested for RA about a year ago. You have seen a rheumatologist (Did the rheumatologist actually say there was 'nothing wrong' or just that there was nothing that required a rheumatologist? They only deal with autoimmune forms of arthritis, not OA.) Scans showed spurs (which are usually caused by OA) and you now have a diagnosis of OA. Have I got that right?

    Diagnosing an autoimmune arthritis can be complicated because it's not just a matter of a positive or negative rheumatoid factor. Not all GPs are aware of this though rheumatologists should be.

    I hope things will start to go easier for you soon but do keep talking to us as, yes, we do understand what a sly, complex beast arthritis can be.
    If at first you don't succeed, then skydiving definitely isn't for you.
    Steven Wright
  • Rebeccarockchick
    Rebeccarockchick Member Posts: 50
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Hi and welcome from me too. I am 34 and I have osteoarthritis in my hands and other joints. I also have many other medical conditions(many of them invisible illnesses so i understand) that led me to have osteoarthritis. Like you recently I was happy to find this forum and have found it a friendly place with lots of advice and a good place to have a rant or ask questions etc.

    It does sound like you have a good GP and it must have lost your faith in the specialist when he did not spot the osteoarthritis. You sound like your still on your journey and looking for answers in regards to tests and diagnosis. I wish you well with it all and your in the right place for support xx becks
  • Patcher
    Patcher Member Posts: 18
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Hi and welcome
    Really sorry to hear you are having a difficult time. I have both RA and OA but when first felt pain and was referred to Rheumatologist was told was only ( her words not mine!!!!) OA and discharged. Had major flare up 6 months later when knees, feet and hands all became really inflamed. Was referred back and diagnosed with RA. Sometimes diagnosis can take time so hang in there. Sounds like GP supportive so that's really good. Hope you get some relief soon. Let us know how you get on.
  • GraceB
    GraceB Member Posts: 1,595
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Hi, welcome to the Forum.

    I have OA both knees (one partly replaced; the other needs a total replacement), left ankle (needs fusing) and my lumbar spine (offered a fusion but refused as odds of success not good enough for me).

    Sounds like your GP is helpful.

    Everyone on this Forum is extremely helpful and very supportive. For me, it's been a lifeline. Keep reading, keep posting and know that you are speaking to people on here who know only too well what it's like to have a "hidden" chronic disease which, unless you are also sadly afflicted with it, you cannot even start to comprehend what an impact it has on your life and what you do.

    There's loads of gadgets available which can make life easier for those who are "challenged" by arthritis. It may be worth you investigating some of these, but do try them out in person if you can, rather than just ordering online.

    If you need to convince friends and family of your challenges, Google "The Spoon Theory" and "There's a Gorilla in the House". Makes enlightening reading.

    Take care,
    GraceB
    Turn a negative into a positive!
  • Louise81
    Louise81 Member Posts: 9
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Thank you all so much for your replies! It's really cheered me up after spending all day trying to get comfy on the sofa when I feel like I've taken a few spins in the washing machine lol.

    I probably should have said that my gp is suspecting RA or something autoimmune as well as OA now (I also have severe Reynauds which he thinks might be linked??), there's not a history on my Mums side of the family but I don't know about my Dads side as he was orphaned at a young age (my mum has OA in her hands but neither mum nor dad have RA). I am soooo lucky to have found a great gp, I recently moved house and changed doctors and my new one is amazing. I really feel like he's taking me seriously as I have always been fit and active and gradually over the last few months have turned into a 93 year old not a 33 year old (in fact I'm pretty sure there are a lot of 93 year olds more sprightly than me just now).

    I kind of lost a bit of faith in the system when I was first sent away from the Rheumatology clinic (I was sent away with no scans done, no real examination and just a brief chat about my symptoms) only to be sent back (by my previous and also pretty great gp) and be told I actually did have OA. After my first appointment with my new gp he wasn't happy that I'd also been experiencing hip pain and no X-Ray was done so he sent me for one which thankfully showed no signs of OA in my hips.

    I've been given Neproxen and strong co-codimol to try and control the pain and inflammation I've got just now which I'm hoping will help. I'm also weirdly looking forward to getting my bloods done next week to hopefully get to the bottom of why I'm so sore and stiff everywhere now (oh, and on my last visit to the rheumatologist when I was diagnosed with OA four months ago they also took blood to check for RA just in case and lost my results!). Its all been a bit confusing and I'm probably not explaining it all very well because I'm not getting much sleep at the moment and my brain can't quite seem to function normally right now (not that it functioned all that well to start with lol).

    Anyway, thank you all again, I'm so excited to have found this forum! And thank you for your support. I'm taking all your tips on board xx
  • theresak
    theresak Member Posts: 1,998
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Hello Louise, and a warm welcome to the forum from me. I'm sorry things are tough for you at the moment. It's good you have a GP who is 'on the ball' with regards to your care.

    Sometimes diagnosis can take a while, though in my case it was quick. If you do indeed have RA, you will be started on a drug regime of one or more drugs.

    I have RA, with some OA as well. I hope things will become clearer after your next blood tests.