Retail and RA

Weniki13 Applicant2 Posts: 4
I work in retail and iPhone launch day worked 11 1/2 hrs straight with no break but have not been to a dr to be diagnosed with RA which I’m most positive that I have after much research and coming home every night to a hot bath and foot soak along with as manny meds to try and help relieve the pain. I also use a heating pad daily. They think I’m just complaining and say “yeah my feet ache too”. Well I have at least 10 yrs on all of them and some I’m 20 yrs their elder. I have worked in retail for 26 yrs now with the past 10 being on my feet after they did away with our desks and the ability to sit and help the customer. I believe my symptoms have gotten much worse. Could this all be a cause of RA? If so and I finally get my diagnosis, should I continue in retail? I don’t feel like doing anything when I come home but get off of my feet. Now my knees and hands are stiff, swollen and achy on a daily basis. This job is killing me. I’m close to retirement (at age 55...I will be 49 this Dec) but don’t think I can make it through all of the holiday hours. What are some of your suggestions? This is all new to me. I’ve been healthy all of my life until this bone and joint pain. I went to the orthopedic dr and have a large ganglion cyst which I’ve had for 8 yrs and now have 2 bone spurs on top of that on my big toe and need surgery for that. Is this job doing this to me? I’ve always been so active and have never had surgery of any sort. I feel like I’m too young to feel like this daily.


  • dreamdaisy
    dreamdaisy Member Posts: 31,520
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I cannot help on the work front as I am now retired - I finally stopped work aged 54 (having begun arthritis aged 37) but was fortunate in that I was self-employed so could adjust things to suit myself. Employment can aggravate matters arthritic but not necessarily cause the disease. I might be able, however, to shed some light on the confusion that is arthritis.

    RA is an auto-immune kind of arthritis and cannot be diagnosed by a GP - it comes under the remit of rheumatologists; diagnosis is not necessarily a straightforward business. GPs deal with osteo-arthritis but they are the ones who can start the process of referral to rheumatology and he is the one you need to go and see.

    It is worth keeping a short diary of pain and tiredness levels and what hinders and helps matters. This will give the GP more information about how you are being affected. Does anyone in your family have a history of auto-immune troubles? This can include asthma, eczema, food intolerances etc. (arthritis can run in families but also start from nowhere). The GP can check you for osteo-arthritis (and might refer you for an Xray) and he can also arrange blood tests. A referral to rheumatology might be made once the blood results are back.

    I have psoriatic arthritis and that in turn has led to osteo meaning I have a creaky foot in both camps, lucky ol' me :wink: Arthritis has no respect for age or gender and, as you are coming at it from a healthy background, it's something you've never had to think about. Whether you do now or not I cannot tell you because I am not a doc but I have amassed some knowledge over the years about stuff. It may be worth your posting again on the Living with Arthritis board (or at least having a read through) as that is where we deal with matters relating to diagnosis, treatments, meds etc.

    I wish you well. DD
    Have you got the despatches? No, I always walk like this. Eddie Braben
  • [Deleted User]
    [Deleted User] Posts: 3,635
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00

    Welcome to the forums, I am sure you will find support, advice, light relief and mutual friendship here.
    There are many people here who have had their Rheumatoid Arthritis diagnosed and are being treated for it.

    It would probably be a starting point to finding out if you do have Rheumatoid Arthritis, or perhaps another kind of arthritis, would be to make an appointment to see your doctor. There are over 200 different types of
    Arthritis and related conditions and seeing a doctor, discussing your problems with the doctor and having any tests required would hopefully give you a diagnosis.

    Arthritis Care has many booklets and leaflets about the problems, pain and difficulties arthritis causes people.
    You may be interested in looking at the following links.

    Arthritis Research UK also have booklets and fact sheets about various aspects of arthritis. You may be interested in looking at the following

    I am one of the moderation team and we all have one or more of the arthritis “hangers’ on” or care for family with the same.

    One of the most used sections of the forum is Living with Arthritis and it may help if you were to post to this section as it will be seen by more posters.

    Best wishes
  • frogmorton
    frogmorton Member Posts: 29,016
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Once you've get your diagnosis you will be entitled to request reasonable adjustments to your work environment such as a chair to sit on that's for sure.

    I suggest you see whether your Dr will refer you to a consultant rheumatologist for assessment and diagnosis ASAP.

    Hopefully before the Christmas extra work pattern which is looming.

    Best wishes

    Toni xx