Hi all - hope all safe and avoiding the CV19 virus. Please, where can I find info?


Having a flare up. OA of spine. Need advice. Need info. Just signed up, at a bad time as I feel rotten, and can't see where to start! Cheers!


  • Ellen
    Ellen Moderator Posts: 1,656

    Hi @Agnes and welcome to the Online Community on behalf of the Moderating Team.

    So sorry you are having a flare ATM. I very much hope you are staying safe and avoiding this COVID-19 too.

    Info on COVID can be found here:

    If it's information about Arthritis and to chat with other members you are already in the right place and people should be along very soon to support you.

    Best wishes


  • Agnes
    Agnes Member Posts: 4

    Hi Ellen. Many thanks for your contact. I am feeling very low with this current bad flare up, can scarcely walk and am in a lot of pain. I can't get home delivery or even click and collect for groceries, so am hoping for a better day to get some essential supplies - which I fear, as so many people are not at all considerate about safe-distancing, and I find it hard to breathe with a mask on as I have bad "hayfever" at present.

    I am well aware that Covid19 is everyone's priority, but I read in the Press that others with medical conditions (some far more life-threatening than mine) are missing out. I feel very "missed out"!

    My arthritis is long-established in feet and hands, now knees and "extensive" in spine. I am 68, and also have (as well as allergies!) diverticular disease, and had a stent fitted in 2017 due to a heart attack, I believe was brought about by having no heating in my house over winter 16-17, and having to move privately rented home twice within one year.

    My weight is fine, as I am in too much pain to feel hungry, but do eat well if little. Between flare-ups I walk my dogs, so get exercise. I do too much when I can, (cleaning, cooking, laundry garden) then get laid low for several days with swelling and pain.

    I saw a spine surgeon on 21st Feb 2020 . Subsequent MRI scans showed "extensive degenerative/arthritic changes throughout the whole spine". There is no safe surgical intervention, so I was referred to the Pain Clinic.

    >I'd very much like to know the prognosis for my condition, so I can make plans and changes, and explain to family and friends.

    >I thought my GP should have been in touch after the Surgeon's letter, to see how I am faring both physically and mentally.

    >The surgeons' letter to the pain clinic, copied to me, stated my referral was routine (rather than urgent). It also said "There are loads of yellow flags" and I would like to know the meaning of this.

    >Hisletter of referral also advised the Pain Clinic to read his letter to them of 21st Feb 2020 "and especially notification that I have put text for Medway." I would like to know the meaning of this.

    I did present to the surgeon in a very bad way, because my GP had tried me on Gabapentin, to which I had a very bad reaction. I had stopped it the day before my hospital appointment, after abvout 3 weeks. No guidance notes were with the medication. I was producing very little urine, had been vile to my Partner, and was terrifyingly suicidal. I rang GPs practice, but GP was on a day off - I expressed the thought to Surgeon that if a patient is put on a high risk medication, with no Side Effect leaflet, the large Practice's switchboard should have put me through to another GP. Does this have anything to do with "Yellow flags" and/or "Medway"?

    I would REALLY appreciate some response to my questions, information and advice.

    Do hope you can help! Stay safe, and thanks

    Janet Kirk (Agnes)