I have very advanced osteoarthritis in both knees and advanced in both hips as well as it being in my hands and collarbone. I have had this for decades but was told I was too young in my twenties so just self managed for a long time, I'm now 67. Saw a doctor three times for pain over the years but not much help. It all came to a head last April after months of little sleep, the doctor said he would not bother examining but sent me straight for ex-rays, 6 in all. He called two days later to say there was basically no cushioning in knees or hip joints. I was given Naproxen smallest dose because I get terrible headaches with over the counter anti- inflammatory tablets. Fortunately Naproxen does not cause this problem. I recently asked to increase the dose due to pain getting worse.
I have been having private physiotherapy for the last 14 weeks to strengthen my leg muscles and also had massage and cold laser therapy in the same appointments as well as home exercises. There is a little progress but it will take many more months yet. All my muscles had gone into full protection mode (physio's words), the muscles were the tightest he had ever seen and it caused posture, gait and mobility problems. My right hip had been pulled out of alignment by the muscles but three sessions sorted that out.
I am still in denial of how bad things really are. I part filled a blue badge form in but feel guilty, I walk very slowly but my biggest problem is getting out of the car as I need the door wide open and often find people park too close.
I also need help with a few things, I use a shoe horn but it doesn't work for sandals, so far we have bought a handrail for the bathroom, steps to get in the bath to have a shower and an electric bath seat so I can soak in a hot bath with Magnesium salt . I can't get right down into the bath without help anymore or get safely up again.
I am desperate to keep my independence as long as possible and have been told I should claim Attendance Allowance to buy anything else I need to help me but that also makes me feel guilty, I always feel there are others worse off. We both just get state pension and the house is paid off so we manage but cost of living is making it harder.
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