A bit of a week of it.

8wks into sulphasalazine and at approx wk 7, a weeks worth of heavy stress. (boss at work being a dick, walked out of job... now jobless) Don't know about anyone else but I believe my joints absorb my stress/ anxiety in so far as I start to believe the sulphasalazine isn't doing anything for me when in fact I might be experiencing a flare up?

I'm new to diagnosis and treatment and what to expect so my question is, Am I likely to be experiencing a flare up? (given the amount of stress I've been under) rather than the Sulphasalazine suddenly doing nothing for me.

Admittedly I was still riding a steroid high on first starting these meds and life couldn't have been better. Felt like a new woman. At week 6 I began to experience some discomfort but nothing at all like the stuff pre meds. Week 7 saw a rough week at work. Week 7.5/8 and it's as if I'm not taking any meds.

C5 & 6 (neck) shoulders, wrists & fingers, sacral joint, knees, ankles. I'm thinking 'shiiiiii*, I hope this is just a flare up!' and not how it's going to be from now on.


  • Woofy
    Woofy Member Posts: 254

    Hi moving slowly.

    I am on Sulphasalazine. About 8 weeks in. Although the pain has eased, I am not pain free. The steroids are great, and like you I was given two short courses. I have been told these drugs take a few months to really start working.

    I take Naproxen half a one in the morning and half at night. I am going to give the Sulphsalazine a while longer, but if there isn’t an improvement from where I am, I might have to try. Something else. I am sorry about your job, it isn’t easy dealing with chronic pain.

    I think stress can have an effect also. We have had some heavy rain in the south west uk, and that has definitely effected the pain levels for me.

    whatwill you do about your job? I am a self employed dog walker, I have struggled, but kept going. I only do a few dogs term time, and officially retire in about 18 months. Hope you get sorted. I was diagnosed with R A in August.

  • frogmorton
    frogmorton Member Posts: 29,242

    Hi @movingslowly

    I do hope you are doing a bit better today.

    Chances are those steroids were still in your system making it look like the Sulfa was already working. I think it takes a good while to have an effect though more like 12 weeks.

    If it isn't doing the job your rheumatologist will likely add something else into teh mix for you.

    I was wondering (as I think @Woofy was) whether you are taking an anti-inflammatory or painkiller too to help with your pain while teh sulfa is given time to hopefully do it's work?

    Take care

    Toni xx

  • Skinny Keef
    Skinny Keef Member Posts: 863

    Hi @movingslowly , stress is definitely a factor. I have posted on here before that I asked my doctor after my MRI scans showed how badly my spine is affected by arthritis why I was like this at 52 yo having suffered for over a decade and she said it was stress from my career.

    so yes, stress is definitely a factor.

  • Lilymary
    Lilymary Member Posts: 1,739

    If I'd known what stress was doing to my body, and how I would pay for it in later life, I might have done things differently. But when in your 30s and 40s you can feel bomb proof, and think a lay in on Saturday will cure everything. Paying the price for it now. 😥 Thankfully in my 60s I can legitimately make changes in my career and offload the worst stress inducers. It's hit me financially, but there has to be a limit to what I can do eventually, which I am now redefining. At the end of the day neither your employer nor your clients care what the service you provide them does to your health. So we have to.

  • Thanks :)

    The ibuprofen and naproxen can leave me a little breathless. So was trying turmeric supplements, omega oils, tens machine, CBD and codeine. (Not all at once) just as and when, together with some exercises.

    My consultant at my pain management clinic left an open appointment for me to hit 'em up for more steroids but I dunno? I'd opt for discomfort rather than three needles in my hip bone/sacral joint again... I got religion as the needle hit the bone "JAYSUS .H.CHRIIIIST!!!" I'm a wussy :)

    I quit my job so I guess I've reduced that particular stressor. I'm not sure what else to do to help myself at the moment. Thanks again for your replies. Much appreciated :)

  • Sheelee
    Sheelee Member Posts: 153

    Hi movingslowly

    The problem with stress is it reduces your tolerance levels and saps your energy. Add to the mix coping with pain and "thy cup runneth over" as they say. It all gets too much.

    And as you are less able to tolerate what's happening around you, your situation can add a few more stressors eg walking out on your job. (Where another day it may have been a case of nip out for a ****, if you smoke, and swear to the air; or nip to the loo and dream of dropping a big dollop on your boss!! And that's all!!)

    Obviously things are difficult at the moment. Have you thought of using the exercise for your arthritis as a stress buster too? It really helps. If I'm in a "cup runneth over" phase, I go to the pool and really put in a good, constant swim. Helps in reducing the pain and and anx. Others may prefer the gym, or on with the hiking boots and a brisk walk.

