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Date: 09.10.2013
From: Liz

Subject: Hi new to this forum

Hi everyone, it's 3:34am and I'm lying here unable to sleep because of terrible pain in my knees (and legs) and thought I would google arthritis care, which led me to this forum.

Good to be here. Have been reading some of your posts, and have felt like I'm not so alone in all this.

My story started about 3 years ago, had a nagging pain in right knee, thought I had some kind of ligament damage (I'm now 48) so at 45 I didn't expect much to be wrong, I was generally fit, although overweight, was in good health.
I remember running to catch a bus with my husband in Tenerife on holiday, and thinking I just can't run, or barely walk in that knee.. Two days later I was crying in pain waiting for our flight home.
Eventually got home and as it was the weekend, I went to our local walk in (some kind of pun there as I couldn't even walk) centre. They shoved and pushed on my leg, said it wasn't anything to do with ligaments, and it may be OA. Told me to take painkillers (didn't even offer me a prescription) and sent me home. I could barely walk to my daughters car at this point, so I thought what a joke!
Come the Monday I was due back at work - I work as a PA/Carer for a disabled lady (oh the irony) and I had to ring in sick, I couldn't move! Still convinced I had pulled something in my knee on holiday, my husband took me to the local A&E department, I had to use crutches we had in the garage to even get out the car. I waited to see the Dr, he asked me to walk while he watched, examined my legs, sent be for an xray, then told me I had OA, to take paracetamol & ibuprofen, loose weight and basically live with it. Told me to see my GP to discuss pain relief. I was gutted.

I could not believe the amount of pain I was in could be OA out of the blue, and that this was it... for life?

To be fair, my GP was lovely, very gentle Irish lady. She said she had looked at my X-rays and that it was OA. Put me on co-codamols and declofenic and said to try to loose a bit of weight, but other than that I had to live with it, possibly flaring up now and then.

A week later I had no choice to go back to work, and the pain meds were helping. But since then I have been in chronic pain more or less all the time. I do know I have to rest my legs after working, and he can barfly stand in the kitchen to make the tea these days after work, my husband has taken over the cooking!
It's just I feel so bloody useless an old now. I can't walk very far without sitting down for a rest, I can't get to the loo at night very quickly as in still as anything middle if the night, and at my age If I need to go its right then or a flood!

I can't get my head around that this is the way I will be from now on, the rest if my life.
I'm still working, but the funny thing is I struggle to get to work some days, and the person I'm employed by to do all her housework, shopping, ironing etc, is fitter than me! She's off driving her car, meeting friends for coffee, while I'm struggling to go up and down her stairs doing her housework. And she's getting all kinds of disability payments and a free PA!

Oh I do feel bitter sometimes. Where's my help? I get sent off with paracetamols and have to get on with it?

Anyway, it's now 4:02, I've popped some more pills, had a rant, and have to be up for work at 6:30am, so thanks for listening.

You've been great ;-) xx

Liz
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Date: 09.10.2013
From: Liz

Subject: Re: Hi new to this forum

...So sorry for all the typos! Just read through it, and barely makes sense (barfly? Grr at predictive text!) and to be fair, it's dark, I'm on my iPhone typing this, it's 4am and my hubby is snoring in my left ear.
Oh and I'm in pain. Lots and lots of pain.
No change there then!
Goodnight kids x
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Date: 09.10.2013
From: bsk

Subject: Re: Hi new to this forum

Morning Liz, I hope you are sleeping by now. I don't have OA (I have RA which is another pretty kettle of fish!) but my mum had it pretty badly. Things I think can be done: you can have a steroid injection in the knee to settle down the pain. I seem to recall my mum having a few in her lifetime; you can try different anti inflammatories, some work better than others; losing weight is very good for OA but mum never managed it very successfully, but if you can it will help a lot; you can ask for a referral to an orthopaedic surgeon to see if you are bad enough for a joint replacement (though I think they may say you are too young.)

I also know that cycling and swimming are supposed to be good for OA and it helps build up the muscle which supports the joint.
Others may contradict me but Arthritis Research UK website has tons of info on their site and they can send you some leaflets about suitable treatments and self help stuff.

Hope some of this helps.
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Date: 09.10.2013
From: Colin W

Subject: Re: Hi new to this forum

Hi Liz , welcome to the forum , alot of us have RA & PA & there are some here with OA but when you get joint damage the effect is the same

in the link section about there is link to Arthritis Research UK & Arthritis Care & both are worth looking up , Arthritis Care has a free helpline & forum as well

have you tried Glucosamine as a supplement , worth trying for a few months & as bsk said try building up the muscles are the joint
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Date: 09.10.2013
From: Sean

Subject: Re: Hi new to this forum

Hi Liz - not as widely publicised other minerals work with Glucosamine to give better absorption - this report shouws how it was used for arthritis in knees and lower back - I take manganese most days myself. Some supplements contain manganese along with glucosamine - I have also read that
strontium and boron also used to help restore some bone structure.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10050562

Absoption of these will also be improved with digestive enzyme Bromelain - Pineapple contains lots of this.

For pain and inflammation - you might want to try turmeric. I invented a drink that I take occassionaly of chamomille tea, manuka honey and half a teaspoon of turmeric. Great as a bed time drink and also lowers estrogen levels.

Turmeric has been tested to be as safe and as efficacious as ibuprofen for some pain and will be better for the stomach too! Report below on this -

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19678780

Check with your doctor in case any of these might clash with meds but there is a lot of case study and anecdotal evidence on th web for these.

Best wishes
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Date: 09.10.2013
From: Liz

Subject: Re: Hi new to this forum

Aw thanks guys, yeah I've had a hard day at work again, just resting my legs a bit now.
I will take on all your advice and try some out.. Very interested in the Turmeric solution..

I will return! x
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Date: 09.10.2013
From: Colin W

Subject: Re: Hi new to this forum

hi Liz , I tried Turmeric years ago when I first had RA but done nothing for me , fish oil like cod liver oils & omega 3 will help a bit as may a knee brace , just try things & if it helps then good but if it dont try something else
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Date: 10.10.2013
From: Linda

Subject: Re: Hi new to this forum

Hi Liz, I have had Lupus/RA. Mine came on practically overnight. At the time I was caring for my mother who had RA. They do say that about 30% of carers have health issues themselves.

I do have some wear and tear arthritis but it's hard to say which is causing pain. Swimming I believe is pretty good exercise for OA. I have read that joint replacements, should you eventually need them are work better for people with OA.
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Date: 10.10.2013
From: marlene

Subject: Re: Hi new to this forum

Hi everyone, can I just say yes swimming is great for OA but the cold water is a nightmare for us.
I have OA and only ever swim in warm water. So mainly when I am abroad. So not much swimming for me I am sorry to say. I do like swimming it's a great exercise I never hurt after.
Take care
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Date: 11.10.2013
From: Sean

Subject: Re: Hi new to this forum

Just found this - which I had heard before -

http://www.menshealth.com/mhlists/healthy-food-combinations/Turmeric_Black_Pepper.php

Apparently a natural chemical in black pepper enhances the bioavailability of turmeric x 1000. Not sure my chamomile drink will taste so nice though ! :-)
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Date: 16.10.2013
From: Maz.

Subject: Re: Hi new to this forum

MSM may be an option as well (make sure it is 99% pure though) -- start one teaspoon & 1/2 glass of water (it's a powder) twice a day.
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