Diagnosed I think? No idea what now

Hi everyone

I'm Kaz, new to the forum.

I've had thumb pain and knee and foot pain of and on for years and just put it down to RSI (except the knee which I was told 10 years ago was misaligned kneecaps). But they've become more constant and now have become wrist pain, finger joint pain, and hip pain as well.


Saw my GP this morning and she told me it sounds like osteoarthritis, take paracetamol and use voltarol. Told her I've been doing that all the past week as well as compression gloves, mentioned I am struggling to do things like hold my phone or other objects without pain, gripping hurts and that my job is all hands on (I work in an NHS lab, have to grip various items for a long time, use small technical tools, and use power saws at times too) so this will have an effect on work when I go back tomorrow (I've been off for half term while it's been at its worst) she nodded along and then went to send me on my way.

I asked in addition if I could have blood tests because I'm exhausted all the time and she agreed and said they'd only contact me if something was abnormal on the test (so I guess no help with fatigue or further research if not)


So I think I've been diagnosed with osteoarthritis but who can say really, and now I have no idea what to do. I thought there may be further referrals or physio or guidance but nothing.


To be honest I'm feeling more hopeless since I had the appointment, I was pretty certain it was arthritis but I thought at least there would be some support or guidance or hope from the GP.


Is this all there is? "Sounds like osteoarthritis, bye 👋"


I've just no idea what to do now.


Thanks for reading x

Comments

  • PeterJ
    PeterJ Administrator Posts: 642

    Hello @Kazablanca and welcome to the forum. You are in the right place to learn more and we are a friendly and helpful group and I am hope that that will be your experience as well.

    I understand that you have most likely been diagnosed with osteoarthritis and are looking foe more information. Our website and this forum are good places to start. The website contains a lot of information on arthritis, treatments and hints and tips and I would recommend having a look around it. To help I've put a couple of links in below which may be of use.

    Please do keep posting and let us know how you are getting on. I am sure that others will connect with you to share their thoughts and experiences as well, and also we have a Helpline if you need more specific information.

    With very best wishes

    Peter

  • Kazablanca
    Kazablanca Member Posts: 4

    Thank you Peter.

    Think that is what I am hoping for here, people who understand and also maybe see if this is the norm and if I should have done anything differently

  • DebbieL
    DebbieL Member Posts: 54

    Hiya,

    I think it is absolutely terrible how doctors deliver the news you have OA. I has a similar experience. I phoned for the result of my MRI scan and they just said you have OA of L5 S1. I had been in terrible pain with my back for over a year and had given up exercising over fear of making the pain worse. So I felt my current life was over- pain for the rest of my life,reduced mobility and being on painkillers every day to get through the day and night. No support, no advice nothing. I find it hard to explain my feelings- not quite suicidal but trapped and an end to the life I had known. I complained to the GP practice. I got an immediate appointment with a senior doctor who discussed my pain relief and referred me to a specialist. The specialist offered pain management/ Well being or physio. These were all good options but weren’t offered when I was diagnosed! I took the physio option and it has made a real difference to my life. I have had to make some changes but have found I can do so much more than I thought I could. I dance, cycle and walk a lot.!Mostly I only take painkillers at night. If I hadn’t complained and accepted the diagnosis I would probably be spending most of my days in bed on painkillers and being very depressed. Something needs to change. People diagnosed with arthritis need to be given more information and more options of how to live their best life!

    Don’t give up. Keep returning to the doctors until you get the treatment you need.

    Good luck

    Debbie

  • Kazablanca
    Kazablanca Member Posts: 4

    Thank you so much for this.

    I will try again and complain. I understand what you mean. My surgery we only get to see the rotating junior doctor of the month, cannot remember the last time I saw an actual permanent GP from the practice!


    I'm sorry you had such a bad start to being diagnosed too but I am glad you got more.

  • jamieA
    jamieA Member Posts: 345

    Hi @Kazablanca

    I think @DebbieL is absolutely spot on. The only thing I would add is to put it in writing - that way it cannot be ignored and will be added to your medical file. I was referred to a pain clinic and a one to one online physio after putting my complaint about my rheumatologist doing little to help me in writing to him. Not nice to have to do but it certainly changed the way I was treated for the better.

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