Hello from me, thunderstruck by news...

Lennel Member Posts: 2
edited 15. Feb 2020, 06:46 in Living with arthritis
Hello to you all and thank you for this wonderful forum.

In a nutshell: a couple of months ago I thought I'd fractured a finger. A couple of weeks ago, the same thing happened with two more. Boney bumps began to appear and now I've got three of them, all of a sudden, with the kind of pain that I associated with minor breaks.

Went to the doctor who asked me how long I'd had pain. Well, said I, I hurt all over and have for years, putting it all down to spondylosis in the neck vertebrae which began in 2000. She sent me to X-ray and lo, as you will all have guessed, I have fairly bad osteorartritis of the hands, and the ankles, as well as the spine.

I am a writer. I don't know what to do, as typing is my living. At 58, with teenage children, I need to keep on earning for at least another decade.

Does anyone have similar experience?

Can anyone suggest anything that might help? I am trying to keep my spirits up, and embark on a new chapter - ha! - but would be incredibly grateful for any wisdom and advice.


  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 27,719
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Lennel, I'm sorry. That's what arthritis does - it spreads.

    I've always written in one form or another - cricket reports, poetry, literary mags - all on an amateur basis but I know how I'd feel if couldn't.

    The big improvement for me was when hefty typewriter keys morphed into light keyboard ones.

    Several people on here have used voice recognition software. Admittedly, most dislike it but any port in a storm. Worth a try?
    If at first you don't succeed, then skydiving definitely isn't for you.
    Steven Wright
  • [Deleted User]
    [Deleted User] Posts: 3,635
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hello lennel,

    Welcome to the forum, great to meet you, pity about osteoarthritis in the hands though :wink:

    I know there is software around that enables you to speak and your computer types it out, would that maybe help? I’m afraid that’s about the extent of my knowledge - or maybe Alexa or Siri or those voice activated helpers could tackle it now?

    I promised myself I’d look into it after hearing our granddaughter on holiday asking her tablet to play songs, after all if a 6 yr old can do it ...

    Here’s information on osteoarthritis of the hand and wrist which might be useful for you, especially the exercises to keep as much mobility as possible


    Let us know how you get on

    Take care
    Yvonne x
  • crinkly1
    crinkly1 Member Posts: 156
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hello, I'm sorry your livelihood is under threat and I know only too well how difficult typing is when arthritic fingers become uncooperative. The more you type, the more painful the hands become and the longer it takes for the pain to subside.

    I'm not a professional writer but do a considerable amount of writing in a voluntary capacity and found the best voice recognition system to be the one that is named after the mythical beast of Wales. The drawback is the cost, especially if you are self-employed so can't ask for assistance from your employer but it's certainly a worthwhile investment for someone doing a great deal of writing. You'd need to check whether it can be used on more than one PC, though, as I lost mine when my original laptop died.

    There are free systems you could try but they are not as sensitive or user-friendly, although worth investigating and using before deciding on making a major purchase.

    Hope you soon find the right solution for your purposes.
  • JenF
    JenF Member Posts: 11
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi, a co-worker had voice recognition software added to her computer because she has had one hand since birth and so needed adaptation under the Disability at Work act. I’m not sure of the name, but there are some free programmes out there you can use. Some computers also have them included now as part of the set software.
    Best of luck and enjoy continuing with your work :)
    Don’t you dare take away my HRT. It makes me feel more normal and helps my pain.
  • lkn
    lkn Member Posts: 16
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi lennel

    Sorry to hear your news. I understand your pain I have pain in both wrists,hands,fingers and my job involves lots of typing all day. When I was diagnosed with arthritis I asked my employer for an ergonomic keyboard and mouse. It's smaller than the one I had. The buttons are soft touch and closer together. It's definitely easier on the fingers but of course pain will be noticeable if your typing all the time. Have a look online.

    I like the idea of voice control and if I need to go down that route I'll do it as I also need to work for another decade too. I've recently been diagnosed with seronegative inflammatory arthritis so not sure which direction it will go. Depending on how the meds work. Hopefully the docs will be able to help you.

  • LizLola
    LizLola Member Posts: 6
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi, I'm also a writer. Newly diagnosed/waiting for a diagnosis. I have a mac which has voice recognition on it. It is fine. I don't use it much atm as fingers just feel a bit jarry but realise this will get worse. Voice recognition has got much better over the years. Dragon is supposed to be good if you have a PC.
  • [Deleted User]
    [Deleted User] Posts: 3,635
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi LizLola,

    Thanks for joining the forum to post on this thread. Life is always easier if you can share problem solving!

    I just had a little look, there seems to be a variety of programs to help, if you do get to need voice activated I’m sure you could trial them first.

    You’ve joined at an exciting time, this forum will become read only from next week, then the week after it will reopen in a new format, more modern, easier to post, add pictures etc. You will be redirected there once it’s up and running from this address, don’t worry, you won’t lose us and we will be on hand to help xx

    Yvonne x