Having a bad day, is this normal

Hi,

I am 62, I work three or four days a week. I had a TKR 15 months ago which is fine but since then I've had quite severe pain in my groin on the same leg which sometimes goes into my hip. I also have pain behind the knee of my other leg, I am paying for physio and the physio says that both these are soft tissue problems caused by years of walking / moving badly before the TKR. I hope this is correct but I don't know. I also have arthritis in my foot which I've had for about 20 years. I think this pain is making me depressed, sometimes I feel things are improving and then I have several days of quite bad pain when walking is a big effort. I'm hiding this pain from pretty much everyone and I know their feeling is that 'you've had the knee op, so everything's ok now'. Tonight, as often, I feel the lower half of my body is screaming. I don't know if this is inflammation. I just feel lost and that I'm constantly pretending everything is ok, when it's really not. Does anyone else relate to this? Am I just a hypochondriac? xx

Comments

  • JC1978
    JC1978 Member Posts: 21

    Hi @hamilton10

    Firstly you are not a hypochondriac. Pain just grinds you down, and because no one else can feel your pain apart from you it can sometimes feel like no one understands, which can be a lonely journey, and it's totally understandable to get down from time to time. Working whilst in pain is also miserable and it makes it feel like a very long day.

    It sound like you have a good physiotherapist.

    I recently had a flare up with my arthritis which caused a lot of pain in multiple joints, and I was literally in tears. To cut a long story short I called the versus arthritis helpline and the lady was lovely, and encouraged me to talk to my GP, so I made an appointment that day.

    I found it really helpful to speak to my GP. She was very understanding which helped a lot, and she gave me some different medication which has really made a difference. Don't ever be afraid to talk to your health care team or be worried about bothering them.

    I also use hot water bottles, warm baths and a tens machine, all of which tend to help when it gets bad. I won't go into medicines because everyone is different and there are so many different variables, but talking to the health care team and finding the best combination of meds has really helped me personally.

    I don't know if any of this is helpful, but I hope it is.

    I really hope you start to feel better soon and find some solutions to your pain. It is really miserable for you.

    Jenny x

  • hamilton10
    hamilton10 Member Posts: 14

    It's so kind of you to respond Jenny. It helps. I am feeling very down at the moment and trying not to take too much pain relief . I don't want to be put on stronger ones as they just send me to sleep and I can't work effectively but I perhaps I will try and speak to the GP. I find it so upsetting that when a friend says 'shall we go for a walk?' I'm thinking ' can I?' because a lot of the time, I can't.

    Thank you again,

    Hamilton

  • CG3
    CG3 Member Posts: 6

    I think it’s normal to feel like this when you’re in a lot of pain Hamilton. I wonder why you need to keep this secret from everyone though? You’re not a hypochondriac- just someone who is in pain. Sharing that you have ongoing pain elsewhere despite the TKR would allow you to experience empathy from others which will help. I understand you not wanting to feel dopey with pain relief but having something stronger that you could take at night to ensure a good nights sleep can make a difference. The other occasion to use it would be when you’re in a lot of pain and don’t have to be at work. Just knowing that there is something that you ‘can’ take lightens the load somehow. You don’t say whether you live alone or with others but I do know that social contact is important even if it’s just through a bit of banter with work colleagues.

    A large percentage of folk who are living with arthritis experience an episode of depression requiring medical attention at least once, so do consider if this is something that it would be helpful to talk to your GP about, along with better options for pain control.


    I have RA (& now OA too) and my hands and feet are the areas that have been longest affected. (It’s pretty much everywhere now) So I do know how much painful feet can limit your ability to engage with others or feel like getting out and about . I know that others who don’t have arthritis don’t always appreciate how painful it can be but I really would encourage you to both see your GP and open up to others around you as it’s making you feel miserable and that’s not something that you should be trying to manage on your own.

    Do keep on posting and let us know how you’re doing.

    Claire xx

  • hamilton10
    hamilton10 Member Posts: 14

    Thank you so much Claire, It has helped just to put this in writing and I will try to be more open about the pain I am experiencing. I think one of the difficult things about OA is the unpredictability, on a good day I tend to think, oh things are getting better, I must be doing something right. Then things rapidly get bad again and I can't work it out - there is a constant cycle of 'if I do this it will be better, I'll not eat or I'll take this supplement or whatever..' but there's very little pattern to flare ups or to the odd good day. Sorry to ramble on and thanks for kind words and advice.

  • CG3
    CG3 Member Posts: 6

    I find that it helps to think of it as a condition that ‘ebbs and flows’ rather than thinking ‘oh it’s getting better’ than being disappointed when it comes back with a vengeance. Then you can give some attention to when it ebbs and flows and you will start to be able to see the pattern in it. Once you know your ‘triggers’ you can mitigate them as much as is possible - but not always. Pay attention to what the weather is like; what you have eaten; what stressors there are in your life. It’s well known that big events like having a bereavement, a relationship break up, being in an accident, anything that causes you a ‘shock’ can precipitate a flaring of your symptoms. But so too can more everyday things like sleeping badly, being overtired, having stressful work deadlines and pushing yourself on past when you know that you are tired or need to stop an activity. Going out to an event or gathering when you’re really not feeling up to it but don’t want to ‘let people down’ has physical repercussions. Having an infection, even a cold can make your joints more painful and I have found that anything can causes a raised temperature like a nasty virus, can leave you with very sore joints for days or weeks.

    Pacing yourself is a really important skill to learn - doing an activity then resting before doing anything else. Not booking anything strenuous into the day after an activity that you know will make you sore, that kind of thing. Initially I used to try to just power-on through regardless but that has big repercussions for me and knocks me out of action and into real soreness for days - so I know longer do that!

    Hope this helps:-)

    Do speak to your GP and try to build some Pacing into your life.

    Go well,

    C x