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Hello! Struggling to adjust with OA

CallieCallie Posts: 4
edited 22. Oct 2019, 11:02 in Say hello
Hello all

Joining up to this forum feels like a coming-of-age, that I'm all growed-up now :)

I was diagnosed with severe osteoarthritis in my knees a few months ago, after years of severe pain and crying in agony after too many instances of well-meaning physiotherapists encouraging me to do torturous exercises in the physio gym ("do more exercise and lose weight, you'll be able to fix it no problem"!!). I've been a curvy gal for years but always been very active, with a love of dancing - I am a dance teacher and Laugher Yoga teacher. The latter really needs you to have lots of bounce in the knees :)

I've really been struggling to get my head around this diagnosis of OA, which came hot on the heels of a fibromyalgia diagnosis.

Finally I have met a surgeon who is agreeable to operating on me, but as I'm not yet 50 (next year is the big one, whooo!) he is deeply resistant to carrying out total knee replacement surgery, and keen to corral me into an osteotomy on my right knee/leg. My left knee has also joined the screaming-party :roll:

I've just become a nonna (grandma) for the first time and this, I think, has triggered my emotional struggles around physical limitations, surgery options and what kind of future beckons. I always dreamed I'd be an active nonna: zero chance of that right now :roll:

Our local counselling service has waiting lists of 6 months, so I'd really appreciate your thoughts if you've had any type of talking therapies (CBT, hypnotherapy, etc.) which you felt were beneficial for helping to manage pre-surgery worries and emotional issues arising from diagnosis/day-to-day living practicalities/impracticalities.

I'd also love to hear from anyone who's taken the osteotomy route.

Unfortunately I've had to give up my job as the London commute was just too agonising, even with the support of crutches, so really feeling my woe-bucket is full at the moment t111055

Looking forward to chatting to you all,
Callie
Be with those who help your being
- Rumi

Comments

  • stickywicketstickywicket Posts: 25,993 ✭✭✭
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Callie, nothing will cure arthritis of any kind though, if someone only has it in one joine, that could be the exception that proves the rule.

    I have had RA and OA for very many years and where I'd be without physio I've no idea. Yes, it can hurt but nowhere near as much as arthritis without it. Physio makes the muscles stronger and strong muscles support rubbish joints. That way they hurt less. Dancing? That sounds a bit dodgy. Too twisty for arthritic joints.

    Here's why your surgeon doesn't want to do a TKR. It is unlikely to last you all your life. Of course that doesn't matter to you right now but.....

    I got RA at 15 so I had my knees replaced when I was in my 30s and my kids were young. It had to happen. I don't regret it. One of the replacements was replaced about 10 years ago. Very successfully though the implant is now virtually the full length of my leg. The other one is now totally knackered. But it's now too dangerous to replace it unless it becomes an emergency.

    One other thing. Enjoying kids and grandkids is, I assure you, dependent on how much it matters and how flexible one is in one's attitude. I enjoyed stuff done with my sons and still do. I also enjoy doing things with their sons. If you want to, you'll have fun whatever. the state of your joints. I have done and still do.
    “There is always a well-known solution to every human problem - neat, plausible, and wrong.” H.L. Mencken
  • Jackie47Jackie47 Posts: 108
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi. Welcome to the ‘old crocks’ forum. I do understand where you are coming from. and the things arthritis takes away from us. I had to retire from my job before I was 50 now in my 70’s . I was also a dresser in the theatre and if you can’t manage quick changes you’re not much use (my words) so after 26 years I gave that up. I felt very negative. I too am a grandma to 3 beautiful girls now in their teens and they bring great joy and bring me happiness.I have rheumatoid,osteo and fibromyalgia. I had CBT therapy to help me deal with the losses that these illnesses take away. I found it very beneficial . The waiting list was long but worth it. I will be having my second hip replacement in the new year and this time I know what to expect. Hip recovery time is longer than knee. Yes I was scared first time round going into the unknown but my imagination ran riot. We all cope differently but I hope it helps to know you’re not alone . Be honest with family and friends if you are having a bad day and it is okay to say so. Enjoy precious moments with your grandchild.
  • CallieCallie Posts: 4
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hello everyone, thank you so much for your lovely welcoming messages m0150

    Yes, the "coming of age" thing was my way of referencing facing up to the diagnosis and accepting that: hence joining up here, and start to embrace - or at least try to accept - my limitations, rather then being a crosspatch about what I'm having to put on hold (or let go of)!

    I also really appreciate the sharing your individual insights, it's kind of you to let me into your "world" and your personal stories which helps me to patch together something that's so unknown (to me). t69044

    My 40's started with an aggressive cancer diagnosis - and a poor prognosis. But with phenomenal medical care, I've been blessed with an additional 8 years, so far ... the OA diagnosis came hot on the heels of a need to work hard towards being fit enough for a bilateral mastectomy (no reconstruction) which can't take place while I'm on crutches :roll: So for me, weighing up the pros and cons of both surgical knee interventions is not only about the OA and pain ... it's a whole jumbleload of "stuff". And timely, as I approach my 50th birthday; I'd like to start my next decade in a healthier state of mind and body :lol:

    Being on this forum and reading some of the posts last week really helped me to push forward and connect with a few local psychotherapists, in the hope I can talk it all out before my next knee surgeon appointment.

    So thank you all so much for your time and for sharing, it has made a real difference to my next steps. I really appreciate you, and this safe space to come.
    Be with those who help your being
    - Rumi
  • stickywicketstickywicket Posts: 25,993 ✭✭✭
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I don't know if this will help but I had breast cancer in my 40s and had a mastectomy. No-one mentioned the need for crutches which is just as well as I can't use them due to the RA (and OA) in my shoulders, elbows, wrists etc. Obviously, I haven't been able to use crutches after my knee or hip replacements either. They always sent me home on a zimmer which I immediately discarded as I defy anyone to carry a cup of tea to their chair using a zimmer. (The tea was more important :wink: )

    I was never told I needed to 'build myself up' for the mastectomy though I was given steroids and chemo afterwards. Like you, I never bothered with reconstruction. I didn't have a lot to construct :lol:
    “There is always a well-known solution to every human problem - neat, plausible, and wrong.” H.L. Mencken
  • CallieCallie Posts: 4
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I don't know if this will help but I had breast cancer in my 40s and had a mastectomy. No-one mentioned the need for crutches which is just as well as I can't use them due to the RA (and OA) in my shoulders, elbows, wrists etc. Obviously, I haven't been able to use crutches after my knee or hip replacements either. They always sent me home on a zimmer which I immediately discarded as I defy anyone to carry a cup of tea to their chair using a zimmer. (The tea was more important :wink: )

    I was never told I needed to 'build myself up' for the mastectomy though I was given steroids and chemo afterwards. Like you, I never bothered with reconstruction. I didn't have a lot to construct :lol:

    Hi StickyWicket ... I totally get you with the importance of carrying cups of tea :lol::lol::lol:

    As for "building up" and the crutches/post-PM warnings ... we all have such complex medical histories :) Much as I'd love to re-construct it just won't possible on one side ... and I can't be doing with being lopsided :mrgreen:

    Feeling more "on it" and in control now after a few weeks of dedicated research and digging about 'tho, so that's all positive stuff!

    ... and off to make that all-important cup of tea now! x
    Be with those who help your being
    - Rumi
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