Do I or dont I ?

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rosie06
rosie06 Member Posts: 3
edited 18. Jun 2019, 05:05 in Living with arthritis
Hi there all
I was diagnosed with OA 3 years ago in my thumb joints . It has now "spread" to my wrist and shoulders, but my thumbs are by FAR the worst affected .
I have 2 horses which I have owned for a very long time and 3 dogs . My family Insist I am making things worse and need to sell the horses and re home my dogs (small dogs that need grooming) but even thinking about it is tearing me apart, they are my world
Everything has got worse so quickly and I have already had to give up my job. It has not left me in a good place "emotionally" which is scaring me too.
I would love to hear from anyone who has faced a similar quandary . Do you carry on and enjoy as much as you can while you can ?
I also wonder if anyone else has a problem with muscle pain with OA.. like they are burning ? I am no longer able to sleep in the same bed as my husband it gets so bad , and I fear he is going to knock me in the night .
I apologize for all the questions , my doctor has made it very clear there is nothing he can do , so I thought I would ask the good members here and maybe learn some of your tips and tricks along the way
Many thanks for your time x

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  • [Deleted User]
    [Deleted User] Posts: 3,635
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Hi and welcoe,what a dilemma you've got - I( have no experience of this at also will not advise,I'm sure there are others here who have similar experience …….over to them,but good luck with whatever you do.
    Al
  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 27,719
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Hi Rosie and welcome from me too.

    This must be really tough for you and very draining emotionally. All of us on here know that arthritis feeds on stress so I'm sure the two factors are each making the other worse. I guess something must change. But what?

    First of all, I suggest you read up here. https://www.arthritiscare.org.uk/living-with-arthritis There are lots of tips for dealing with arthritis and some you might not have thought of. It's true that, with OA (I have RA and OA), the patient can usually do more than the docs – exercising, resting, diet, not smoking etc.

    Families (bless 'em :roll: ) are great at suggesting things which we find either impossible or impractical. I used to do Riding for the Disabled so I know a little bit about the huge physical effort involved with keeping horses. Plus the effort of exercising dogs. I confess I've never groomed a dog in my life. Or a cat. So I know nothing about that.

    The trouble with animals, as with children (and I did have to care for small children when my joints were all at their worst) is that things have to be done whether or not we feel up to it. Whereas exercise is good, essential even, enforced exercise when everything is twanging badly isn't.

    I think you might have to make some tough decisions. If you can afford to pay someone to care for your horses that would sort that problem out. Ditto the dogs. (Aren't there grooming parlours now?) Maybe your family would help. One thing I know for sure is that, along my very many years of arthritis, I've given up an awful lot of cherished things and activities (though never the kids :wink: ). Clinging to our former, non-arthritic lives just doesn't work. And, sadly, clinging to the pain of letting them go doesn't work either. We have to constantly find new and interesting ways of living with the disease so that we're looking forward not back. It's difficult, but rewarding.
    If at first you don't succeed, then skydiving definitely isn't for you.
    Steven Wright
  • crinkly1
    crinkly1 Member Posts: 156
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Hello and my commiserations on your situation.

    As a former horse-owner and qualified riding instructor (specialising in teaching RDA and Paradressage riders) I totally understand the horse issues. This is a really massive dilemma that only the horse-addicted can comprehend.

    I have widespread OA and had to part with my own horse when his care became physically too painful. I was fortunate in being able to ride with an RDA Group that had an adult class and then had a wonderful two years riding a lovely little semi-retired mare whose owner wanted her to continue with light exercise. The owner had a livery yard so was happy for all the horse care to be done by staff. That came to an end when I needed surgery but gave me an amazingly happy final equestrian chapter to look back on.

    Of course I'd love still to be riding and owning a horse but that's not possible and other doors have opened to fill some of the gap.

    For you, sadly, the big decisions have to be faced realistically and you need to explore all possible options. Everything depends on your personal situation so only you know what might work. Keeping your horses at full livery may be ideal but could well be financially impossible, as it was for me.

    You say you've had your horses for a long time but don't add whether they are ridden or retired as pets/companions. If the former you might consider an arrangement whereby they could be exercised by someone else in exchange for the grooming, tack cleaning and other jobs you can't manage. If they are retired and turned out they might be fine with less grooming.

    As for dogs, my husband had to take over all grooming for as long as our existing dogs lived and we then decided that any future canines must be short haired and low maintenance. For the past few years we have had retired racing greyhounds who make great pets and need remarkably little exercise.

