Waiting for a diagnosis

Burty Member Posts: 3
edited 28. Nov 2023, 14:04 in Living with arthritis
I am currently waiting for a hospital appointment. Originally I was told it was a 9 week wait and now it is 20 weeks. I am 39. I have stiffness and discomfort in my feet, toes, ankles, knees, back, hips, elbows and fingers. It's been slowly getting worse and in more joints since I originally was given the referral. While I wait for the appointment is there anything else I can do to rule out other things or something to help speed up my appointment? My symptoms actually started 2 years ago and I was finally refereed on 4th December.
Any advice would be appreciated.


  • [Deleted User]
    [Deleted User] Posts: 3,635
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi berty
    Welcome to the forum sorry you are going through a lot at the moment we understand what you are going through as everyone here has a form of arthritis and goes through various levels of pain. We are very friendly and everyone is understanding on all forums the most popular forums are Living with Arthritis and Chit Chat.
    All the best Christine
  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 27,608
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi there, Burty, and welcome from me too.

    We can't diagnose as we've no medical training so I'll skip any speculation about possibilities other than arthritis. I think your guess is probably as good as ours.

    I presume the hospital appointment is to see a rheumatologist who will determine if you have osteoarthritis or an inflammatory kind. You might like to read up on them here. https://www.arthritiscare.org.uk/do-i-have-arthritis

    What else can you do? Keep active. Eat healthily. Don't smoke. Listen to your body and try not to ask too much of it ie incorporate rests into your daily activities. As for the long waiting list for appointments - yup, that's the state of things, I'm afraid. You could ring in and say you could take a cancellation at short notice (if that's possible for you).

    Good luck with it all.
    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
    Hello, I was born with auto-immune rubbish (eczema) and went on to develop more aged seven (asthma) so for me the arrival of an auto-immune arthritis when I was 37 was not a surprise. We cannot diagnose or really advise as we are not doctors, just knowledgeable patients. Mine began in 1997 with a swelling left knee, then in 2003 my right knee joined in and so it went on. Osteoarthritis was diagnosed in 2011.

    Until you are seen I advise keeping a brief diary of daily levels of pain and tiredness, noting whether adverse weather affects you, rest as much as possible, and keep a record of any OTC medications you take. GPs know a little about a lot, sometimes we need those who know a lot about a little: arthritis is a complex condition and we cannot saynmuch until you know what's what. Please let us know how you get on. DD
    Have you got the despatches? No, I always walk like this. Eddie Braben
  • Burty
    Burty Member Posts: 3
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Thanks all for the replies. Was feeling a little sorry for myself the other evening. Am currently sat with my feet on a hot water bottle as my feet now hurt after a walk along the beach searching for shark's teeth with my family! The discomfort was worth it though as we found quite a few.

    I do try and keep healthy - I am a regular at my gym and enjoy the Pilates class, body balance class, swim and LBT class each week. I've never smoked and I eat a healthy diet. I am not overweight.

    I am just checking to see if there is anything else I can do to while I wait for my initial appointment with the rheumatology department in terms of helping speed up the appointment or other tests I could ask the GP for. I've recently been back and had another blood test - but GP said it's what the hospital will do and she won't be able to do anything with the result as it's too specialist. But at least I can take those results with me when I finally do get my appointment.

    Keeping a log is a good idea which I had thought I might start so will definitely start that now. Is there a good format I can download from somewhere? If not I'll devise my own in a notebook.

    Once again thanks very much for the responses. Really appreciated.
  • dreamdaisy
    dreamdaisy Member Posts: 31,520
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    In the days when I kept a record it was simple, quick and easy to do and read. I covered pain, tiredness and mood (P, T, M) all rated on a scale of 0 (nothing or, in the case of mood, very good) to 10 where everything was appalling: weather was also covered with an initial, S for sunny, R for rain, For for fog, Sn for snow, and HP or LP for the pressure. A typical day would read :

    P. 5
    T. 4
    M. 2
    W. S, HP.

    Any extra details would be briefly noted but only briefly: the last thing any doc wants is to be presented with an A4 ring binder of copious bumf, they have neither the time of possibly the inclination to sort nuggets of info from reams of 'I went to the shops and although things weren't too bad to start by the time I got home I could barely move, then the dog was sick all over the floor and clearing that up really hurt my back . . . . . '. DD
    Have you got the despatches? No, I always walk like this. Eddie Braben