Not sure how I feel but it doesn't feel right!

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maustin42
maustin42 Member Posts: 5
edited 28. Nov 2023, 14:05 in Living with arthritis

Hi, my name is Mark and I have just recently been diagnosed with OA. I am 50 years old, married and a father to 5.

This opening up thing and talking about your feelings feels rather strange to me. I was brought up to deal with emotions yourself and life won't give you more than you can handle and it's character building. Well you know what, I'm done with that. I want to cry and for that to be alright. I want to be able to talk about how this **** makes me feel. More than that, I want the people around me to understand.

I'm not suffering as much as a lot of you are and for that I am grateful but knowing that OA is degenerative I know I've got that in my future and that is what scares me the most. I'm not used to being scared of the future and I'm finding it rather overwhelming but I don't want to admit it to my loved ones. I really wish I could step of of this bubble of fear and get back on with life, while I can.

Is it just me or is it really difficult to learn how to manage OA when all these powerful emotions are screaming for attention?

Anyway, if you have read this far I thank you and hope you have a good day.

All the best, Mark.

Comments

  • Mike1
    Mike1 Member Posts: 1,992
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    Hi mate, I understand how you are feeling. I have had OA creeping up on me for around 15 years (now 61 and riddled with it in almost all joints, spine and neck) and have gone from a very active ex-forces man to now being virtually housebound and a wheelchair user. The one benefit that you have is a family, being divorced with no children it is only my cat that keeps me going. You need to open up to your loved ones, let them know how you feel and try to keep doing what you can for as long as you can. Hopefully you will not degenerate as totally and as quickly as I have. All the best. Mike

  • Sharon_K
    Sharon_K Member Posts: 460
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    Hi Mark

    what you are feeling is perfectly normal and understandable, hats off to you for admitting it. It takes time to come to terms with a momnetous diagnosis like osteoarthritis so be gentle with yourself. I have found this article useful in trying to explain what living with a long term condition is like.

    As Mike says it's good to share your feeling and worries with your family, and yes it is hard. As you say we are brought up "to deal with emotions yourself and life won't give you more than you can handle and it's character building." One way to start to share might be to ask for a bit of help.

    I don't know where abouts in the country you live but it might help to join one of our groups or face to face services

    Of course this forum and our amazing members are brilliant at both sharing their experiences and listening too so please post here as much as you like we are here to support you too

    Best Wishes

    Sharon

  • maustin42
    maustin42 Member Posts: 5
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    Thanks Mike. I'm sorry to hear it happened so quickly for you. Is that usual? I've never been particularly active until I turned 50 last year and decided to challenge myself. I cycled from London to Cologne, 280 miles over 4 days, for charity. Funnily enough my knees, which I thought had ligament damage, felt better doing all the training and it felt good raising money for a kids charity. The ride nearly killed me so I rested for a while after and it pounced on me. Now trying to get back into the cycling, to kept active but it hurts. I'll keep going, I'm nothing if not stubborn. I hope you have your good days Mike and thanks for replying.

    All the best, Mark

  • maustin42
    maustin42 Member Posts: 5
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    Hello Sharon,

    Thanks for replying. It doesn't feel normal but then I guess nothing is going to feel normal any more. I am also fighting my gorilla tooth and nail at the moment so I guess that is why I am feeling rather bruised but I don;t think I'm ready to accept that I am disabled just yet! Funny thing is, as I am writing this I realised that I don't have a say in it. So, I have no choice but to live with it or don't live.

    Ask for a bit of help?!?! Really? I won't even ask for directions if I'm totally lost! Lol. I guess I've got some learning of new skills to do.

    I live down south, in Hampshire and have seen there is a group in Fleet but I'm not the most social of people at the best of times. I think I spent all my social abilities volunteering for the red cross a few years back!

    Thanks for the gorilla article, it really does ring true.

    All the best, Mark.

  • frogmorton
    frogmorton Member Posts: 29,489
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    Mark (without wishing to appear sexist) I am yet to meet a man who will ask for directions!!!

    Personally I think fear of the future is the worst thing.  When I first got Arthritis I was a nightmare (poor husband) I wouldn't plan anything 'incase I couldn't do it' 🙄 Over time I realised that life is for living and whatever happens you do just deal with it.  You play the hand you are dealt.

    You will too I promise you once you have taken the time to grieve for the life you had planned and expected.  CRY if you want to, rant if you want to, but most of all talk to people like us who know and understand and won't be frightened too like your family must be.

    Take care

  • maustin42
    maustin42 Member Posts: 5
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    Hi Toni,

    Thank you for replying.

    I guess you are right about the grieving, it kind of does feel like a death in the family but then isn't that just over dramatic? I don't know. Yes, I guess they are going to be frightened too but I've been very self-centred and not thought about that. Thank you for giving me some perspective on that.

    Yes, you have to play the hand you are dealt or you check out, no other options.

    I have reached out to my companies employee support programme so am getting some help but they don't quite understand so I really appreciate having access to people like you who really do understand. Thank you for being there.

    All the best, Mark.

  • YvonneH
    YvonneH Member Posts: 1,076
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    Hi Mark,

    Well done for getting in touch with work, someone to talk to is the first step in coming to terms. If/when you need it there are usually changes to equipment etc maybe working some days from home, changing hours etc - all can help - be inventive! Ask on here as you get to each tricky bit, chances are someone here has encountered it and can start you mind off with some good suggestions to get going

    Not everyone has OA progressing all through their bodies, my brother had hip arthritis, has had both hips replaced and is right as rain now, in the OA department anyway! and he is in his 70's.

    You are exactly right in thinking exercise is important, we need to keep our muscles/tendons etc in good shape to support any dodgy joints. Physio can help there if you ever need it and you can self refer.

    Keep posting, share you ups and especially downs 😊

    Yvonne x

  • frogmorton
    frogmorton Member Posts: 29,489
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    Mark, it's not over dramatic to grieve for what you had expected. It will pass in time talking to us will help as will some of the practical steps you are taking at work.

    Yvonne is quite right about exercise.  Yes you might not run any more marathons, but keeping as fit as possible is really good for us. Strong muscles and soft tissues support our joints.  Some people swear by yoga/palate type classes.

    Take care 🙂