Hello

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vickyp
vickyp Member Posts: 27
edited 28. Nov 2023, 14:04 in Living with arthritis
Hi everyone,
I am 53yrs old with what seems to be spreading OA. I found my way to this forum because I find nobody ever wants to talk about OA and no-one wants to hear about pain.

I am blessed with a close circle of friends and a loving husband but none of them wants to engage with this. It is kind of isolating and I notice I am starting to withdraw from my friends. I kind of get it because before I started living with chronic pain I never wanted to hear about other peoples pain either. I was pretty judgemental about it really.

At the moment I have OA in my right foot and ankle, hips and in my neck. I can feel that it is moving into one of my knees and the other foot too. The foot arthritis was diagnosed around 6yrs ago but the rest has been a progression since. I kept presenting to various GPs and physios telling them that something had seriously gone wrong in my body because I had pain in my hips, back, torso and generally felt unwell. Their response was to tell me that there was nothing wrong or that it was muscular or that the problem was that my pain system had gone wrong. It was only this year when hip pain was making me yelp out loud that they sent me for x-rays which revealed OA.

It was sort of a relief to get the diagnosis because I had started to wonder if I had mental health issues but as I am also scared that I am becoming disabled as this seems to be progressing into more areas fairly rapidly. I guess I shouldn't project though because right now I am still pretty active despite the discomfort and the diagnosis also allows me to be pro-active in managing this.

Sorry for the long rambling intro. I understand that OA is pretty moderate compared to other forms of arthritis.

Warm wishes
Vicky

Comments

  • [Deleted User]
    [Deleted User] Posts: 3,635
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Hi Vicky
    Welcome to the forum,everyone on the forums are friendly and welcoming and understanding what you are going through as everyone here has a form of arthritis and different amounts of pain.we are always here for you and will try and help in any way to make you feel part of the forum the most popular forums are Living with Arthritis and Chit Chat. Just start chatting and you will soon get an answer.
    All the best Christine
  • dreamdaisy
    dreamdaisy Member Posts: 31,520
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Hello, it's nice to meet you and I am sorry you have had to find us. I began back in 1997 when I was 37 so have a few years under my belt now. I have to take issue with one of your statements, OA is not 'pretty moderate' compared to other forms of arthritis, the misery it inflicts is different in cause but still causes misery. I speak as one of the lucky ones who has done the double, my OA (which was diagnosed back in 2011) came about thanks to the damage caused by my auto-immune arthritis (psoriatic, aka PsA), some joints have one, some the other and others both. Of the two I prefer the OA because it is more honest in how it presents and is easier to deal with, I am now emerging from the autumn/winter tunnel of OA and the other will take over for spring/summer so it's all glorious fun. :lol:

    I began with one affected joint, now it's around forty so pain is a way of life and I doubt I could cope with being pain-free. I found that life became easier as it spread because the fewer the affected joints the more apparent the painful ones appeared; over time, as they all blurred into one amorphous mass of ouch, it simplified things. The meds for the PsA do nothing for the OA which I manage by minimum pain relief, distraction, exercise and rest. I know what aggravates the OA so try to avoid the obvious ones such as overdoing things and eating too many acidic foods but the weather is always the one thing over which I have no influence (that also affects/triggers the PsA). I hope you find the forum to be of interest, we all get it because we've all got it. DD
    Have you got the despatches? No, I always walk like this. Eddie Braben
  • vickyp
    vickyp Member Posts: 27
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    .
    I have to take issue with one of your statements, OA is not 'pretty moderate' compared to other forms of arthritis, the misery it inflicts is different in cause but still causes misery.

    Thank you for the welcome and for taking issue with one of my statements Dreamdaisy. I always feel that I have to put a very British stiff upper lip on and be grateful because there are always others going through much worst things. I always feel I have to minimise. But you are right this causes misery, it causes me misery or I wouldn't have sought out this forum, I know that its progression can cause terrible pain from friends that have had hips replaced/ankles fused etc. Nobody takes that kind of action unless things are bad. Thanks for giving me permission to feel miserable about this from time to time :)

    Thanks for the welcome Christine. I will take a good look around the forum.
  • dreamdaisy
    dreamdaisy Member Posts: 31,520
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    The stiff upper lip thing is total nonsense. Friends compliment me on being 'brave' when the truth is I am not, they don't see the bad times because I have to cancel. I have a virtual pool, one end is shallow, the middle not so much and the deep end in gloom. The water in the shallow end is clear and warm, in the middle it's brackish and, in the deep end stagnant, foetid, brown with algae. This is The Pool of Self-Pity and it's OK to sit in the shallow end from time to time, indeed it's necessary to have a break from the brave face and pretence. What we must do is resist the lure of the deep end which, for some reason, can be strangely attractive.

    I know there are people worse off than me but so what? I don't know them, they don't know me. I know people who think they're worse off than me because the iniquities of old age are begining to hit - I've been told I have no idea how frustrating it is not to be able to do something any more and they're right, I haven't been able to do those things for over twenty years so it's no longer a hardship :lol: Being sympathetic to such dolts is very hard work, there's no gratitude for the fact their bodies have always worked, just huge discontent they're breaking down.

    Arthritis has taken and continues to take but it has also given, thanks to the forum, some wonderful friends, many of whom I have never met (and probably will never meet) because they are scattered round the country. When we talk the one subject that is rarely mentioned is the disease because we have much more in common. DD
    Have you got the despatches? No, I always walk like this. Eddie Braben
  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 27,726
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Hi Vicki and welcome from me too.

