1 yr on

Andymck
Andymck Member Posts: 4
edited 6. Oct 2020, 09:36 in Living with arthritis

Hi . 50 yr old male Diagnosed last January with RA , methotrexate, sulfasalazine , but can’t stop using naproxen as pains in my feet & ankles and my hands/wrists & forearms won’t ease only seen my specialist once due to COVID , I’m a couple of weeks from the sulfasalazine being fully into my system, anyone else find sulfasalazine doing any good ? As it stands I can’t see myself getting back to work with the weakness (plasterer) is there hope ??

Comments

  • Shell_H
    Shell_H Member Posts: 548

    Hi @Andymck and welcome to the online community.

    You've had a diagnosis of Rheumatoid Arthritis, and you're on medication, some of you will haves shortly been taking for long enough to see if it makes a difference. You've had difficulties in seeing your specialist, and you're worried about being able to continue working.

    I personally have Osteoarthritis, so I have little knowledge of RA drugs, but there are many people here who can offer their personal thoughts. The good news I can give is that if you are finding one drug doesn't help you appreciably, or it side effects are too much for you, then there are many other drugs which you medical team can try. Take a look at our page on RA which has a lot of information on the different drug options and the condition itself.

    I would say there is always hope. Sometimes you will have to make adjustments to the new situation you find yourself in, but that wont mean there is nothing you can do. Some exercise (gentle and within your limits, especially to start) can help with strengthening the muscles around you affected joints and that will take the pressure off the joints themselves and give you more mobility. We have a couple of resources which may help with exercising, which could help you continue your work.

    I'd also look at other ways you could use your expertise to do something different - could you take on an apprentice and teach them what to do while also giving yourself the option of having a break? Could you do videos or write about your industry and give how-tos or teach? There is always something else to think on, don't keep yourself stuck in one direction. But even having said all that, if you get the right support and medication you may well be able to continue as you were - just make sure you're kind to yourself and give yourself the breaks you may need.

    I'd also gently push at the medical team to see if you can talk to your specialist - maybe see if you can make an appointment now to discuss your medication in a few weeks when you've been taking it long enough to be in your system? Being proactive and reminding the medical team ahead of time might well work wonders.

    Take a look around the forum, there are many other people in similar positions, and the members are very helpful and friendly.

    Nice to meet you,

    Shell

  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 27,102

    I'very never taken sulf. I'mean on methotrexate and hydroxychloroquine but, really, we can't assume that any medical will work well for all. It's a bit of a lottery, I'mean afraid.

    Hopefully, even in these tough times you will have a rheumatology helpline you can ring. Give the sulf a bit longer but, if you're still struggling, ring it for advice.

    Do you know how your blood tests are going?

    I'll be frank, a plasterer's job sounds a tough call with RA in hands. Mine started there. If the sulf does kick in, though, you never know. I wish you well.

  • Andymck
    Andymck Member Posts: 4

    Cheers SW , bloods are all normal , just gets worse when I’ve not took naproxen, I think your right about my trade but keep hearing “give it a chance” approaching a year & ive got no drive as I’m not sure what I’m going to be able to do , seem like no future atm , thanks again 👍

  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 27,102

    The important bit of the blood tests, right now, is your inflammatory levels. If they're OK (ie within a normal range) then the meds are working and essentially your GP can deal with the rest either with anti-inflammatories such as naproxen or straight painkillers (They don't!) such as paracetamol and the opioids.

    I don't think many of us expect a life of no pain. It's a matter of what we can deal with but I'd think plastering would aggravate most hand and wrist problems.

    It's a tough time, workwise, - or, indeed, non-workwise - for a lot of people with or without arthritis. In your shoes I'd try to hang on a bit longer for the sulf but you might get some ideas here https://www.gov.uk/looking-for-work-if-disabled

  • frogmorton
    frogmorton Member Posts: 28,076

    Maybe it's time you asked for some imaging so they can see what is going on inside @Andymck Ultrasounds are good for showing inflammation and are fairly cheap....other types like Xrays/ and MRI (not so cheap for the NHS), might show whether you have any damage to your bones causing the persistent pains you describe????

    Just a thought.

    Do let us know how you get on

  • Andymck
    Andymck Member Posts: 4

    Thanks 👍 I’ve got a phone appointment tomorrow so I’ll definitely mention imaging to them , I think that’s how the physio picked up on the RA when first getting diagnosed, thanks again

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