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New to Arthritis - could do with advice please.

pofopofo Posts: 6
edited 14. Jun 2016, 08:56 in Say Hello Archive
Hi all, thanks for having me.

I am 41 and have just been diagnosed with osteo arthritis in both hips. I am a florist and work 10 hours a day on my feet. I am self employed and to be honest am worried about the impact that this disease is going to have on me financially and socially so I thought i would come and talk to people who are living with it to see if you could offer any insight or advice.

I know it is not the end of the world as I work in a job where we deal with people with real real tragedies in their lives so I feel like a fraud moaning about painful legs but at the same time, I want to learn to live with it comfortably.

Has anyone got any tips, advice or any experience in working in a manual job and dealing with this? Or just any advice on living with it in general?

I really appreciate any advice, I am really positive by nature but also a realist so I can take it brutally...

Thank you so much in advance for any input from a newbie arthritis sufferer.

Comments

  • moderatormoderator Posts: 4,095 mod
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hello
    Welcome to the forum, I'm sure you will find support advice, friendship and light relief here.
    There are seever other here with OA and I hope you will find out what you want to know.
    I am one of the mderation team, we all have one or more of the arthritis hangers on or look after family members with the same.
    If you need any help with the technicallities of the forum just get in touch via a personal message
    Best wishes
    Mod Chris
  • stickywicketstickywicket Posts: 25,871
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hello pofo and welcome from me, too. Please don't apologise. We can all, quite easily, find people who are worse off than ourselves but, unfortunately, that doesn't make our own lives any easier, does it?

    It sounds as if you are very hard working and in a very demanding job. The last thing you need is stress as arthritis thrives on that but it must be very hard for you not to feel stressed right now.

    I have RA and have had it for many, many years. Work has not been an option for me for a long time but pain is the same whether at work or at home.

    First of all, I suggest you read here https://www.arthritiscare.org.uk/managing-arthritis . There's lots of good advice about all sorts of aspects of living with arthritis.

    Secondly, do the basics ie rest whenever you can. Can you sit at all at work? Maybe on a perching stool which would enable you to reach a table / counter? Something like one of these http://tinyurl.com/zhqkko6 Or, if you need to keep moving about on one, and have a flat floor, a computer chair (on wheels) might work.

    Thirdly, exercises might help. I couldn't manage without mine. You probably think it's the last thing you need after such long, tiring days but that's often when I get most benefit from it. (There are exercises in the top link above.)

    Socially? I think it's a matter of balance. No-one wants to socialise with someone who's a permanent damp squib but, on the other hand, we can feel very alone if we just try to keep going as normal and don't let on how tough things are. Tell people what they need to know. If you're having a really bad day don't make excuses for not going out etc. Just be honest. Tell it like it is but matter-of-factly. Save the moans for us on here because we do understand and, sometimes, it just has to be done :lol:
    “There is always a well-known solution to every human problem - neat, plausible, and wrong.” H.L. Mencken
  • pofopofo Posts: 6
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Sticky thanks very much for your reply, it reads really lovely and understanding.

    My husband has lowered a work station for me so that I can do some sit down work but realistically, even on a quiet day I am on my feet for at least 6 hours and my worry is that I will bring it on even quicker, I already feel relatively young having it now. I am thinking of options of changing my job to be less physical, maybe teaching as I have some qualifications in business I could teach at college..

    Socially, I already feel like it has restricted me as I love to walk and hike and mountain climb and it has taken all that away from me. I am getting jealous of seeing people walk which is just ridiculous.

    I also feel like I am banging on about it all the time, I joke about it with my husband and he is so so good at listening.

    I am going to click through to those links now and have a good read. Thanks so much. I will be visiting regularly and hopefully once I have my head around it, helping others too.

    To the moderator, thanks very much for your offer of help and for letting me join, it is much appreciated.
  • stickywicketstickywicket Posts: 25,871
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I honestly don't think joints wear out quicker by being used more. On the contrary, muscles, weakened by lack of use, can't support as joint as it needs and so slack muscles certainly do make things worse. Why notsask your GP to refer you for physio (or just book a few private sessions) because they'll give the best advice?

    A change of work? It might help. I really don't know.

    I'm afraid I won't be around much for the next few days as I have to go to Scotland, house hunting. But there are lots of lovely people on here and, if you have questions, just ask away on the Living With Arthritis forum as more people look on there. Good look!
    “There is always a well-known solution to every human problem - neat, plausible, and wrong.” H.L. Mencken
  • rayrayrayray Posts: 131
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi, I had hip impingements which led to torn labrums and arthritis in both hips. At the time of diagnosis I owned my own shop and it was difficult. I managed for about three years until things became very painful. I coped by using a perching stool when I could and also having a hottie hot pad which I wrapped around my hips - it heated in the microwave. I stayed as fit as I could but as time went on my mobility reduced.

    Every case is different and sometimes it doesn't get too bad and sometimes things can get very painful. I started using a stick which helped and later crutches. Had to give up standing after a few years and sat down to work. I then had surgery to fix things which was very successful - this was all in my forties.

    Happy to answer any questions you may have.
  • pofopofo Posts: 6
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I honestly don't think joints wear out quicker by being used more. On the contrary, muscles, weakened by lack of use, can't support as joint as it needs and so slack muscles certainly do make things worse. Why notsask your GP to refer you for physio (or just book a few private sessions) because they'll give the best advice?

