Hi

Hi all. I have been experiencing pain in my shoulders, elbows, hands and wrists for a while so went to see GP. Had some blood tests and x-rays and was told that I have the beginning of arthritis in my right shoulder where the join meets my collar bone. I have been referred for some physio. The GP I initially saw was lovely and really helpful, but she was on holiday when I got the results and I spoke briefly on the telephone to a different GP. She was clearly really busy and in a hurry and seemed a bit dismissive. She said the x-rays didn't show much, just the beginning of arthritis in my shoulder. I am really struggling with shoulder pain, which is having an impact on my sleep and leaving me feeling really grumpy. Usually I'm pretty good with pain, but this is really hard. I am concerned that she said it is the beginnings of arthritis but it already hurts a lot. Struggling to wash and brush hair and get clothes on and off etc. Got the impression she was saying not sure what your making all the fuss about. I'm still none the wiser about why my other joints hurt. She said I could see the physio in our surgery but will probably only get 1 session. Wondering if anyone has had a similar experience.

Comments

  • Lilymary
    Lilymary Member Posts: 1,303

    Hi @RooTuesday , sorry to hear you're in so much pain. Shoulder pain must be miserable, specially at night. Mine occasionally does this, it's awful. Since my diagnosis I've noticed cricks and cracks from most of my other joints, and I dread to think what's going on - surely not ALL of them are goosed? 😥

    I think what you can see on xrays doesn't necessarily correlate with how much pain you're in. I'd had some niggling pains and a bit of a sporadic limp in my leg in recent years but a fall and whole bnew level of pain got me a ticket to Xray Dept. My normal GP was out when I rang for results, and the new one instantly said "you need a new hip". No messing, no fobbing off with "wear and tear". He was a bit surprised to hear this was all news to me. Since then the pain has been horrendous over the last 9 months, and given that this level of damage must have been building up for a long time, I'm amazed (and grateful) that I haven't been in pain for very much longer. I can only assume my fall was the last straw and did more damage to what was left of the cartilage.

    Fast forward to my Consultant ortho surgeon,who was very dismissive, and said "it's a perfectly well maintained hip" before giving me a steroid injection, which did no good whatsoever. I have since been referred for replacment (different surgeon, thank heaven) but I can barely get round at all, even with a stick, and live on handfulls of painkillers, so how he passed this off as relatively minor is beyond me.

    On the other hand, I have a friend who has just had her hip replaced, but in the lead up to this she was walking her dogs every day on just a couple of ibuprofen, despite her surgeon saying there was no point in a steroid injection as it's completely bone on bone. I can barely get round the supermarket on handfulls of prescription pain killers, never mind walk a dog! She's a ski instructor and alpine guide, so her good muscle tone has probably helped support her wrecked hip.

    What I'm trying to illustrate is that the xrays only paint part of the picture. They don't pick up soft tissue damage or nerve damage (other than showing where there's little or no cartilege) and so they dont always represernt to the GP/surgeon/physio just how much pain you're in. We need to explain that to them ourselves, but if they're not in a listening mood, it's a deeply frustrating experience. When I last went to the hospital and saw one of the junior docs instead of the surgeon with the Superman complex, he sat and LISTENED, and I can't tell you what a relief that was! It doesn't make much difference to the 8 month waiting list, sadly, but at leas I know we've properly explored all options and I'm heading in the right direction.

    If you can afford it, try to go privately for your physio, mine's around £40 per session., no waiting list, no limit on how many times you can go. The condition is likely to change from time to time, so reviews can be really useful. I gave up with NHS physios ages ago, as by the time you get to see one you've got better anyway or have been putting up with crippling pain for far too long.

  • frogmorton
    frogmorton Member Posts: 26,675
    edited 29. Dec 2020, 07:10

    We've all been fobbed off yes sadly @RooTuesday . Well most of us unless things were unavoidably obvious or we get a 'positive blood test' suggestive of Rheumatoid Arthritis.

    Not easy in these days of COVID I would normally suggest you saw your Dr with someone for support they usually listen more if you have someone with you. Might it be worth trying to see the original GP when he/she is back from their annual leave? there are options available - yes physio is one as is a steroid injection which can really help some of us a lot.

    I sleep with a contoured pillow for my neck which slightly reduces the squashing on my shoulder and a pillow for my arm to lie on and if things are bad add a warm wheatbag (the kind you microwave?) to 'get off' comfortably. I also have a 24 hour anti-inflammatory tablet which at least in theory gets me some less painful sleep.

    Do let us know what you do next and hang around if you can we will do our best to help

    Take care

    Love

    Toni xxx
  • Lilymary
    Lilymary Member Posts: 1,303

    Good sugestion from @frogmorton , I prop myself up on all sorts of pillows and cushions at night to take the strain off some of my grumpier joints. Experiment and see what works for you. Also a dose of painkillers just before you go to bed might help you get a bit more quality sleep.

  • Thanks so much all. Some really helpful suggestions x

  • frogmorton
    frogmorton Member Posts: 26,675

    Hope get more comfortable in time ((()))

    Love

    Toni xxx