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I'm 39 and just been diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis and am in shock to be honest. I've been having issues with my feet since lockdown but deteriorated quickly last few months and spread to hands, wrists, fingers, knees, elbows, shoulders - everywhere it seems! Tried to open a tampon the other day and epic fail as my fingers didn't work. Had to laugh otherwise I would have cried! Finally on Methotrexate but told it can take 3 months to take effect and in a lot of pain. My hands are worst and can't sleep more than a few hours each night. Any advice on how to cope with the pain I'd be eternally grateful :)


  • chrisbchrisb Posts: 121 mod

    Hi @Eaitken and welcome to the Versus Arthritis forum.

    I see that you’ve recently been diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis which has rapidly spread to many areas of your body. You’ve started taking Methotrexate but this is taking time to have any affect which is leaving you in significant pain.

    Well you’ve come to the right place to share your symptoms and receive advice from others who have been through what you are currently facing.

    As well as feedback form the forum you may find these links to our main website useful:

    I would encourage you to fully engage with the forum as I’m sure you will receive valuable feedback.

    I hope that the combination of information available on our website plus input from forum members can provide you with the feedback you’re looking for.

    Best Wishes

    ChrisB (Moderator)

  • frogmortonfrogmorton Posts: 25,823 ✭✭✭

    Hi @Eaitken Nice to meet you and welcome you to the forum from me too🙂 I came here when I first had symptoms too and found it so very helpful and supportive I am sure you will feel the same.

    I'm surprised that the GP hasn't given you a half decent painkiller to be going on with while waiting for the MTX to kick in🙄There are medications which you can have prescribed which are slow release - that might give you more than 3 hours sleep if you are lucky and a few of us take amitriptyline to help us sleep and relax our muscles at night too. There are other meds which do similar as well.

    It's possible that you could get some splints for your sore hands for night time too which might help.

    Take care keep posting - it helps!


    Toni xxx
  • Thank you that's really helpful. Going to look into some splints as it just seems to be getting worse. Who would have known your hands could keep you up at night!

  • Christian78Christian78 Posts: 91
    edited 24. Nov 2020, 18:33

    Hi @Eaitken welcome to the arthritis community, very sorry to hear of your recent diagnosis and that you are in pain and struggling with the RA, I hope your get some relief from your medication soon, I have OA in both of my feet have had for many years I have steroid joint injections in my feet when I can get them because waiting lists are long which gives a period of pain relief but it is only temporary.

    I take Etoricoxib 90 mg tablets for pain.

    And I take Nortriptyline (antidepressants)25mg tablets which helps me sleep which my pain specialist put me on some years ago which do help me sleep.

    Best of luck to you, hope you get a sleep soon and pain is reduced to a more comfortable level soon.


  • Christian78Christian78 Posts: 91
    edited 24. Nov 2020, 18:55

    Hi @Eaitken I am in my early 40s and have had OA since my late 20s.

  • Christian78Christian78 Posts: 91
    edited 24. Nov 2020, 18:44
  • Hi @Christian78 thank you for messaging, that's really helpful advice. I spoke to my doctor today so hopefully getting more pain relief. It's a big adjustment as have been so active all my life determined to get back that way but just need to get pain under control. I'm actually just about to move from London to Spain - planned before this diagnosis but still going ahead :)

    Thanks again for your advice. Take care.

  • frogmortonfrogmorton Posts: 25,823 ✭✭✭

    @Eaitken my anti-inflammatory is also Arcoxia 90s like Christian. It's a one a day tablet so in theory gives 24 hours. It is also a COX2 inhibitor so gentler (in theory) on the stomach.

    Wow exiting off to Spain! A permanent move?


    Toni xxx
  • Thanks @frogmorton all advice gratefully received! Yes permanent move to Ibiza. Set off on December 4th. Slightly concerned about my ongoing health care but found a rheumatologist and determined to not let this diagnosis stop me. Watch this space for how it turns out 🤣

  • Mike1Mike1 Posts: 882 ✭✭✭✭

    Hopefully the heat out there will help your condition, don't forget to pack earplugs for when the hoards of young people descend on the island!

  • 🤣🤣🤣 thankfully we're living a long way away from the madness!! Too old and stiff for all that jazz!

