Hello there...

keeley78 Member Posts: 3
edited 21. Jul 2017, 05:56 in Say Hello Archive

I'm new to this site and forum so please bear with me.

I'm having a pretty bad week with my arthritis and my OH suggested I find a good website/forum and try and attempt to share my thoughts and experiences with other people in a similar situation as me to see if this would help.

I was diagnosed with osteoarthritis from a very early age and it never impinged on my childhood in anyway however as I'm getting older and since having my first child nearly twenty year ago my arthritis has deteriorated significantly. I never have two days the same, some days it doesn't bother me in the slightest and then there is days like today where I can't even walk my dogs or even nip over to my local shops. I'm normally fit and healthy and I work full time as a nurse. I like to exercise and swim quite regular in between my working days to be proactive but on days like today I struggle and I haven't done anything out of the ordinary. Pain management wise over the years I've just taken paracetamol and ibuprofen whenever I had a bad day but this last year I've had to start taking co codamol (makes me so nauseous also). I spoke to my GP recently and explained my symptoms etc and he prescribed Tramadol even though I asked him to avoid that stuff because I need to be alert to drive to work safely and do my job effectively (not off my face) anyway I tried one 50mg dose one afternoon and I was violently sick all over and pretty much comatose for the remainder of the day so I binned the rest of them. I do have a further appointment next week with him to try something else. Needless to say I've been under the care of a ortho consultatnt and they won't even entertain me having surgery even though I've told them repeatedly that my quality of life is starting to be affected by me avoiding triggers and situations that may make my arthritis flare up. I'm 38 year old by the way. I've kind of took it on board that surgery isn't an option yet but I'm running out of proactive ideas to keep me going. I'm reluctant to take medication that may affect my driving/job etc. Can anyone shed any light on any medication that may help me in the long term? I've been taking vitamins and supplements for a while now but I've yet to see any benefit. Anyway sorry for the rant :-) I do apologise. This website seems pretty informative so I'll take a look around. I'm hoping someone has some wise words of wisdom for me, Thanks in advance xxx


  • [Deleted User]
    [Deleted User] Posts: 3,636
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi keeley78
    welcome to the forum, I'm so glad that you have joined our community and I am also sorry to hear that you are having such a bad week with your osteoarthritis, and that pain management is now becoming a big issue for you. It is certainly true that some people find painkillers such as tramadol difficult to take and experience side effects that make it possible to continue.

    I'm glad that you have an appointment next week with your GP as this will be an opportunity for you to discuss the future management of your hip pain in greater detail. Whilst I can understand that your orthopaedic consultant is unwilling to consider you for surgery at such a young age, I confess I am somewhat confused by this response if it means that you are not able to lead an active life and it is impinging on your capacity to continue working as a nurse. As we know nursing is a very physical occupation and it is so important that you are as fit as possible. Did he explain why he was not willing to operate on somebody as young as yourself. Here is a link to ARUK and their page on "Do I need a hip replacement" which you may find useful. http://www.arthritisresearchuk.org/arthritis-information/surgery/hip-replacement-surgery/do-i-need-surgery.aspx It may be worth discussing this further with your GP, and possibly he could advise you of further steps that you could take to keep as well as possible. In the meanwhile would it be possible for you to get some physiotherapy to help you to keep as fit as you can.

    As I'm sure you are aware, there is a huge range of painkillers that can be used in order to help you, we have a booklet about pain management that you might find useful, here is a link https://www.arthritiscare.org.uk/living-with-arthritis/managing-pain I hope these links will be of use to you and please let us know if you have any further questions. I am sure other members of the community will come along and offer you support and information about their experience.
    Best Wishes
  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 27,223
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hello Keeley and welcome. Of cóurse we'll 'bear with you'. It's what the forum is all about.

    Well, that all sounds difficult and a bit unusual. We do get younger people on here with OA but they haven't usually had it since childhood and I guess it's even more uncommon for someone to know that they have it when it doesn't impinge on their life at all. How on earth did you come to be diagnosed? (No need to answer that nosey question :oops: ) Most 'childhood arthritises are, like mine, of the autoimmune variety. I was diagnosed with Stills aged 15 but that was yonks ago. I think nowadays it'd be JIA. (I tell everyone I have RA partly because they understand that and partly because I think it's the truth.)

    With a busy life as a nurse (Thank you. Nurses have been brilliant to me) and all the exercise you do it's clear that you're keeping active which we sometimes have to advise people to do. Might you, I wonder, be a bit too active? If you've had OA for so long maybe your joints are finally starting to protest. When did you last have x-rays?

    Re medication. I understand (and applaud) your efforts not to take too much but sometimes it becomes necessary. Sometimes we can just get too used to putting up with pain. You say you take paracetamol and ibuprofen 'whenever I had a bad day'. Ibuprofen, like all NSAIDS works better taken regularly so you might think of trying this but, if you do, please remember it's not good for stomachs so ask your GP for a stomach-protecting med to go with it. Ibuprofen is also not the best NSAID. Most people get better relief with naproxen or diclofenac, (But they, too, require a stomach-protector).

    Co-codamol aren't, I believe notorious for upsetting stomachs but, since NSAIDS did for my stomach years ago, I have to take literally every pill now with a small amount of food. Very small is OK. One small, plain biscuit will do. Tramadol? Lots of us hate them. I can't take them either as I get very nauseous with or without food. Talking of nausea – maybe you should check with your pharmacist that none of the supplements you're taking might cause it or, indeed, interact with your prescribed meds. They can and do sometimes.

    I got my first new knees aged 36. One of the reasons why they don't like operating on younger patients is because prostheses wear out. One of my TKRs was replaced about 8 years ago after 27 years. My new prosthesis is a joy but it's very long and required bone grafts and a long period in theatre.

    I guess there are other forms of pain relief which I've never explored as, like you, I prefer to stay alert but I know others on here use pain patches and suchlike.

    Have you ever been referred to a Pain Clinic? That might help.

    Otherwise, all I can think of is (probably what you don't want to hear) to try to cut down a bit on your working hours so you have more relaxation.

    I do hope the GP can help a bit next week. Please let us know how it goes. And remember we're always here to share our experiences. It does help.
  • keeley78
    keeley78 Member Posts: 3
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00

    Thank you both for your kind words and advice. I was diagnosed quite early on with a congenital dislocation of my right hip and unfortunately this wasn't picked up until I started toddling around. As you can imagine technology and surgical care certainly wasn't that advanced in the early 80s as it is now and I had various operations on my hip which were unsuccessful and I was in traction for about two years. My parents recall a moment while I was in surgery that the surgeon suggested that I may never walk again and if I did I would more than likely have to have the old horrendous calipers but I defied the odds.

    I had some xrays done a few year ago and they were pretty rough. It almost looked like my pelvis on my right side was being held together by a thread!
    I've discussed with my GP about being referred to a pain management clinic but again he suggested that the criteria for a referral is I have to have tried a minimum of two strong painkillers first line before they would even consider me.

    Thank you Sharon for providing the links also. I will definitely have a look.

    Thanks again folks xxx
  • barbara12
    barbara12 Member Posts: 21,279
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hello Keeley and a warm welcome form me..
    I am so glad the Arthritis didn't impede on your childhood, but now its seems to be throwing everything at you, must say I agree with the tramadol, I hated the stuff..
    I am retired so don't have the dilemma of working ,thank goodness.I do find that changing the meds from time to time..has you probably know being a nurse , they don't work has well after a while..
    Have you been refereed to a pain clinic at all , I find them very good..there is also some very good reading on managing pain if you take a look at the top of the forum..
    I do hope you get some help soon...