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My name is Susan, most people call me Sue. I just would like to say Hi 👋 I was diagnosed with Osteoarthritis last April, which I have in most joints except knees. I experience flare ups and swelling mainly in my right hand which is very painful, I didn’t know that Osteoarthritis can cause a inflammation and swollen of joints. I’ve given up trying to get a doctors telephone appointment, it’s so difficult to get past the receptionist who think they are there to diagnose your symptoms and make me feel as if I’m wasting their time. I’m feeling a bit sorry for myself today. I would love to know how you all cope with this condition.


  • Mike1Mike1 Posts: 637 ✭✭✭

    Hi, I have widespread OA but have never experienced flare ups just constant pain, increasing stiffness and reduced range of motion. I did have swelling on the knee once which the GP drained but that was years ago and has never occurred again, it could have been caused by over-doing things I suppose but that is not something that I can be accused of now! I expect someone on here will give you some advice though.

  • Airwave!Airwave! Posts: 2,344

    I have found a way past the receptionist, fill in the on line form and say yes to all questions, it’s the pain level that seems to reject you and tells you to go straight to hospital, not useful if you live with pain every day.

    If you reduce your pain level to about six instead of 7-10 you will get a response from your GP.

    its a grin, honest!

  • LilymaryLilymary Posts: 274 ✭✭✭

    I was diagnosed with OA in my hips in March, and for.a few months my left hip was unremitting agony. My physio told me to rest, everyone else said I should exercise, but I failed on both scores.

    But I have HUGELY reduced how far I walk, and very slowly and gradually the pain has reduced a bit, noticeable mainly by being able to reduce my pain meds a bit, but it took a very long time. I’ve obviously had this building up for years, judging by the mess the xrays showed, but the pain started after a minor fall, then I had a very busy spell at work on my feet all day, and was walking at weekends, and I think the inflammation triggered by the fall just got aggravated by all the activity in the following weeks. But I’ve learnt to pace myself a bit better, so the joint has had a chance to settle down a bit.

    i know this won’t necessarily apply to everyone, one thing I’ve learnt from this site is everyone’s arthritis journey is different to some degree, but perhaps you could try to rest more, not try to push through the pain (which doesn’t help with OA), and nurse yourself more,

    I don’t have any tips for getting through to your GP other than being politely persistent. It’s bad at the best of times, but The Virus has turned the NHS on its head. Our GP practice has announced that their reception is being used as a sort of triage, but without medical training, this is always going to be a flawed system. Hopefully normal service will be restored someday.....

  • Thank you for all your comments.

    I finally got past the receptionist and booked a telephone consultation with the doctor, he thinks I have Gout too and as booked me in for a blood test at the surgery, also an X-ray on my hands at the hospital, it could be months before I’m seen though.

    I’m finding if I rest every other day helps

  • LilymaryLilymary Posts: 274 ✭✭✭

    That all sounds like positive progress, I’m so glad you’re starting to see a way forward, and have found a way to reduce your discomfort a bit. Sometimes rest really is the answer.

  • Hi Susiejan

    I have just read your post and sorry to hear that you are going through so much pain. I have RA, OA and cervical spondylosis. Not easy as some days are worse than others. Try not to stress about it as that can also make pain worse (my own experience). Don't feel guilty if you have to rest when pain takes over. I kept a diary sometime ago and would list my achievements for the day, my good days and my bad days. Wrote about what I felt as family and friends can't understand what we are going through. I was very fortunate to have joined a support group with rheumatology nurses in a hospital which helped tremendously. Did not take away the pain but after each session we all felt so much better and to know that we are not alone. Hope that this little bit of advice might help.

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