Bad Night OA Knees


Well, I had what could be construed as a bad evening. When I woke this morning my right knee was bothering me more than usual, but that goes with the territory. Then, at 21:45 I was walking my dogs when the knee flared up. When I say flared up, it almost knocked me over with the pain. Fortunately I was walking beside a wall and was able to hold myself up.

I got upstairs and into my flat, but I knew I was in big trouble. This was a 8 out of 10 level pain. I had tears in my eyes. I was gripping the arms of my chair hoping it would pass, but it clearly wasn't.

I take 4X 30g Codeine/500mg Paracetemol and 2X 500mg Naproxen, twice a day. Clearly, this is helping anything. The pain was horrendous, and I took a further 5X of the Codeine. No help.

I then did something I've never done before, I called 111. 111, if you don't know, is the hotline to the NHS in the UK. I gave my details, answered some questions, and was told I would get a call back within an hour. Two hours later a "medical practitioner" called. We talked, and she said she was sending an ambulance because I needed to go to hospital for blood work because I'd taken too many pain pills. I refused and said I didn't want to go, and requested they cancel the ambulance. I know their resources are tight, and they have emergencies to deal with without me and my knees.

Apart from that - here's the grim reality - Zapain (the name of the medication I'm taking) does nothing anyway. Either it's not strong enough, or I'm immune to it (which scientifically might make no sense). I could 50 of them and nothing would happen.

I'm venting because a) I know that if I got into a true pain emergency, it'd be hours to get help. b) If I'm at an 8 out of 10 for pain, I'm obviously going to use the only tool I have to hand - the Zapain in the blind hope it'll do SOMETHING. ANYTHING. c) I feel helpless.

This morning the pain is down to a 4 out of 10. A problem, but not acute. I can just make it to the kitchen to make tea and then hobble back to my chair. OA sucks big time. There are people on this site who have it a lot worse than me, and I don't know how you do it.

I got a call back from a Doctor this morning, and they wanted me to go to see another Doctor today, but I'm essentially immobile and don't have the money for a Taxi - so that's obviously not happening.

Anyway, writing it down helps. I'll call my Doctor Monday (first time they're open) and see if I can get some pain medication that works. Such is life with OA!


  • Anne16
    Anne16 Member Posts: 14

    Hi there, I am so sorry you are experiencing such awful pain. I suffer similarly with my right knee in particular, which has given way previously so that I have fallen quite badly. Nothing really seems to help me either, so I stick to Ibruprofen/paracetamol.

    I do what I can when I can then rest with legs elevated.

    I do hope you are feeling a little better. Take care and kind regards🌸

  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 27,726

    It's horrible and very scary when our joints give way and leave us in tremendous pain. I'm very sorry you had such an awful time of it, Dave


    NEVER take more pain relief than what is prescribed. The docs were so keen to send an ambulance because they knew you could have done serious damage to your liver and kidneys. It's not just the codeine element. Paracetamol itself can be lethal if we take too much. You were lucky. You got away with it but please don't push your luck again.

    I'm pleased today is a bit better and you have a good plan to ring your GP on Monday. I hope something more suitable can be prescribed.

    If at first you don't succeed, then skydiving definitely isn't for you.
    Steven Wright
  • Lilymary
    Lilymary Member Posts: 1,743

    Hi Dave, that sounds like a really awful experience, and I’m glad the pain has eased today. I hope your consultation with your GP goes well on Monday. Given that your current, very high levels of pain relief aren’t working for you, I’d suggest you request a referral to a pain clinic to review them and perhaps look at some other methods of pain management. But as @stickywicket says, you are on a high dose already, and topping this up with such a huge dose of codeine can be dangerous.

    I was on 30/500 cocodamol (Max 8 per day) and Naproxen (Max 2 per day), but was told to space them out during the day, ie 2x cocodamol 4 times a day and 1 naproxen twice a day. On a good day I took less cocodamol, just enough to keep me mobile. I was told that this steadier rate of pain relief spaced through the day is more effective than two massive hits, and probably much lower risk of organ damage. I’m not really surprised they wanted to call an ambulance.

    forgive me if someone has already suggested this (I see you’ve been on this forum for a while), but you may find this link helpful

    there are also exercises specific to OA in the knees, which build up the muscles to help support the joint, which you may also find helpful

    Good luck on Monday, let us know how you get on.