Should I just accept it?

ouchpotato Member Posts: 453
edited 27. Nov 2014, 11:00 in Living with Arthritis archive
Hello everyone

I was dx with OA last year; spinal, hip, knee and shoulder. After a relatively good summer pain wise I seem to have gone downhill at an alarming rate. At 45 I seem to be riddled with it. Toes, ankles, knees, hips, spine, SI joints, elbow, shoulders, wrists and hands. The back of my heel is excruciatingly painful to walk on or even touch. My knees are the same - both outside and inside of both knees are incredibly tender. At the same time I am having a lot of trouble with painful eyes - they feel like conjunctivitis but it's not...dry one minute, streaming the next, gritty, burning, stuck together in the mornings...

I went to see my GP this morning and asked for referral back to the rheumatologist. But he refused, basically told me it is OA and I have to live with it, upped my amitriptyline and said the pain clinic will sort me out. if it is OA alone I know there is not much to be done, and that chances are I will end up half bionic as it has started early for me and will no doubt lead to replacements. BUT...I can't help feeling that the Dr is wrong. It feels to me as if something is attacking my joints if that makes sense. The rate at which I have gone downhill is scary. But the GP looked at my blood results from January 2012 and declared them all normal and that was that. It's early onset OA, patted my hand and sent me on my way with a definite 'don't bother me again with this' vibe.

So, learned ladies and question is this. Can all of this really be OA alone? Can it be this widespread at such a relatively early age? If it is OA then I am happy (?) to accept that and learn to manage it, but I can't shift this niggly feeling that it is more systemic.



  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 26,327
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    It certainly can be, ouch. It can also be a sero-negative auto-immune arthritis. We are not the ones to diagnose you. I've never been to a pain clinic but maybe they would have the remit to refer you to a rheumatologist if they thought it necessary. How long is it since you saw one and what was said then? The only other thing I can think of is to see a different GP in the practice and see what he / she thinks. But, just because it's in several joints, doesn't mean to say it can't be OA.
    If at first you don't succeed, then skydiving definitely isn't for you.
    Steven Wright
  • ouchpotato
    ouchpotato Member Posts: 453
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Thanks Sticky...I wouldn't ask anyone for a dx, I'm just finding the speed of decline hard to accept. I guess I will just have to grin and bear it until the pain clinic and then take it from there. Hard to know what they are going to treat though, as I hurt everywhere!
  • TeaBag
    TeaBag Member Posts: 101
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I would see a different GP as said above it might be Sero Neg i had an MRI which gave a Diagnosis Good Luck.
  • dreamdaisy
    dreamdaisy Member Posts: 31,557
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Any form of arthritis is degenerative and progressive - the rate of both is as individual as us. I know that all forms of arthritis thrive on stress (and you've had a fair bit of that one way or another, and probably still do) but, once one joint is out of kilter we change the way we move, we hold ourselves differently and so other joints are placed under greater strain. I am 'fortunate' in that I know I have two kinds of arthritis, the damage caused by my auto-immune has led to my OA but that developed fairly quickly compared to the other. 'Tis the nature of the beast. :roll: I think more bloods would be a reasonable request if you haven't had any done since 2012 and, as teabag has pointed out, there are sero-negative versions of auto-immune arthritis (I have one of those).

    Whatever we have we have to accept it because it will not get better and it won't go away. :( It is unusual for one to begin with OA then develop an auto-immune but it's not unknown. I hurt from top-to-toe, and it's tough, but it is what it is and I have to live with it. I am not fatalistic, I think my stance is realistic but I also know I'm lucky in that I only have him and me to 'maintain'. It does help when you can't remember being pain-free - I guess you can still recall that and that is far from easy. DD
    Have you got the despatches? No, I always walk like this. Eddie Braben
  • hileena111
    hileena111 Member Posts: 7,099
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Ouch
    As you know arthritis is no respecter of age.
    I think like the others have said another diagnosis from another doc just to confirm.....It could be lots of other things. I know that you know these things yourself but I think that's the only thing to do....Another doc or the pain clinic and get referred to the hospital again.
    Any chance of you ringing the consultant {you originally saw} his secretary and explaining to her and trying to get an appointment that way or some advice from her.
    My consultants sec is very good.....will email questions to him and ring me with answers.
    Let us know how you get on
  • LignumVitae
    LignumVitae Member Posts: 1,972
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    If you feel uncomfortable with the diagnosis then there is no harm or rudeness in asking for a second opinion. It could be OA or it could be something inflammatory. If you feel what you have been told doesn't fit your symptoms then ask somebody else to be sure. I did that after my first rheumy dismissed me. I now have a dual diagnosis of two inflammatory arthritis and am on lots of meds...that doesn't happen with everybody though.
    Hey little fighter, things will get brighter
  • mig
    mig Member Posts: 7,150
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Certainly ask for a second opinion what harm can it do . Mig
  • ouchpotato
    ouchpotato Member Posts: 453
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Thankyou all again for your replies.

    DD, as always you make perfect sense - and the way you put it makes it easier for me to understand. I was struggling with the fact that the arthritis is so widespread, but as you say once one joint goes we put extra strain etc on the others, which in turn damages those. I do remember vividly being pain free (I've had issues with back pain since my teens but it was isolated) and I can remember exactly when it started going down hill. I had a flu jab. Never had one before, but as a single mum I couldn't afford to be laid low with the flu so I paid to have one done. I felt ill afterwards, the next day I slept all day, which was then followed by months of sleeping 18 hours a day, and feeling like I'd been hit by a train. I hurt from head to toe. This pain has, since then, gradually targeted the joints, as opposed to the entire body (I was hurting in muscles, tendons, bones and joints at first). Now it is joints, and the enthesis sites are a recent addition...I have tennis elbow and now it seems Achilles tendonitis too. I think this is why I am struggling to accept that this is a clear case of osteoarthritis, because it followed the flu jab. It's as if my body reacted badly to it, and I am now left with the aftermath.

    I hope that all makes sense?

    And also, dammit, I am only 45 and just coming into my prime!!!
  • villier
    villier Member Posts: 4,426
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    The best thing I ever did was get referred to a pain management clinic for my neurological problem, the consultant tried everything under the sun although they didn't work but he then referred me to another Neurologist and I haven't looked back since. Speak to another GP but I think the clinic is the way to go, good luck ouch lets us know how you get on x
    Smile a while and while you smile
    smile another smile and soon there
    will be miles and miles of smiles
    just because you smiled I wish your
    day is full of Smiles
  • dreamdaisy
    dreamdaisy Member Posts: 31,557
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    It's far from easy to accept and / or adapt, Ouch, we all know that. Arthritis has no respect for us, our wishes or our dreams, we have to make the best fist of it that we can and thumb our noses at its demands. I spent a number of years in the auto-immune wilderness, taking the meds and not feeling any difference and the official diagnosis of PsA made no difference to me whatsoever: the OA diagnosis, however, floored me because then I knew for sure there was no 'getting better' for yours truly! :lol: I have Achilles tendonitis in my left heel plus osteophytes on both ankle joints but 'tis the nature of the beast. Things twinge from head-to-toe but they have done for years. Mr DD currently has a bout of tennis elbow but is manfully struggling on. :wink:

    I have never had any trouble with the 'flu jab but your reaction to it sounds very extreme and has similarities to an auto-immune-type thing. I think it reasonable to ask for some more bloods, including tests for your inflammatory markers. DD
    Have you got the despatches? No, I always walk like this. Eddie Braben