Hello fellow arthritis sufferers!

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Alisonbowler
Alisonbowler Member Posts: 4
edited 14. Nov 2018, 07:13 in Say Hello Archive
I have severe osteoarthritis in my feet, hands, knees, shoulders and neck.. My neck has got especially painful this year and the doctor gave me different painkillers to try.. Had a phone call on last Friday,from the very same doctor who prescribed me these painkillers, and he told me that I can't use the Co Drydamol or Co Codamol any more, and he cut my Paracetomol prescription down to 4 a day.. I tried to talk to him about alternative pain killers like Cannabis oil or Ibuprofen patches, but to no avail. It felt like he has no understanding of the constant, never ending pain and stiffness of arthritis, and how much it is affecting my daily life and my mood. And it seems like he has ended any conversation with him in the future about me coping or treating my pain. I'm so upset and cross.Some sympathy and helpful advice from you guys who know what arthritis is really about would be much appreciated!! Thanks.

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  • [Deleted User]
    [Deleted User] Posts: 3,635
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Hi Alison,

    Lovely to meet you. The pain can be unremitting with osteoarthritis (often shortened to OA), and then the frustration of a phone call from your doctor changing his previous advice. Did he offer any reason why?

    There is a total limit to the amount of paracetamol you can have in one day, all the medications you have mentioned contain paracetamol, generally it’s one or two 500mg tablets up to four times a day. Is this what you are now taking? Please don’t be tempted to take more - it can be most dangerous.

    That isn’t the end of your options though, there are other medication options though as well as other options, like heat.

    Here is the leaflet regarding OA loaded at the 'managing your symptoms' page, just scroll down and you will heading for medications and other pain relief.

    https://www.versusarthritis.org/about-arthritis/conditions/osteoarthritis/

    Maybe have a read and then make an appointment to see your doctor?

    Do let us know how you get on

    Take care
    Yvonne x
  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 27,730
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Hello Alison and welcome from me, too. My OA started as a result of years of RA and, like you, I have it in most joints.

    I doubt anyone can really understand the pain of arthritis unless they have gone through it themselves and GPs can seem a bit dismissive of OA because there's not a lot they can do about it other than referring us for physio or to a Pain Clinic or, eventually, the surgeon.

    Yours can't 'end the conversation' unless you are compliant in that so I suggest you make another appointment to talk things over in depth. Or, indeed, make an appointment with a different GP in the practice.

    I wonder why he has said you can't use codydramol or cocodamol any more. Perhaps you are also taking other medications, either prescribed or over-the-counter – possibly supplements – which would 'clash' with them. As Yvonne says, no-one should take more than 8 paracetamol per 24 hours and both codydramol and cocodamol contain paracetamol so, whatever the combination, it would be 8 tablets maximum. There's a big danger to kidneys if we take more than that.

    There are other pain relievng meds though and it would surely be worth asking if you could try one of them. The NHS won't prescribe cannabis oil except for very rare circumstances and arthritic pain does not come into that category. Ibuprofen patches? I didn't know they made them but I suspect they're a very expensive way of prescribing ibuprofen. Most of us take it as a pill.
    If at first you don't succeed, then skydiving definitely isn't for you.
    Steven Wright
  • dreamdaisy
    dreamdaisy Member Posts: 31,520
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Hello, I'm another one who has done the double, psoriatic arthritis began in 1997 when I was 37 which led in turn to osteo, diagnosed in 2011. I naively thought that when you had one you were done - what an idiot. :lol:

    Constant pain is debilitating, demoralising, frightening and isolating. It can stop us doing what we want to do and learning to manage it (and with it) is hard. It is very easy to 'overdose' with pain relief, we tend to underestimate the power of paracetamol as it is so common, it appears in so many products. Wishing for no pain is understandable but is completely unobtainable as a goal, whatever the strength of the pain relief it will only dull the sharper edges, no more and in the case of the really strong stuff we are taken away from the pain, not the other way around. I have pain relief to hand but prefer to use distraction as my main tool: if I pay less attention to the pain it does fade into the background.

    Of the ten million or so arthritics in the UK the majority have OA, I think its ubiquity works against it. In my experience of medicos they are well-versed in theory whereas we are the ones dealing with reality. I keep my pain relief to the minimum so I have room to maneouvre when needed. I take four 30/500 cocodamol per day, in the rougher times I supplement that with two paracetamol but no more (TBH it's more the psychological experience of taking another form of pain relief which probably makes the difference). One of the benefits of having an auto-immune arthritis is that we have to have constant blood tests to measure our liver function so we soon know if things are not going well, unlike those with only OA. It is the liver that processes paracetamol
    etc. so if you are unwittingly overdosing you won't know.

    I have arthritis but I don't regard myself as a sufferer. It is what it is, it isn't going to go away and it does not define me. It has affected my life, forced me to make changes and adjust my behaviour but so what? Ageing does that to everyone, I've done it earlier in life and when my thinking was plastic enough to accept the changes. I am now hearing my peers grumbling about aching joints, that they cannot walk for twenty miles any more, they've had to stop playing hockey, football, tennis, yadda yadda yadda. Diddums. They are suffering from something worse, namely healthy bodies wearing out, beginning to 'fail' them. DD
    Have you got the despatches? No, I always walk like this. Eddie Braben
  • Alisonbowler
    Alisonbowler Member Posts: 4
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Thank you for your replies. I've found them very encouraging and simply by talking to other OA people I feel better!
    Just to clarify, I haven't been taking all the paracetomol products at once!! :lol: My doctor gave me various ones to try separately at various times to see what worked best. He said in February " I won't abandon you in pain", but after his phone call last Friday I feel he has. And after watching the Versus Arthritis advert last night I feel like he has shown an overwhelming lack of empathy towards OA and it's debilitating effects.
    Also have a strong suspicion that his decision to cut my pain relief is more due to finance. The surgery is currently changing what it will prescribe, one of the things is pain relief.Although the leaflet they gave me about this said it 'may be possible' to still get pain relief for chronic illnesses such as arthritis....
    However, I'm moving on , inspired by comments on this forum. I'm concentrating on other forms of pain management and trying not to put OA first. m0150
  • dreamdaisy
    dreamdaisy Member Posts: 31,520
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    I'm pleased you have clarified what you were or were not taking, we have had people on here who regularly but unknowingly 'overdose' then wonder why they need more and more to get the same level of 'relief'. I coined the term 'pain duller' because that is all they do.

    I have managed an unaided walk today, I was doing them regularly but have slightly fallen out of the habit. I am determined to do another one on Friday, I want to feel better about myself and only I can make that happen. (When I am out in town I use a rollator for support and to encourage others to give me room.). Yes, I hurt more as a result but it is a positive pain plus I have that lovely sense of achievement which is a psychological boost. DD
    Have you got the despatches? No, I always walk like this. Eddie Braben
  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 27,730
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Well done you! That sounds like a very purposeful decision.

    I can't tell you what's going on in your surgery. Frankly, I'd be surprised if it's to do with money as none of the meds you mention are very expensive. I was, however, once switched to a different stomach-protecting med and I know, from that, that sometimes a health authority chooses one brand of basically similar meds and gets them in bulk which makes it cheaper. My GP (bless him!) ordered a different brand for me because I needed a higher dose which wasn't possible on the 'official' brand. I think, this meant the surgery footing the bill.

    It's true that much is about money, these days, but also there's concern about us ending up like USA with loads of people addicted to prescription meds because docs can prescribe meds but not the physio etc which more patients would benefit from but the patients can't afford it.
    If at first you don't succeed, then skydiving definitely isn't for you.
    Steven Wright