    I'm sorry that you have reached this position and don't underestimate how very hard it is but you are clearly being courageous in recognising the need to make changes. There may always be a tinge of regret but I do hope you find a good route through this dark passage so you carry with you the best of memories.
  • dreamdaisy
    dreamdaisy Member Posts: 31,520
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    You are aggravating matters but you do so when you cook, clean, iron, drive, dress, undress, do the laundry: I bet the family keep quiet about all that activity as it suits them for you to do it. :wink:

    I cannot help because I've been adjusting since I was eight, it's my necessary way of life not to do or have the things I want or fancy but I might be able to help regarding your aching muscles. When we feel pain we naturally tense our muscles, placing them under strain, then unconsciously alter the way we move and do things thus placing them under further strain. I don't know if working splints may help to relieve some of the discomfort, you need proper information on that which can be given by an occupational therapist. I have psoriatic arthritis in all my fingers and OA in my wrists, plus other affected joints. DD
    Have you got the despatches? No, I always walk like this. Eddie Braben
  • stellabean
    stellabean Member Posts: 307
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Hello Rosie welcome, I can sympathise with you completely being a horse owner myself. When I was 22 I was very ill with crohns I weighed 4 stone and realised the 2 equines I owned had to be rehomed and quickly they had been on part livery. I was lucky my brother had some land I just had to get them 200 miles away he found fantastic homes for them.
    I am now 60 and have owned a horse for 20 yrs he is 29 has cushings but is a field companion for another horse.I only need to groom him occasionally check on him daily( and give him meds) and check the other horse. They are fed in the winter and have a barn to shelter in. I am not allowed to ride and haven't since I was assaulted 20yrs ago damaging my neck it is too dangerous. I have OA and RA, I manage my animals with the help of my husband without whom I could not manage. As I have bad hands grooming can be fun with me dropping brushes all the time but my horse has got used to me being clumsy. But I could not manage if he wasn't so close to home.
    I use 2 crutches to walk and my husband walks the dogs I trail along and I pick up the poop I do some of the feeding and luckily they are both short haired. I have struggled to keep mobile at times but the need to see to the animals has kept me at it. I hope you can get sorted out, I know it can be very emotional.
  • Airwave!
    Airwave! Member Posts: 2,466
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Whatever you do in life that matters to you, keep doing it, you will never be the same person otherwise. There comes a point that life changes, it may be necessary for you to change as well, accept help to keep doing things, do less but in a satisfying way, teach others to look after and work with animals, the list of suggestions could go on! Involve a local school could be one way? I bet you can find a way.

    Good luck.
  • rosie06
    rosie06 Member Posts: 3
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Thank you all so very much for your replies and for your own journeys . I am truly so very grateful .
    My husband is being a great help with the animals (although he is terrified of my Clydesdales feet!!!) and is even learning to tack up for me so I can ride.
    I understand now that this might not be possible for very much longer and decisions will have to be made . Thank you for pointing out other options and , well, for letting me know that others understand .
    I guess I went through a period of feeling"short changed" and life is not fair (and lonely , SO lonely). That did not last long I,m glad to say .
    I am humbled by your own stories and grateful that you took time to reply
    I will plod on (literally) for now and accept that , and I quote , "Its life Jim , but not as we know it" xx
  • dreamdaisy
    dreamdaisy Member Posts: 31,520
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Thank you for coming back to us, so many don't bother. It must be very difficult for you, coming at this from a healthy background. A Persian proverb goes 'Health is the crown to a well man's head, only a sick man can see it.' which I think is pertinent and, my favourite, 'The body itself is a disease.' because that has been true my entire life. :lol:

    It is a fundamental truth of life is that from our first breath we are heading in only one direction, the body is mechanical and will wear out, our physical abilities will wane and choices will have to be made. Some of us experience this supposedly too early in life but who made that rule? Age depredation is a fact of life, as is disease; no-one is exempt from its touch. As for fairness, well, it is a flawed concept because, when applied to us, it is based on others personal judgements about its contents and execution just as when we try to apply it to others. Someone always loses out. DD
    Have you got the despatches? No, I always walk like this. Eddie Braben
  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 27,719
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    rosie06 wrote:
    I guess I went through a period of feeling"short changed" and life is not fair (and lonely , SO lonely). That did not last long I,m glad to say .



    I think you sound to be adjusting very well but there will be more periods of change and adjustment and feeling lonely and cut off. We do have to keep on adapting but remember we're always here for you and - alas :roll: - we understand all too well.

    I feel for your husband. Our RDA group had a lovely, gentle Clydesdale - who loved to rest his foot on anyone else's :lol:
    If at first you don't succeed, then skydiving definitely isn't for you.
    Steven Wright