just saying hello

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JRDAD1
JRDAD1 Member Posts: 9
edited 28. Nov 2023, 14:05 in Living with arthritis

I am new to this site and glad I found it. My name is James and I live in Durham, I am 81 and live with my wonderful wife Anne who is 10 years younger than me, we both love gardening but now I can't do anything because of my arthritic spine and lack of balance (without my stick), it depresses and frustrates me to hell. Has anyone got similar symptoms and if so. what do you do to help it, I don' take pain killers for the pain, I just rest when its really painful. Thank you. James Dixon.

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  • frogmorton
    frogmorton Member Posts: 29,550
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    Hi @JRDAD1

    I am sorry to hear you are struggling. I have one of those garden seats with handles to get up afterwards (although i have been known to crawl back to the house) so I can keep gardening. The heavy stuff though I get my husband to do for me or we have even paid for help with really tricky/specialist jobs.

    I do take painkillers as and when I need to James, but try to keep them down for those times when I really am in trouble.

    If you go onto the chit chat bit i think there's a gardening conversation going on. You might get more tips.

  • Mike1
    Mike1 Member Posts: 1,992
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    I can only do limited gardening for a max of 20 minutes on my knees and crawling, to get up I have to crawl over to a chair and lever myself up. Afterwards I flop for the rest of the day! A few years ago I had plastic grass laid in my back garden (which is where I sit when outside) so at least that doesn't need cutting. A neighbour cuts my small bit of grass at the front of my bungalow for an occasional bar of choccy!

  • Lilymary
    Lilymary Member Posts: 1,742
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    What lovely neighbours you have Mike, and how nice of you to thank them with chocolate! My 86 yr old uncle has OA in his hips too, and refused to take his painkillers as they gave him constipation. He was in constant pain and his life style was getting smaller and smaller and making him so depressed. We suggested he invest in some laxatives from the chemist! Anyway, he started to take them again and his quality of life improved significantly once the pain was being better managed. Perhaps have a chat with your doc and see if it’s worth giving it another go?

    I’m 60, still working and was previously very active (fell walking, gardening, scaffold scrambling for work etc) but my OA in my hip made itself known very suddenly a few months ago and now I’m walking with a stick and can barely manage a short stroll round the fields. Even a supermarket trolly dash is a struggle, and that’s WITH pain relief. If I forget to take them, I can’t even sit and watch the telly without random shooting pains down my leg. I LOATHE taking the numerous pills I’m now on just to get even that level of mobility, but I wouldn’t be able to leave the house without them, so for me it’s a price worth paying.

    My lovely 91 year old Mum has mobility issues too, and is pretty much house bound, but she was (and still is) a passionate gardener (we all are in our family). She now has a little courtyard garden, but muscle weakness and mini strokes that have affected her balance mean she can’t do much in the garden any more. She goes through the same struggles as you getting up off the ground again. But she can do pruning, she can sit on a little garden chair to cut back or dead head things near the border, and we set up a work station (her in a wheel chair, tubs on the garden seat) so she can plant up her tubs. She can do a little weeding with a forked gizmo on a long stick, etc, watering and fertilising, so she can still get her hands dirty from time to time, which she loves. She just gets us to do the heavy stuff.

    Do have a chat with GP re pain relief, it may give you enough of your old range of mobility back to make it worth tolerating the side effects.

  • Mike1
    Mike1 Member Posts: 1,992
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    Hi Lilymary, I have widespread OA and other problems which leaves me using crutches in my bungalow and a wheelchair elsewhere. Rest assured I have tried every med and treatment over the years and now rely on relatively large doses of Morphine to just take the edge of my pain. Thanks for your concern though.

  • JRDAD1
    JRDAD1 Member Posts: 9
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    such a lot of suffering, it really is so cruel getting old. I only hope there is a better place we all go afterwards.

  • dreamdaisy
    dreamdaisy Member Posts: 31,520
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    I began arthritis when I was 37 and now I am 61. I was hardly getting old when it began but so what? It would have been nice to reach my sixties with nothing being amiss but on reflection I am pleased life has not turned out that way.

    I am never sure why people do not take pain relief, OK it doesn't do much but it does dull the sharper edges, making it easier to get on and do things. My late father-in-law was a refusnik (both with pain relief and using walking aids) despite having rampant RA and OA, thus making my late mother-in-law's lfe far harder than it needed to be. I am already doing the things my mother should have done when she was in her early eighties but thought she could carry on as she used: I know I can't, even with the best will in the world. Old age holds no fears for me, I've been livng it for years and am now nearly old enough, in the eyes of the uninformed, for my disease. DD

    Have you got the despatches? No, I always walk like this. Eddie Braben
  • Mike1
    Mike1 Member Posts: 1,992
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    OLD? OLD? I am only 61 and have been on the OA path for the past 15 years or so. OA is NOT an age thing as many sufferers on here can testify to.