Im new and could do with some advice :)

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catavich
catavich Member Posts: 7
Hi. Im 23 and I have a few queries which I hope you may be able to help me with. When I was younger I suffered from septic arthritis in my left hip, which eventually spread all ove my body. After draining off some fluid etc I was fine and trouble free untill a couple of years ago when I noticed that my hands were stiff.
Since then things have got much worse. I now have major trouble with my knee (its swells up and is incredibly tender) and have problems getting dressed etc I have been to my doctor and to my rheumatologist who are both saying separate things. One is saying I have Osteo arthritis the other seronegative arthritis (due to pain in my smaller joints as well as larger).
I have had some treatment including steroid injections into my wrist joint and so far nothing has worked. My doctor has told me that losing weight will help but untill things get worse there is nothing he can do.
Im now worried that my university course will be affected due to time off with joint pain and mobility issues and am also concerned about what happens with that when I start work. I also dont know if what my doctor is saying is true and dont know if arthritis is a disability. Im a bit confused and dont seem to be able to go anywhere for some reliable advice. Id be grateful if you can help
Thanks a lot :)

Comments

  • woodbon
    woodbon Member Posts: 4,969
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Hello,
    Glad you've decided to use this forum. Lots of people hear will help you. I've got oa myself, and I'm 53, so my experience is different to yours but, I'm sure the helpline team will be able to help you and give you lots of useful information. Arthritis is a disablilty. I used to work at Oxford University and we had students with all sorts of problems and disabilities. I'm sure the uni give you as much help and encouragment as possible - they pride themselves on that sort of thing, contact them if you're worried - they will be pleased to help you, but don't be afraid to ask :!: Lots of luck for the future, I'm sure its going to be quite a journey for you. :mrgreen: Love Sue
  • catavich
    catavich Member Posts: 7
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Thanks for such a quick reply. I already ahve more confidence that I will receive some support from everyone here thanks again :)
  • suzster
    suzster Member Posts: 1,328
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    hi, i'm 34, older than you but i hope i can at least understand some of your problems!
    i wanted to respond about the weight issue, i myself am struggling with my weight, i know i need to lose some weight but find it very hard due to my mobility being rubbish.
    it becomes a vicious circle, exercise and i then hurt afterwards, don't exercise and put on weight!
    i now try to walk as much as i can, it means taking extra morphine but i guess i have no choice. i take it slow and steady and listen to my joints, they let me know when i have done to much lol
    but it is a differcult thing. i know i would be better if i lost some weight but i think that until the pain is under control i can only try my best, i think the worst thing is when i feel down due to pain ect i tend to grab the comfort food, if chocolate was made illegal i'd probably be a size 8!! but it's not so i'm not.

    i'm glad you found this forum, it has been so much help to me and everyone else here. fingers crossed (ouch!) you'll get some help and support here and your rheumy / gp will get sorted soon to.
    sue
  • helpline_team
    helpline_team Posts: 3,581
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Hi Catavich
    Welcome to the Forum, I hope between us all we can be of some help and support to you.
    It is confusing and frustrating to get different opinions from different doctors. If it seems likely you may have sero negative arthritis I hope you are still seeing the rheumatologist. This is the expert and the doctor best able to advise you on treatment options.
    There are special medications for this type of arthritis.
    Weight loss is part of managing your arthritis but if you're not able to exercise you might need help with this. Ask your GP to refer you to a dietician who will design a healthy eating plan with you that you can follow.
    There will be at your university a member of staff designated to help students with disabilities and any kind of long term medical condition. As Woodbon said, do contact them.
    When you start work there are organisations such as Access to Work that will help you.
    It sounds like the last couple of years have been tough for you but you are still at uni and still planning a career so keep going. Don't be afraid of asking for the help you need.
    If you want to talk to one of us here do ring us on the freephone number.
    Best wishes
    Val
  • catavich
    catavich Member Posts: 7
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    thanks for the replies everyone. Im off to the uni now to speak to student support and their disability officer. I wil let you know how I have got on.
    Thanks again :P
  • catavich
    catavich Member Posts: 7
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    everyone was on a training day so no-one was in will try again tomorrow :)
  • catavich
    catavich Member Posts: 7
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Unfortunately I still havent made it to the advice centre at uni. I did however see y doctor again and was wondering if ayone has any advice on what I should do next. I went to my doctor and took my fiancee with me. When I told my doctoc that I was having a terrible flare up and that my knee was so swollen i could barely move it he didnt say anything he didnt even take a look he just basically said well yeah? he said basically he would give me so more cocodamol but other than that he said that it didnt matter cos there was nothing they could do, there is no cure. Is this normal for a doctor to say? I was wondering if anyone else had had a similar experience and if this is what I should expect. It has bothered me and even got my family a bit worried because my knee (more than anything else) has really been swollen and sore for 2 weeks with no signs of getting better.
  • helpline_team
    helpline_team Posts: 3,581
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Hi Catavich

    Sorry you've been through this unpleasant experience. Unfortunately they don't give doctors training in bedside manner, and perhaps they should. Are you resting the knee enough? and elevating when sat? If it is swollen and hot to the touch try an ice pack on it. If it is swollen but not hot, it may help to put something warm on it and give some rest. Ibupfofen gell rubbed into may also help. If it persisits and gets worse and you get no joy from your GP then you may need to go to the Walkin center or A&E. In the meantime you could also give the Rheumatology nurse a call and see what they say.

    Best wishes

    Simona
  • catavich
    catavich Member Posts: 7
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Thanks for replying :)
    I am trying to rest my knee but I fond sitting still a problem. I am restless by nature and so I struggle with trying to rest so I am resting as much as I can but I have also been told not to rest and to carry on pottering around. I will try the things you have recommended and if theres still no joy I will go to a&e thanks so much again It really helps knowing there is someone listening to me :)