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Pain Management

Unfortunately, I have been diagnosed with Multiple Joint Osteoarthritis as well as Fibromyalgia which I find that the two Conditions go against each other.
I am unsteady on my feet and until recently had to use two Crutches to get around with and provide me with stability.
However, I unfortunately had an Epileptic Seizure in my kitchen which caused a Dislocation of my left shoulder. I am unable to use a Crutch now on that side due to the immense pain from my Shoulder.
When I saw The Pain Management Consultant, I was just told that I am going to be in Pain for the rest of my life so I should just get use to it.
Has anyone else ever experienced such Negativity from their Specialist?
Every night I have to go through the same ritual of isolating each major joint and trying to increase the Range of Movement as the inflammation sometimes becomes unbearable.
I also have to stretch my muscles out as the Fibromyalgia and causes cramping down the length of the muscles.
Does anyone know what else I could do to reduce the Symptoms or what I could ask my Consultant the next time I see him so that i can start to feel positive again.
Many Thanks
Mel

Comments

  • dreamdaisydreamdaisy Posts: 31,556 ✭✭✭

    I have been in constant pain since 1997 but given the fact I have psoriatic arthritis, osteoarthritis and fibromyalgia, none of which are known to clear up like an upset stomach, that is par for the course. It was worse in the early days because not many joints were involved, making it stand out more: once it became widespread life became easier on that front.

    I have used a rollator since I was 42, they enable me to maintain a better gait and walk more upright, it's also easier on my hands and wrists as I rest them on the handles rather than grip. My rollies have always had seats so I could stop and rest, they help me go further and do more.

    I have finally just emerged from a psoriatic arthritis flare which lasted seven weeks, I knew it would pass and it eventually did. I far prefer the OA because I know when that is going to misbehave and sometimes I can mitigate its worst effects. When it's the weather that aggravates it I am on a hiding to nothing but I manage it with rest, minimum pain relief and distraction. I went to a pain clinic, total waste of my time as I was already doing what they suggested.

    I too run through a daily group of stretches etc to keep my ROM and my muscles as strong and flexible as possible. The meds which control the PsA do nothing for the OAx the fibro comes and goes but, TBH, I barely notice it physically on top of everything else, when the fibro brain fog hits then I know about it.

    I am now 60 and find a horrid satisfaction in hearing my active peers beginning to complain about how they can't do what they used. Diddums. Leading a physically compromised life is not often fun but really? You can now only walk for five hours instead of eight? My heart is too tired to break. I practise the arthritis ABC: adapt, believe, compromise. I continue to adapt my behaviour, I continue to believe in myself and my abilities and I compromise by stopping when I think I can do more or by prioritising one social event over another. This is life as I know it, as it has to be lived so I can gain the most from it. Arthritis has somewhat changed how I live my life but it will not change what I get from it. DD

    Have you got the despatches? No, I always walk like this. Eddie Braben
  • crinkly1crinkly1 Posts: 141

    Hello Mel,

    How discouraging to receive such a negative comment from the consultant although it sounds as though you are doing all you can to help yourself. One of the frustrating facts about OA is that there is limited specialist support available although current research is increasing medical understanding of what is frequently a life-changing condition.

    The addition of your shoulder injury must feel like the last straw as it restricts your mobility even more just now and probably disturbs your sleep too. I do hope it doesn't take too long to recover.

    We are all different and deal with pain in individual ways but you don't say whether you have been prescribed medication. If so and it is not helping you could ask your GP or consultant about the alternatives.

    It certainly takes time to work out your own best ways of managing pain so that it is not the dominant factor in your life. Dreamdaisy has outlined some of her strategies above and others often share their methods on the forums.

    Something I found helpful in my early days with multiple joint OA was a Pain Management Programme when I was part of a group of patients meeting regularly to learn about different ways of coping with pain. Some of the methods we tried didn't help me at all but I found one or two quite effective and still use them - 30 years on. If the consultant or GP hasn't suggested this to you, you might ask if there is a similar programme in your area. A GP should be able to refer you if there is one nearby and also for Physiotherapy to improve your stability.

    I do hope you soon meet more positive attitudes and, with help, are able to work out a regime that improves your quality of life. Remember that, if you don't feel you are listened to or taken seriously, you can change your GP and/or ask for referral to a different consultant.

    Do stay in touch and let us know how things progress for you.

  • lindalegslindalegs Posts: 5,317

    Hi Dolphinlady13 and welcome.

    How harsh for you and I'm sorry you're struggling at the moment. I'm rheumatoid and have lived with this for 34 years so along the way I have had negativity from a consultant but it has to be put into perspective. They sometimes say something without a thought to how that comment will affect us! (Consultant "Your wrists are wrecked", it was true but it floored me and another favourite ... Me ...."What happens if my other elbow stops working?" ....consultant reply "We panic!")

    Pain comes in varying degrees of strength and, even if what they said proved right (which I doubt), your own tolerance of it will change. You will have days when you know you're feeling better and you'll be doing lots more than you do on rough days.

    You sound as if you're doing all the right things and all I would suggest on top of that are either ice packs or heat packs on a particular joint to help reduce inflammation. I also hope you have some medication which will help during painful times as Crinkly1 said, if not, it's time to contact your GP or Consultant.

    I would add, be kind to yourself. Lovely things still happen even when we hurt. Find things you like to do and spend time focusing on them. If you find you can no longer do a particular thing then look for something else for instance, I used to knit prolifically but when my RA struck I could no longer do it. I rediscovered painting and am now a watercolour artist! It isn't the same because you can't wear a painting and it doesn't do too well in the wash but positives can come from negatives. Fight this hand you've been dealt and you'll find you feel better for it!

    Lecture over ....I shall go back under my stone now! 😉

    Love, Legs x

    Love, Legs x
    'Make a life out of what you have, not what you're missing'
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