    There were (not sure about now with cuts and all) disability advisors in job centres, who can support in a number of ways, including issues like reasonable adjustments in the workplace. Not sure how old you are (happily I don't have to bother any more) but finding a supportive working environment seems key, particularly if you work full time. I used to say you're too long being at work/getting ready for work/travelling to work to be miserable in that situation. It takes up too much of your life.

    Hope things start to get better 😉

    Happy New Year


    PS Don't know why I came over all Biblical. I'm not particularly religious!! Must be the time of year!!?

  • movingslowly
    movingslowly Member Posts: 64


    Hi and thanks 🙂

    If I'm not mistaken this last job was my 8th in 3 or 4 years. Constantly changing jobs to try to suit my dwindling capabilities.

    I'd given my notice in my full time role (50hrs per week) and was serving my notice when my boss verbally offered me a part time contract of 30hrs. This 30 hours consisted of a 'school run' - driving two kids with special needs to a specialist college and collecting them at home time to take them home again. I was excited about this because it was something I figured my body could handle and I really enjoyed this meaningful type of work.

    He handed me a written contract the evening before we finished for the recent holidays. I took it home and read it through. It was a contract for 30 hours of anything the business needed. Any run, any client - some clients needing considerable amounts of assistance and the reason I'd handed in my notice initially. Not a contract for the 'school run' verbally offered and accepted.

    The company isn't big enough to have an OT dept and 'make reasonable adjustments' or a HR dept to query the written contract. My asking for lighter duties or explaining how I don't have the grip or strength to assist some vulnerable passengers seemed to be viewed as lazy or whining. (Like I said, the boss was a dick !)

    Anyway, onwards and onwards. I've applied for some other jobs. While I'm waiting to hear back I'm calmer, exercising daily, and trying to keep sane (only two out of three are working) 😁

    Happy New Year to you too Shelee. Best wishes.

  • Lambourne
    Lambourne Member Posts: 21

    uf you are in the UK you have the right to join a Union, they may be able to assist you in ensuring your needs are met in the workplace - worth considering.

  • Sheelee
    Sheelee Member Posts: 153

    Hi movingslowly,

    That is the problem with a smaller company. They don't have the range of independent jobs to be able to redeploy people into.

    I worked for local authorities, and despite hating them for what they are, largely speaking, I must say they did a good job in ringfencing suitable jobs for people with a disability. A lot of reception jobs were held back for disabled people; also a number of office based practitioner jobs eg on the duty service, seeing people in the office who called in for advice and assistance.

    What I will say about the change in the "wording" of the 30 hour contract they offered you, the local authority's contracts always say that you can be redeployed into areas of work to meet the needs of the organisation. Having said that, I've never known them use it, but they are enormous organisations, so can offer more specialist roles, as they have so many staff.

    Good luck,


  • I've applied for roles in larger organisations (NHS, local council)

    I figured they can't get away with cutting corners and discrimination like much smaller businesses can.

    Just need to get my foot in the door first 🙂

  • Trish9556
    Trish9556 Member Posts: 462

    You could always try temping? Sometimes a company just needs to find the right person. I had some really nice placements and they would aware of your needs when you went there

    Hope something works out

    Trish xx

  • Thanks @Trish9556

    I've got several applications submitted. Closing dates on many are end of Jan. Just a couple of weeks. I've picked up some temporary delivery work. It's evening/nights for a take away. It'll do for now but not something I want to stay with. Pay is awful and I'm jiggered after tea. Not my best self in the evenings.

    Mr M-slowly suggests I have a break and chill out til then. We're not on the bones of our **** yet and he's right but can't sit still and feel a bit guilty/useless with no purpose and little or no contribution.

    I'm just having a moan Trish 😁 Something better will come along. It always does🌈

  • Trish9556
    Trish9556 Member Posts: 462

    Hi @movingslowly

    I know what you mean about not being able to sit still! I get told off for doing stuff family say I shouldn't be doing but I just tell them I can, I will, and I'm not an invalid yet!

    Moan all you like, I don't mind, I do enough if my own. We all understand

    Love n hugs

    Trish xx

  • Sheelee
    Sheelee Member Posts: 153

    Hi movingslowly,

    Wishing you all the best with your job hunt. Much as large Government (central or local) have their own version of pain in the b**t, they do have the flexibility to make significant adjustments to your working environment and workload if needed.

    Plus, as with the local authority they often have an inspectorial role in relation to application of eg the DDA, hence they are expected to be really good at applying the law themselves. They really do get hammered in court if they digress!! Plus, they don't want the bad press. It wrecks their ability to go around telling others how it should be done!!

    Got my fingers crossed,