New here. OA? unhelpful dr :(

Lellynelly Member Posts: 10
edited 24. Jan 2016, 15:44 in Say Hello Archive
Hi all. So glad I found this place. After years of worsening pain and blaming it on age I finally got to the doctor today as my pain is quite bad at the moment.
I'm female and 50 and first noticed recurring pain in my knees in my mid 20's
I like walking and I am also on my feet all day at work but lately I have found even after half an hour my knees hips and ankles really hurt. For the last 4 or 5 years I have had trouble walking when I get out of bed due to stiffness but it eases up after about 5 minutes.
Now my right hip is so painful that I can't sit in one position for long, and lower chairs are out of the question, sitting in the car is painful and I haven't had a nights sleep in weeks. I have pain in my wrist and the knuckle in my little finger and can no longer lift a kettle with one hand. I am unable to sit on the floor without support and find it exceedingly difficult to put on socks and boots. I can no longer cut my toenails due to stiff ankes knees and hips. I asked the docter if he thought it was OA but I only got as far as mentioning the hip and wrist. He didn't answer my question, neither did he ask me any so I didnt get chance to tell him ANY of the things i have mentioned above. He merely felt my back, asked me to bend forward, back, left and right and said he'd refer me to physio and also for a blood test. I asked what the blood test was for and he said to check I don't have a 'dangerous type' of arthritis - I assume he meant rheumatiod. So I still don't know whether my symptoms are arthritis or not.


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

    Welcome to Arthritis Care Forums. 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.

    All best wishes
    Mod B
  • dreamdaisy
    dreamdaisy Member Posts: 31,520
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hello, it's nice to meet you but I am sorry you have had to find us. I have two kinds of arthritis, the first one that arrived was one of the many auto-immune ones and the joint damage from that has led to OA in a number of useful joints - I can empathise with the stiffness etc., that's my life in a nutshell and it has been for years.

    The blood test is the routine first step, GPs know a little about a lot so don't pin your hopes on this providing an answer. One thing I have noticed in my nineteen arthritic years is that GPs are now more readily doing blood tests (which is a good thing) but they are not so bonny at interpreting the results because they don't know enough about this complicated area. Bloods are not used to diagnose OA because that is thought to be different in its cause.

    My trouble began in my left knee, with heat and swelling which wouldn't go away. Do yours swell at all? The only time I now sit on the floor is when I fall over and I cannot kneel without a yell or two, so I don't. :wink: I never sit with my hips lower than my bottom because I can't get up, over the years I have had to change many things in my life, saucepans, irons and ironing board, my car (the most expensive to date!) cutlery, kettles etc. - you can buy a kettle tipper, that saves the bother of lifting it but you may have to fill it via a cup. I find that icing helps my joints if they swell and heat helps my OA-affected ones. The weather also influences what is going on - do your joints worsen in the damp and cold?

    I am one step ahead of you because I know exactly what's up with me but finding out took years: I don't think it will take you so long but we are here to answer any questions you might have. We're not docs but we are practising arthritics and know our stuff.

    Please let us know what the blood results are and we'll take it from there. I wish you well. 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
    Yes, a bit more info would have been helpful but he's doing more than many GPs by immediately checking for an autoimmune type of arthritis – there are many more than just RA. Unfortunately not all of them give a positive on the blood test so a negative test doesn't necessarily mean you don't have an autoimmune arthritis. (Are there any autoimmune diseases in your family? )

    The physio is a good plan because we need to keep our muscles strong as they support the joints and strong muscles lead to less pain.

    It seems pretty obvious to me (with no medical qualifications at all :lol: ) that you do have some form of arthritis. If it seems likely to be an autoimmune type you'll be referred to a rheumatologist. If OA then the GP will deal with it.

    This will be an anxious time for you. Do keep chatting to us if it helps. In my far-too-long experience of arthritis (RA and OA) the docs with the lovely bedside manner aren't always the quickest off the mark or the best at diagnostics. Yours seems to lack the bedside manner but I think he's doing OK in the ways that really matter.
    If at first you don't succeed, then skydiving definitely isn't for you.
    Steven Wright
  • barbara12
    barbara12 Member Posts: 21,281
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hello LellyNelly
    Your story is repeated often on this forum, GPs can be hard work, but at least he is doing the bloods to what is going on..there are so many types of arthritis it can be a while till they come up with some answers
    Don't forget if you are not happy with your GP you could always look for a new one, I do hope you get some answers very soon...and so glad you have joined us.. :)
  • Lellynelly
    Lellynelly Member Posts: 10
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi again.
    Thanks for your replies. I had no idea arthritis was such a minefield. I thought there were just two sorts - rheumatoid which I know to be autoimmune, and osteo which I associate with ageing.
    Yes the Drs bedside manner wasn't up to much but thankfully he isn't my own doctor. I would have had to wait 4 weeks to get an appointment with mine if I wanted it after work. As it happens I have to wait 4 weeks for my blood test anyway as they are fully booked. In so much pain today I can hardly walk. I will keep reading the boards and post again when I get some results.
    Thanks again
  • hileena111
    hileena111 Member Posts: 7,099
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Welcome to the forum.
    I would has your GP for a referral to the hospital to see a rheumatologist. Thats where you will get a definite answer from.
    Once you get a diagnosis then you know what you have to cope with and take it from there.
    I have OA, 2 hip replacements, 2nd one not so good, kypho scoliosis, spinal stenosis and osteoporosis.
    I was doc {then not now} was one of those ones who just wanted you out of the surgery as quickly as just scribbled out prescriptions {I didnt take half of them LOL} so when I asked for a referral he immediately sent me for a referral. That was good, I found out what was wrong then was able to deal with it
    Good Luck