Might have overdone the OA joint?

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N1gel
N1gel Member Posts: 161
edited 27. Oct 2019, 13:44 in Living with arthritis
Might have overdone things yesterday, I mentioned I use a lightweight manual wheelchair to get around after spending about 15 years using crutches because of the Ataxia which gave me OA in my left elbow (it is OA and not tennis elbow).

Went to see an exhibition on Sat, went to lunch on Sun and every Monday afternoon I volunteer at my local art museum - I love this and wouldn't want to give it up; talking to visitors. It's fairly sedentary and totally accessible but using the chair is tough on my elbow, yesterday was particularly tough for some reason. I managed to drive home afterwards, pick up the dog and fix myself some supper, but the elbow pain was bad.

Slept ok but had to rest up today as I can still feel the pain lurking and I feel fatigued and apprehensive. I'm worried that my right elbow is going the same way eventually, even tho' it was scanned a year ago and pronounced 'really quite a good joint' - I can't have trashed it in a year can I?

Going to have a bone density scan next Tuesday, I'm going to ask if they can scan the right elbow again as there's definitely something going on.

Then I must ask about getting help around the house (I live on my own with the full rate of PIP and ESA) but I've no idea how these things work and I'm a bit scared of losing my independence.

Bit of a ramble but I'm fearful..

Comments

  • dreamdaisy
    dreamdaisy Member Posts: 31,520
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    I don't think there's any 'might' about it, it sounds as though you worked a compromised joint pretty hard so it is protesting, it's what they do. It is hard learning to pace oneself to be slower and do less as things deteriorate but I have discovered, over my arthritic years, that this is what I have to do to achieve less with less. Joints can deteriorate slowly, quickly or at a medium rate. I had just one affected joint for three years (my left knee) then, despite my using a stick, the right one joined the party three years later. Undoubtedly I was moving differently, throwing things out of kilter and so the dross spreads.

    I empathise, pain is isolating, frightening, hard to deal with when it is continual. You are also unfortunate with your gender as males have more pain receptors than females so feel pain more keenly. :( I deal with it by keeping to the minimum of pain relief and, my main strategy, distraction. When my brain is occupied with other matters it reduces my awareness of the hurt but I also use my rising pain levels as a guide to know when to stop. If I feel I can do more then that is the time to ceae the activity. It's a way of life now, I am so used to it and don't think twice about it as ot's me that has to pay the price for being foolhardy.

    What pain relief do you take? Does heat help things to ease? 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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    You had a good time and are paying the price. It's sad, annoying, wrong and many other negatives but it's also a fact of life with arthritis.

    The best advice i can give is that you listen, carefully, to your body and don't ignore warning signs. Maybe, in future, there might be precautions you could take such as ensuring that, between 'shifts' for your elbows you rest them as thoroughly as possible and maybe using supports for the more demanding times. Other than that I think it's just a matter of deciding whether or not the price is worth it. Sometimes it is and sometimes it isn't.

    As for help about the house - I think we arrange our own using the PIP benefit. I always did until Mr SW retired and decided he'd do things :roll: (Yes, when he sees them but he has a lot of blind spots :wink: ) Get recommendations from friends, though. Some people are better than others.
    If at first you don't succeed, then skydiving definitely isn't for you.
    Steven Wright
  • N1gel
    N1gel Member Posts: 161
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Yes, thanks for the facts, I need to pace myself.

    Problem is when you've had 40 years of people telling you you can't do things, you get a bit gung ho..

    I do get someone in to clean the house on a regular basis and someone to come and tidy up the garden. I'm not sure they'd be the right people if I ever needed more help tho :?

    I don't take painkillers apart from the daily Paracetamol, they might work/might not... You're right, pain is a very isolating experience.
    But I think the strategy of distracting yourself is a good one (I just never thought of it as a painkiller!) when I'm talking to people at the museum I don't notice anything else and if I've got a good sculpture going on, the sense of achievement seeing it in an exhibition makes up for the odd twinge..
  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 27,719
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    I started with RA at 15 when I was still living with my parents so there was a lot of defying people's low expectations :lol: It does become a habit but, sometimes, just occasionally, we have to be sensible :wink:

    I fou're meaning personal care, maybe an Occupational Therapist could advise. You can self-refer by looking at your local Adult Social Care site.

    Distraction is definitely the best pain reliever but do ensure you don't get so distracted you overdo things :lol:
    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
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    Pain killer is such a misnomer because that is exactly what they don't do. They kill nothing, they're OK for acute pain but for us they merely dull the sharper edges of our chronic pain. The stronger the 'duller' the more they dull but pain will always be there. The really big guns do not remove the pain from us, they remove us from the pain which is a very different proposition. It might well be worth making an appointment with your GP to discuss the various pain relief options available to you.

    I have had a cleaner for many years, paid for by my DLA. I have changed much of our household equipment to make my physical life easier, my favourite of which is my cordless vacuums: over the years of deterioration her work has increased and she is now here for three hours per week. The biggest physical change was moving house but I am fortunate with being an owner-occupier so able to do so with comparative ease.

    I use the Arthritis ABC to guide my actions: that stands for adapt, believe, compromise (it's a small thing of my own invention). I adapt by changing what I do and how I do it, I believe in myself to keep achieving and I compromise by accepting the fact that to do things I need to both prepare and recover with rest. I began arthritis when I was 37 and am now 60, I've done the hard yards when working with arthritis but life has always been compromised with poor health so it's nothing new. It's very much a case of mind over matter: I mind but that doesn't matter. DD
    Have you got the despatches? No, I always walk like this. Eddie Braben
  • N1gel
    N1gel Member Posts: 161
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    I like that definition of painkillers taking us away from pain and not vice versa: that's not what I want.

    I always find it hard to define the pain to doctors because when I'm trying to define it, it's not there; a sort of Schrodingers Cat. The worst times are when I'm not doing anything although the CBT I would recommend to anyone.

    I'm waiting for a phone call from my GP, I was going to ask if I could get my increasingly uncomfortable right elbow scanned as it seems to be coming out in sympathy with the left one. But I'm wondering what use it would be?
  • N1gel
    N1gel Member Posts: 161
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Well there's a thing,

    I've definitely got OA in my left elbow, it's a given, (there are photos) and it hurts most of the time.

    I suspect that my right elbow is going the same way but couldn't define it.

    Anyway I remembered some exercises for tennis elbow that I'd seen on Youtube and gave them a go - and now my right elbow has been ok (the odd twinge) for three or four days now:
    they're much easier to remember and you can do them anywhere (no cans of beans necessary!) check out "Famous" Physical Therapists Bob Schrupp and Brad Heineck.

    They might have exercises for other joints but I can only vouch for the elbow ones.