Saying Hello from sunny West Midlands!

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Glamourpuss41
Glamourpuss41 Member Posts: 2
edited 14. Nov 2018, 07:59 in Say Hello Archive
Hi everyone,

my name is Ann and I am 51 years young, but due to Osteoarthritis in my left knee, I feel about 80 years old. I am in constant pain and due to the pain in my knee, I now suffer with severe back pain. I am noticing that gradually I am withdrawing from a lot of activities that I used to love. I love dancing and would normally be out every Saturday night! Now I have to plan what I do during the day so that I'm not on my feet too much before going out. However, I have stayed in for the last 3 Saturdays because I know the pain I have to go through on a Sunday after a night out on the town! I feel like I'm getting old before my time and becoming increasingly depressed.

I think twice now before I do anything. I dread get on a plane or going to the cinema or theatre. The leg room is so tight and sitting for long periods is agony.

The doc/hospital say I'm too young for a knee replacement but this situation is destroying my life!

I don't even get any respite when I'm in bed because my knee hurts when when my let is stretched out and turning over in bed is a nightmare! I've tried sleeping with a pillow between my legs and under my knee but the relief is short lived because I turn over so many times during the night.

I'm on the usual Naproxen and painkillers. I can't take the painkillers during the day because I feel like zombie! I have a desk job so that doesn't help with the stiffness and pain. I've also tried a TENs machine and pen, freeze sprays, deep heat, Voltarol, various herbal remedies to no avail :cry:

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  • [Deleted User]
    [Deleted User] Posts: 3,635
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Hello Ann and welcome to the forums from the moderation team.

    I am very sorry to hear about your severe knee Osteoarthritis and its impact on your social and work life. Finding the right balance with pain relief is very difficult when you need to be alert for your job. It does sound as though you have tried lots of things to help yourself. It is possible that one of the members on here will have some ideas you haven’t yet tried.

    Have you had a steroid/painkilling injection in your knee yet for instance? If this hasn’t been tried yet you could ask your GP or Consultant. As for surgical options - of course Drs would prefer people to be much older before replacement is considered. In spite of this there are people on here who have needed joint replacements very young.


    This information is about knee osteoarthritis and is very comprehensive (apologies if you have read it already):

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

    If you think it might help to talk over your options please do call our helpline on:

    0800 5200 520

    We have a great community here, with lots of experience of arthritis, who I know will make you very welcome and help in any way they can.

    I look forward to seeing you posting in future.

    Best wishes

    Ellen.
  • dreamdaisy
    dreamdaisy Member Posts: 31,520
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Hello, it's nice to meet you but I am sorry you have had to find us. I began in 1997 with an auto-immune arthritis (I was 37) which began in my left knee, now I am 59 and have OA too which was diagnosed in 2011. To be honest I cannot remember how life was in the early days because they were so long ago but I do know the pain was more apparent because it was localised. I had to stop cycling, dancing, swimming and tennis because, as more joints joined in, the payback was not worth the fun. I have now changed my thinking, payback is worth the fun. OK, I can't do those things any more but I can do other things.

    I began working with a personal trainer in August 2017 and am trying to carry on with the work we did, it is difficult to motivate myself but I am gaining benefit in stronger muscles and better general stamina. I keep pain relief to a minimum, nothing completely removes it apart from general anaesthetic but as that renders one unable to do anything it's impractical :wink: I am very used to pain, it's been part of my life for twenty-two years and when pain-free stopped being an issue life became easier. I know where I am with it.

    I managed to work for seventeen years but was fortunate in that I was self employed so could tailor things to suit me. Arthritis has forced me to change my life but it is not my life, it does not define me, although it restricts me it will not defeat me. 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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    Hello Ann and welcome from me too.

    I am one of those who had new knees at a younger age than you but I'd had rheumatoid arthritis for about 20 years by then. One of them has since had to be replaced (due to old age, wear and tear) and the other's on borrowed time. Replacing a replaced joint is a bigger, longer operation and I was told there are ongoing risks so you can see why they don't want to give new joints out to younger people.

    It might well be that you are walking awkwardly because of the knee pain and so setting up conditions for back pain. However, it mat well be that a physotherapist could give you exercises to counteract this. Personally, I'd want to see one and try

    I can understand the 'withdrawing' from activities and that will, of course, lead to depression. My way of dealing with increasing pain is to take up something new for every thing I have to give up. Preferably, something I've always quite fancied but never got around to doing. Without the spur from arthrtis I'd never have done the Open University module on composition, riding for the disabled, walks with a wheelchair. (I walk some and ride some.)

    There's no need to shrink from plane journeys. I go to visit our son in Los Angeles every year. Ask for wheelchair assistance at the airport (The airline will arrange it in advance) and never stay for long in a plane seat. I walk around all the time. As for cinemas and theatres – many now have seats to suit disabled people. I always sit comfortably in my wheelchair surrounded by my family. There's usually plenty of stretchy leg room in these seats.

    I can't quite work out whether you wake due to pain in the night or are just used to turning over a lot. If the latter just remember you don't have to do it. If the former it's best to save some good pain relief until just before you go to bed. Maybe your GP could prescribe something suitable for night time. I never lie awake trying to sleep as it seems futile. After 1/4hr or so I get up and make myself a cup of tea and, if I've any left, take more painkillers.
    If at first you don't succeed, then skydiving definitely isn't for you.
    Steven Wright