    Arthritis (RA and OA) and I have been all-too-close acquaintances for far too long. It's a pain, end of. I think a stiff upper lip will take us a long way down the road of dealing with it but we have to sometimes relax it. (A stiff upper lip makes a very difficult job of kissing :wink: ) Or, as a dear, non-arthritic friend once put it, everyone needs somewhere to put their head down and tell it like it is. Here is a very good place. It's safe, it's moderated and we all get the basics, much as we'd prefer not to :roll:

    No-one wants to be around a 'professional moaner' whose pain seems to be their raison d'etre but, equally, friends and family can feel shut out if we never mention something so central to our lives. It's a tricky balance. Over years, I think we get more practised at it but we still mess up at times. Well, I do :lol:

    Stick with us and I'm sure we can all help each other :D
    If at first you don't succeed, then skydiving definitely isn't for you.
    Steven Wright
  • vickyp
    vickyp Member Posts: 27
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    I have a virtual pool, one end is shallow, the middle not so much and the deep end in gloom. The water in the shallow end is clear and warm, in the middle it's brackish and, in the deep end stagnant, foetid, brown with algae. This is The Pool of Self-Pity and it's OK to sit in the shallow end from time to time, indeed it's necessary to have a break from the brave face and pretence. What we must do is resist the lure of the deep end which, for some reason, can be strangely attractive.

    I like the articulate analogy and the idea that its ok, even necessary, to sit in the shallw end of the pool from time to time. I will avoid wading to the deep. An important caution. Thank you. And yes, as I cast my mind back over life, out of everything that I thought bad at the time there have been some wonderful things emerge.
  • vickyp
    vickyp Member Posts: 27
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Hi Vicki and welcome from me too.

    Arthritis (RA and OA) and I have been all-too-close acquaintances for far too long. It's a pain, end of. I think a stiff upper lip will take us a long way down the road of dealing with it but we have to sometimes relax it. (A stiff upper lip makes a very difficult job of kissing :wink: ) Or, as a dear, non-arthritic friend once put it, everyone needs somewhere to put their head down and tell it like it is. Here is a very good place. It's safe, it's moderated and we all get the basics, much as we'd prefer not to :roll:

    No-one wants to be around a 'professional moaner' whose pain seems to be their raison d'etre but, equally, friends and family can feel shut out if we never mention something so central to our lives. It's a tricky balance. Over years, I think we get more practised at it but we still mess up at times. Well, I do :lol:

    Stick with us and I'm sure we can all help each other :D

    Thank you for the welcome Stickywicket (good username). You made me giggle with the kissing. And I think you are right about the tricky balance. I spent time with a women friend last night who said she missed me and had been struggling with some stuff on her own and feeling lonely. I hadn't known that because I had been to busy withdrawing. So you are right it is balance, if I had shared a little she could have shared a little and we could have both been heard. I think it will be good to have this safe place and people that understand. Thanks again for the welcome. :)
  • dreamdaisy
    dreamdaisy Member Posts: 31,520
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Hello Vicky, once again thank you again for your kind words, they are much appreciated.

    For one reason and another I have been awake since 2am so cannot think too clearly! I was in bed by ten but things went wrong in the early hours. :lol:

    Acceptance of arthritis has often been likened to going through the various stages of grief and there is indeed a similarity. Denial, anger, bargaining with whatever deity one follows etc. are all valid emotions, some get stuck on one stage, others move through them with ease, others don't bother with it (I am one of the latter, having been compromised since birth this is merely more of the same). You name the platitude, I've been on the receiving end (one person excelled themselves in telling me that if I accepted Jesus into my life I would drive out Satan and be cured. Ye gods). Yes, there are others who may be perceived as being worse off but are they in continual pain? Very often not. Yes, there are others who undergoing trials by fire but with the goal of being cured; not an option with arthritis. Yes, there are others who find life tough for one reason or another but if that is if their own making so what? If they repeat patterns of behaviour that lead to deterioration in their circumstances that is their look-out. I have what I have, I cannot change it, it's never going to go away and it's perfectly acceptable to be angry every now and again. I can be very frustrated at times as my abilities dwindle but I think that's fair enough, don't you? I choose not to waste my precious energies on anger or denial, it takes less effort to be cheerful and makes me a more pleasant person to be around. That doesn't mean, however, that I do not acknowledge or refuse to feel what are seen as the more negative emotions. It's learning to deal with those emotions in a positive way which is important. 'The deeper sorrow carves into your being the more joy you can contain' is a quote from Khalil Gibran's The Poet. That gets me through. DD

    PS If none of this makes sense I apologise, sleep deprivation does affect one.
    Have you got the despatches? No, I always walk like this. Eddie Braben
  • vickyp
    vickyp Member Posts: 27
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Thank you again Dreamdaisy. I appreciate the trouble you took to find this thread again and pick up the conversation here.

    I think grief sums it up perfectly. Life has changed and some days that is okay and some days it is not. It is moving into summer and there will be more okay days for me for sure.

    Other peoples reactions are funny. Often well-meaning but so patronising. I did giggle that someone told you to accept Jesus. You must have been spitting feathers. How very rude!

    What I took from your post is that it is okay to feel frustrated and angry sometimes, to acknowledge that, but not to stay stuck there. Cheerful definitely sounds easier.

    Thanks again for your kindness DD.