Recently diagnosed with OA and feeling overwhelmed
I'm 50 years old, and I was diagnosed with osteoarthritis about 4 months ago. I never had any issues, then I stopped drinking (I was a heavy drinker), got active and lost a lot of weight a year ago and suddenly BOOM, I'm in constant pain.
My arthritis is on both sides, hands, wrists, elbows, and feet. On top of that I've developed trigger finger in my pinkies which is incredibly painful at night (this might have come first). I have no swelling or warm joints or bumps or any of those regular telltales.
The feet is a big issue for me as walking is how I deal with mental wellbeing, and I can now no longer do it regularly.
I don't understand how I went in maybe 7 months from nothing to struggling to sleep from being in so much pain in so many joints. Ibuprofen and paracetamol doesn't make much, if any, difference. I've been prescribed codeine, but I'm too afraid I will become addicted so haven't used the prescription.
I was always under the impression this was a slow disease (my mom had OA, my sister has it). If it is this aggressive, how long before I lose all mobility? I'm pissed off that my reward for turning to a healthy lifestyle is being in pain.
Where I live it takes 8 weeks to see a GP, and the waiting list for a rheumatologist is 2 years (they haven't even put me on that list anyway). I am looking for advise from others in my positions please:
1. What strategies do I use to cope with the mental side? Just thinking that I have to spend the rest of my life not sleeping or taking part in any hobbies greatly distresses me.
2. Does anybody have any tips specifically for dealing with pain in the feet? I have pain in many of the foot joints, but particularly in the ball behind my big toes and mid-feet in the arches (I've ordered extra wide shoes). Seeing a podiatrist is £250 just for a consultation, I can't justify that type of spend at the moment.
3. I need some kind of wrist and hand support that still allows me to type and generally use my hands. Can anyone recommend any types and brands and online stores? I'm going to assume off the bat that all compression gloves are not equal and cannot afford to try them all.
4. I fully understand that I need to keep active. I have never enjoyed indoor exercise, or exercising with other people (like classes and stuff), what do you guys do to keep active?
I apologise for starting out with such a long moan of a post, every day that goes past I'm feeling a little bit more sad.
Two months ago I would walk 20km, now if I walk five I'm out of action for two days or more. I can't help but think about where I will be in 6 months, or a year, if it got this bad in 6 months.
Thanks for listening,
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