  • frogmortonfrogmorton Posts: 25,823 ✭✭✭

    Wow @Eaitken!!!!

    That is amazing! Please do keep in touch with us on here and let us know how it goes. I'm glad you have found a rheumatologist already. I take it you are pretty good speaking the language?


    Toni xxx
  • Ummmmm I speak a little Spanish but plan on having intense lessons! I know how to order a glass of wine 😂 I'll definitely keep you updated, this forum is going to be invaluable to me as I navigate this illness. Have a fab day

  • Hi @Eaitken hope your okay and not in to much pain, how did you get with getting medication from yr GP?, Sunny Spain will help ease your pain, sounds very nice, best of luck to you:-)

  • Hey @Christian78 feeling a bit better thanks. Have a prescription for Etoricoxib and I'm not sure if methotrexate is starting to kick in as definitely in less pain. I've also started wearing splints on my hands at night which also seem to help a bit. Thanks for checking in, really kind of you 😁

  • Hi @Eaitken glad to hear that your feeling better, glad you have a prescription for Etoricoxib I find they help me with pain, and amitriptyline or Nortriptyline are good to take as they help with sleeping, (please note that I am not a doctor this is only my experiences) the splints will help you night, hope you get yr pain under control, I will keep in touch with you see how you are getting on, please keep in touch with me let me know how you are getting on, take care, stay safe :-)

  • frogmortonfrogmorton Posts: 25,823 ✭✭✭

    Hi @Eaitken

    Well done it may well be the Arcoxia I swear by it it really helps with my inflammation and pain. Be great if it was the MTX though wouldn't it? Splints do help I'm sure they do you don't knock your hands and it forces them to rest.

    I suppose regarding Spanish ...being able to ask for a glass of wine is pretty useful😁🍷Good idea to take proper lessons though.


    Toni xxx
  • Christian78Christian78 Posts: 91
    edited 29. Nov 2020, 19:52

    Hi @Eaitken how are you how is your pain? Is it easying abit I hope it is Etoricoxib is also called Arcoxia it's a very good I find it helps alot with pain I take one a day and Omeprazole to protect my stomach, I hope it works for you, keep in touch let me know how you are getting on, take care:-)

  • Hi @Christian78 I'm feeling pretty good, thanks for asking. I mean my hands and wrists still hurt during the night but the splints are helping. My shoulders are also keeping me awake at night but I see a physio tomorrow so hopefully they have some advice of what to do. But overall I'm feeling loads better. How are you this week?

  • Hi @Eaitken I glad to hear that your feeling pretty good, have you started taking Etoricoxib yet?, Sorry to hear that your hands and wrists are hurting in the night glad to hear that the splints are helping and your shoulders are hurting at night, hopefully the physo can help you with some excesises, I am glad you are feeling loads better, I have been up and down my feet have been sore last 2/3 day's pain in my feet are aching in my heals today hasn't been to bad but feet are sore now, I have good days and some not so good day's, I am waiting to see my pain specialist to have steroid injections in my left foot to help with the pain no fun living with OA in both of my feet.

    Keep in touch with me let me know how you are getting on :-)

  • Hi @Eaitken I have had OA in both of my feet since my late 20s and now in my early 40s, I live on the Isle of Man so only have one main hospital and limited specialist I had to travel to the UK in 2018 to see a foot and ankle specialist and had guided steroid injections in my left foot under GA, have had arthritis for years and still living with it, eventually I will need operations as my joints are wearing away, I have had a big toe fusion on my right foot got six screws and a metal plate in my right foot.

  • That doesn't sound like much fun. Pain is all encompassing isn't it and masks everything else. Its quite daunting being at the start of this diagnosis as I have no idea how bad it is and how bad it could get but just going to take each day as it comes. Keep in touch and stay safe 😁

  • Hi @Eaitken yes take each day as it comes because pain levels can change each day hopefull your pain won't get to bad and it stays managble for you, yes I will keep in touch, take care stay safe:-)

  • Hi @Eaitken how are you getting on how is your pain I hope it's improving and reducing more and that (Arcoxia) Etoricoxib I helping you?, It's seems to be getting colder this week with snow on the hills later this week my feet aren't to bad today but are aching alot this evening as I have been busy and on my feet a fair bit today so paying for it now.

    Stay safe, take care.

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