Saying Hello

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Sue2711
Sue2711 Member Posts: 2
edited 28. Nov 2023, 14:05 in Living with arthritis
Hi. I have been suffering with osteoarthritis for years without really accepting it. In March 2018 I had a total hip replacement because I was getting severe pain in the bottom of my back, left side and my left leg kept giving way. I'm a self employed dog walker, boarder and daycare so my job is very physical. After the hip operation I felt good as new for 6 months then the pain in my back came back and has gradually got more severe. I lost feeling in my fingers in July 2019 (the fingers on my right hand are already twisting) also getting loss of balance, shooting pains down my left leg and no feeling in some of my toes, I couldn't walk in a straight line without veering to the side and couldn't stand without losing my balance. I couldn't get an appointment at the doctors for 1 month and when I did he sent me for an MRI on my head and lower back, the MRI results went back to him the next day but he told me it wasn't urgent and to make another appointment 6 weeks later. I went in 6 weeks later and he admitted he wasn't sure what was causing my problems so would refer me to a neurosurgeon, by this time I had reduced feeling in my arms as well. I saw the neurosurgeon in late December (that's how long it took to get through the system) he voiced his annoyance that there was no MRI of my neck which he thought was causing the numbness so sent me for one that day, the following day he rang me to say I needed to go in for a pre op assessment as my upper spine was in danger of collapse which would paralyse me. I had an anterior cervical discectomy, fusion and metal plate on the 6th January which was successful in that I was no longer in danger of paralysis but the numbness in my hands continued. At the post op he explained that the nerves in my neck had been trapped for so long, they had perished and I would never get full feeling back in my hands. On top of that he said I had scoliosis and the pain in my leg and back could be attributed to that but the the vertebra at the bottom of my back L5 and L6 and S1 were also deteriorating and trapping nerves. He referred me to his colleague for another operation to fuse and plate those but then Covid 19 happened and everything has come to a stand still. I am on pregabalin and meloxicam for the pain, I find walking helps sometimes but just that bit too far and I'm in agony. I always feel as if I'm complaining. I've walked today but had to use a stick and limped my way round, yesterday I walked no problem. Its these ups and downs that my family and friends can't seem to grasp, they seem to think that just because I have a good day, that's it, I'm better but when I ooo and ahhh the following day I get told "Well you were ok yesterday" so I've stopped complaining, I don't see anyone at the moment anyway so I keep the pain to myself
Sorry I rambled on a bit there 😔

Comments

  • Brynmor
    Brynmor Member Posts: 1,755
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    Hi Sue and welcome to the online Community. Lovely to have you here.

    That is quite some history of operations and illness! I'm so sorry you are in such pain currently, which of course varies in strength from day to day and is totally invisible to friends and family. It becomes very hard to distract yourself and manage pain and it can dominate the day entirely but feel less intrusive the next.

    The website has a good page on pain management here: https://www.versusarthritis.org/about-arthritis/managing-symptoms/managing-your-pain/

    And there is more advice on Coronavirus: How to manage your pain at home

    Our forum is a great place to ask for help and understanding from those who know - do join in and ask for any help you need at any time. If you need to talk to someone in complete confidence, you can call our free Helpline on 0800 5200 520, or email helpline@versusarthritis.org (Mon - Fri 9:00am – 6:00pm)

    All best wishes

    Brynmor

  • dreamdaisy
    dreamdaisy Member Posts: 31,520
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    Hello, I hope you feel better for getting all of that down. I am very lucky in that I have never known good health and began my first arthritis when my thinking was still plastic enough to accept it and get on with it - when you've never been as others it's just more of the same. When junk like this comes out of the blue it must be harder to accept. People with good health naturally take it for granted and get irritated when illness temporarily impedes their way of life. When the illness is permanent that's a very different kettle of rotting fish.

    I have psoriatic arthritis (PsA), one of the many auto-immune kinds and that in turn led to osteoarthritis. The diagnosis of that in 2011 came as a shock because I did not realise one could have both. Of the two I prefer the OA because it is far easier to live with. I am also lucky in that nerves/neurology is not yet involved, long may that last.

    I have used walking aids since 2002 and I know they have helped me to remain mobile, reduce the impact of the OA on my later-affected joints as has the exercise I regularly do to maintain the strength and flexibility of my muscles. What I call exercise others would dismiss as nothing but as they tend to be unarthritic what do they know? OA affects both ankles, both knees, both hips, both wrists and one shoulder, the PsA is in all my toes and fingers, both elbows and both knees.

    Can't type more. Back later. DD

    Have you got the despatches? No, I always walk like this. Eddie Braben