    Yeah I am getting referred, and i think general exercise is good but mine is definitely excessisve which is why it worries me.

    A change of work? It might help. I really don't know.

    That is exactly what i am going to try to do to be honest.

    I'm afraid I won't be around much for the next few days as I have to go to Scotland, house hunting. But there are lots of lovely people on here and, if you have questions, just ask away on the Living With Arthritis forum as more people look on there. Good look!

    Thanks so much for you replies.
  • pofopofo Posts: 6
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    webmanager wrote:
    Hello Pofo
    and welcome, it is good to plan ahead and keep your options open with regards to life. There are a few bits of information you might like to look at. A referral to an occupational therapist might be useful as being on the outside looking in they can often spot things you may not notice. Here is a link https://www.cot.co.uk/find-ot/find-occupational-therapist. A referral can be made by your GP.

    You could also look at getting extra support including a personal assistant to help with the physical work through the Access to work scheme, this does also cover poeple who are self employed. https://www.gov.uk/access-to-work/overview

    Best Wishes

    Sharon this looks brilliant, this forum is so good, I just hope I can help someone eventually. I am just taking at the minute. Thank you so much.
    Sharon
  • pofopofo Posts: 6
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    rayray wrote:
    Hi, I had hip impingements which led to torn labrums and arthritis in both hips. At the time of diagnosis I owned my own shop and it was difficult. I managed for about three years until things became very painful. I coped by using a perching stool when I could and also having a hottie hot pad which I wrapped around my hips - it heated in the microwave. I stayed as fit as I could but as time went on my mobility reduced.

    Every case is different and sometimes it doesn't get too bad and sometimes things can get very painful. I started using a stick which helped and later crutches. Had to give up standing after a few years and sat down to work. I then had surgery to fix things which was very successful - this was all in my forties.

    Happy to answer any questions you may have.

    That is interesting (in a very selfish way obviously), are you a florist? The reason I am harping on about the floristry is because most florists i know have to have knee or hip replacements at 60. I wanted to be the odd one out but seems not. I have had my counters lowered on one side to sit down more. And, I am going to chase my occupational therapist referral.

    Thanks for this insight, it really does help to know others have been through this.
  • hileena111hileena111 Posts: 7,099
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Pfo
    Welcome to the group. Sorry I'm a bit late but my computer has playing up a bit as have my knees :roll:
    I have had 2 hip replacements and now my knees seem to be joining in the party as well
    You seem to have got all the information but just to add to it.....exercise.....I don't always feel like doing it but it does help.
    The other thing is ...."Use it or Lose it" so keep moving but the proper exercises. Low impact eg....walking rather than running etc
    Everyone is different. Lots of people ....their arthritis takes ages to get worse, others can get worse quicker if you know what I mean.......Mine was very gradual so I had plenty of time to adjust to it and find different ways of doing things.
    Relaxation is another good one for me.....you can get lots of CD's, and of course pacing yourself :oops: I know I'm one of the worse people for doing it myself :oops:
    Anyway welcome to the forum and I'm sure you will get lots of advice from other hippies
    Love
    Hileena
  • LadybrownLadybrown Posts: 130
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Pofo
    I am 40 and have OA in both knees - I was diagnosed 10 years ago and am now at the point where I am (hopefully) looking at surgical solutions.

    One thing I have found is that most people have been very understanding that I am not always able to do all of the social things I would like to, or used to do. I am honest when I am too tired or in pain and I also acknowledge that sometimes I will go out and enjoy myself but have to take the consequences and rest afterwards. It's a balancing act but I think it's important not to give up my social life.

    In terms of work - I'd have to say (as a teacher in Further Education) that you may not find teaching too much easier. I'm not sure how hips would work, but my knees hate both being on my feet in the classroom and sitting at a desk completing never-ending paperwork. I now find that using a crutch helps me to stay on my feet through the day and means that I am able to work longer. Sit or perch where you can and I do love a heat pack!

    Exercise and physio are key, and I found losing weight made a massive difference to pain. It also took my a while to get my head around taking pain-pills regularly, but they are much more effective that way.

    I hope you find this forum as useful as I do
    Take care
    Fay
    x
  • rayrayrayray Posts: 131
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Pofo,

    No not a florist but we did do balloon arrangements and venue decor before we went down the ecommerce route. In saying this my hip problems developed within weeks of starting the business and before that I worked as an accountant for a long time. My hip problems were a developmental issue I was told and had nothing to do with what I did for a living - the outcome was inevitable. At the time I was very fit, had always exercised and been healthy but the shape of my hips resulted in lots of damage inside the joint.
  • barbara12barbara12 Posts: 20,658
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi pofo
    Sorry this is late but a warm welcome form me, like you are finding out talking about things to people that understand really helps..I have OA of the hips among other joints..and just had my second hip replaced..standing is not good with hips has you know so all I can suggest is sitting in between..Im sure you are already doing this..there are exercises you can do to strengthen the thigh muscles but you would have to see a physio..you stay with us its good to talk.. :) x
    Love
    Barbara
  • TheLordFlasheartTheLordFlasheart Posts: 346
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi pofo

    Im an Arthiritis newbie myself, 35 and I have OA in my left knee, have good and bad days, I find its best ot find distractions, for its it listen to mucsic/radio whilst reading a book.

    You will feel very welcome on this forum, as I have after only joining a few days ago.

    Alastair
    "Stoke me a kipper, I'll be back for breakfast"
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