Feeling unsupported with OA

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Trea
Trea Member Posts: 28
edited 2. Mar 2016, 15:54 in Living with Arthritis archive
Hi there, I am sorry to blurr out my feelings here, but seems like a safe and understanding place. I have been diagnosed with moderate OA in lumbar spine in November so still a newbie to it all and feel like nobody really cares or feels responsible for me. I have seen a specialist a day after I had a 40 min spasm in my back who had not much time but offered me injections. to be frankly if he had suggested cutting of a toe I would have agreed as I was still scared from the day before. The appointment is coming up end of this month, however I have been given some Naps from the urgent care centre and my OA is sooo much better. The course of Nap has finished a while ago, but I still feel good (morning stiffness and pain but hey ho I am fine for the rest of the day) in fact I haven't felt so good for a long time. So I am not sure if I should still go ahead with the injections. I phoned the hospital but they told me I can't speak to the specialist, but he will explain everything on the day (don't even know what they are giving me, but can guess). I phoned a GP who said, she can give me another month of Nap but no more. I can't see a GP but arrange another telephone call from one of the GP's that work in the practice (pot luck who it will be) but it feels like nobody wants to take the time or responsibility for me. As I am ok atm without Nap I don't think the injection will be necessary, but what happens if I decline it now? if I have another flare up and need some will I have to get another referral from my GP to see a specialist? (2 weeks for GP plus 94 days for specialist, and that's the fast one, plus around 6-8weeks before appointment for injection). Just feel really frustrated with the system. Thanks guys, feel better now for leaving it somewhere. I am off now to see my single physio appointment and I think the physio is now safe as I left my frustration here LOL. Have a fab day everyone.
Trea

Comments

  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 27,732
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    I can understand the frustration....and fear as all this is very new. GPs normally deal with OA. Am I right in remembering that yours is quite hard to access? If so I suggest you change practices as anyone with a chronic disease requires a good relationship with their GP.

    No-one can take the difficult decision for you about whether or not to have the jab. I don't have much back pain. Mine is RA and I've had jabs in joints. If I felt on an even keel I wouldn't want one but, of course, even keels don't last and backs might be different anyway.

    I've no idea why you can't have more naproxen. I was on it for years and many others on here take it regularly. I can understand that you'd need a stomach-protecting med with it but fair enough. Why not? This is something you really need to talk about with your GP however difficult that may be to arrange.

    Please feel free to talk about your frustrations on here but I can't emphasise enough that you really need to sort this all out with your GP.
    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
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    Hello Trea
    I have OA in my back and other places, but like you I found my GP just didn't take it seriously, I ended up having to change GP I was in so much pain , and this one got me referred to the pain clinic where I had the back injections I have had to types..the facet joint ones and the vertebra..sadly they didn't work for me, but other that were having them said they were a life saver and had them up to 3 times a year..so its a matter of trying them..I had to come off napoxen because of kidney probs..I did miss them...
    Love
    Barbara
  • dreamdaisy
    dreamdaisy Member Posts: 31,520
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    OA is such a common problem which works against it in some ways, those of us with it do not stand out in way due to its ubiquity. There is little to be done apart from anti-inflammatory meds such as naproxen, pain relief (such as paracetamol or codeine) and gentle exercise to keep as flexible (and the muscles as strong) as possible. Yours being in the spine is an extra complication, I am thankful that mine is in more accessible places (and long may that remain). I cannot see why you have not been granted more naproxen, it is a long-term medication and must be taken with a stomach protector if that is to be the case. It can help some with easing swelling and some of the pain, I never found it good at either of those but it did give me utterly splendid oral thrush.

    GPs are the ones who deal with OA but the responsibility lies mostly with the patient. The doctors do not have any easy solutions to our troubles and therefore cannot do much apart from offering steroid injections (also troublesome in the long-term) and recommending us to physio for guidance about exercises and how to do them. This is all so new to you, it must make things far harder to comprehend and deal with. My rheumatologist ignores my PsA and the meds I take for that do nothing for the OA. My GP ignores the OA and gives me what she can (in my circumstances just pain relief and a mild anti-depressant). I know I can turn to either in case of need but yes, I am on my own with dealing with both diseases, the administration of meds and everything else. I've known nothing else since I was 11 (affected by other auto-immune troubles from birth) so for me it's more of the same - as I said, far harder for you.

    The forum is here to offer encouragement, support and understanding, we all appreciate how tough things can be on a daily basis, then factor in the docs, the time spent in arranging and attending appointments, dealing with chasing their-at-times faulty administration . . . . it's far from fun. DD
    Have you got the despatches? No, I always walk like this. Eddie Braben
  • Trea
    Trea Member Posts: 28
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Thanks my lovelies!! I am glad that I could vent my frustration here as I am just back from a physio and she was lovely. Took time to talk about the jab and gave me some exercises and best of all I can see her again in 3 weeks. This is the first time that I felt listened too from a HCP and that is so important. I feel uplifted from it and shall go and buy the equipment needed :)
    the last GP that I spoken to from the practise didn't want to prescribe more as she felt the responsibility lies with the surgeon, who offered the jab. I have managed to get another phone appointment with a more understanding GP at the practise ( bribing the receptionist with chocolate cookies :shock: still works) in two weeks time, so things are looking good.
    THank you guys, it is so good to know that this support is here.
    Trea
  • daffy2
    daffy2 Member Posts: 1,636
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    I'm glad your physio appt went well. My first thought when I saw your mention of a muscle spasm was that physio, Pilates etc would be of use as sometimes the bad pain is the result of muscle problems as the body tries to adjust to unbalanced use, whether from injury, damaged joints or whatever.
    I've been there, done that, got the T-shirt, as I've had scoliosis(curvature of the spine) since I was 11, and at various points in the next 5 decades it has been work on the muscles which has helped with pain control when things got 'disarranged'. Things have got more complicated in the last 3 years with severe osteoporosis and OA being diagnosed in the spine and the degree of curvature increasing, but I still find that it's muscle pain rather than bone/joint pain which is the most troublesome and I am having to try and find new/different ways to deal with it.
    You are right that being listened to can make a big difference to how we feel, and I hope that you continue to make progress and get the information and support you need.
  • Slosh
    Slosh Member Posts: 3,194
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    I have OA in my lumber spine as well as my neck and the exercises and advice I was given by the physio I saw really helped. I was on Naproxen along with a stomach protector long term and loved it, it really helped but unfortunately I developed stomach problems so can no longer take it. It was prescribed by my GP.
    He did not say you will not be storm tossed, you will not be sore distressed, you will not be work weary. He said you will not be overcome.
    Julian of Norwich