Practical advice needed!

TW123 Member Posts: 3
Sorry to be crashing your site as I don't technically have arthritis as my primary diagnosis.

I am 22, with AVN of the capitate since I was 16 from a swimming accident which was missed whilst broken initially and now cannot be fixed. I have had NSAIDS medication, steroid injections, nerve removal and next up on the list is a partial or total fusion- not exactly an ideal option for someone of my age.

I have waited 9 months for an appointment at a new hospital as I moved county so couldn't get back to my specialist, but in that time things have deteriorated fast. This is because I typed a dissertation and started my first job involving typing every day.

I am physically finding my hand too painful to type at work, I type clinical notes as a part of my job within NHS so about 2-3 A4 pages per patient X12 patients per day.

I need to change my car as I am struggling to change gears without being in too much pain. A part of my job is travelling between different locations throughout the county. Driving is fast becoming something I try to avoid now for anything other than work to reduce the pain as much as possible.

I am struggling at home, I can't cook properly, I can't open bottles or lift pots and pans etc. I can't wash up properly as that involves two hands.

I have seen OccH at work, a good in-depth assessment but things have got a lot worse since the appt in Sept. I don't think anyone thought it would be this long for an appointment with a consultant. They advised work to make changes, some of which have been done but they are not enough, I can't do my job properly as I am still in too much pain and I am considering having to change job after only 8 months in to the start of my career in my chosen field.

Even when I get an appointment, have all the scans done again, seen a surgeon, discussed the type of fusion, I may or may not be able to do things properly.

I am desperate for advice about day-to-day things. How do you do simple things, like drive a car, do the washing up, type at work.
Moan over, can anyone suggest some solutions?

Thank you!


  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 27,416
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Oh dear! How could we all manage to miss your post? I'm so sorry. I hope that, by now, you have found some help but let's see what we can do anyway.

    Moving from one PCT to another can be very problematic for those of us who rely on our consultants. Starting a new job at the same time just puts on more pressure and, if your job involves so much typing, when your condition is already worsened by having to type up your dissertation, this is very far from ideal.

    Perhaps, while you are waiting, and clearly deteriorating, you could ask to see Occy Health again as they might have further suggestions. I know some on here have tried voice recognition software for their computers but I also know it's not widely loved and many have given up on it.

    The car? Surely it has to be an automatic? You can also get adaptions of all kinds. I used to have a pull on / push off handbrake. There have long been steering wheel knobs that enable the driver to steer with one hand. I don't know where the places are that adapt cars (Mine was Motability and they suggested them to me) but a quick google should throw something up.

    On the home front, one-handedness is very difficult. I've done it from time to time. For opening milk or fruit juice cartons I have a rubber mole grip kind of tool. I tighten it round the top then cradle the carton in the crook of my arm while twisting with the other hand. I have an electric can opener and an electric jar opener. Cooking is difficult. Light equipment is essential, both pans and eg foil containers rather than heavy casserole dishes or ovenware. I love my steamer both because the food is healthier and tastes better and because the washable bits are plastic and light. If it is your dominant hand that's affected try teaching yourself to do things with the other. I taught myself to write left-handed for A-levels. It was fairly illegible but, by doing notes left-handed, I saved my right for the fair copy. Have a look at some online stores that sell gadgets for the disabled.

    There are lots of other tips on the 'Ideas to make life easier' thread at the top of the Living With Arthritis forum. I hope you might find some useful and I do hope this isn't too little too late.
  • TW123
    TW123 Member Posts: 3
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Thank you both.. I have taken your advice on board. And don't apologise for the delay, this problem isn't going away any time soon unfortunately.

    I have since changed job and car. I have also got an appointment with a consultant. But it is a long term problem, I just need to get over that and start making some practical adjustments.

    Thanks again!
  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 27,416
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    It seems to me you've already 'got over' any emotional hurdles and are meeting your challenges head on. That's no easy task.

    As for 'practical adjustments', if we can help we're here for you :) Good luck!