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Date: 09.01.2012
From: happygogo

Subject: all fingers and thumbs

I started to develop painfull lumps over my index finger joints in my late twenties. now at 38 I know i have, servere nodal oesteoarthritis. At this point several of my fingers and both thumbs are affected, also i have a new lump forming on the back of my hand. Some fingers are so affected, that they are contorted into horrible shapes. my kids call them my witchy fingers. i am a single parent of twins and i manage because i have to, but everyday tasks are becoming impossible such as holding a plate,sowing, using a pen, lifting pans and any cleaning tasks holding a cloth is a nightmare.At christmas due to having family over and all the extra work, my hands were so bad by the evening i was in tears and couldnt hold a cup. I've taken co drydamol and diplofenac for years now and all i get from the gp is keep taking the medication. I work part time, which i really love but was wondering if there was any help out there for people who work. i know things will continue to get worse but i'm only young so don't want to give up working just yet. In an ideal world, i'd like a little extra money so i could afford to get someone in to help with the little jobs that would make life easier or be able to get gadgets that do those almost impossible fine motor tasks. i'd love to hear from anyone with any advice or who is going through the same thing. friends my age don't understand how frustrating it is not to be able to do simple things they take for granted.
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Date: 10.01.2012
From: paula

Subject: Re: all fingers and thumbs

Hi, Firstly, just to say thinking of you. A) are you under a rhumatologist? B) Have you thought about claiming for DLA? It is about your care needs that you need during the day and night, and how often you need help etc. You can claim it even when working. There is a helpful web site called Benefits and Work Forum, have a look, if you want to become a member there is a yearly subscription. With work, don't know what you do, but can you chat with line manager about what adjustments to put in place to make life a bit easier, also have you got splints to help with your hands? My mum and grand dad have OA and my mum needs her thumb jonts replacing, and my poor grandad is riddled with it and in so much pain all the time. It is hard for people to understand how it affects you until it happens to them, but there are people that do, if you are not happy about GP do you have another in the practice? Perhaps see someone else, a different view point gives another direction. Hope some of this helps. Take care, and a big hug to you x
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Date: 10.01.2012
From: happygogo

Subject: Re: all fingers and thumbs

thank you paula.
i've never seen any one other than the Gp. i had the blood tests and xrays and when it came back as OA i was told i was on the right medication and sent away. no one has ever mentioned any other treatment or splints for me to try. i'm very lucky that my hands don't affect my job as i'm in education welfare and those 25 hrs a week give me my boys a better quality of life than if i couldn't work. I will look into the DLA as i didn't think i could get it and work.
my mum also has the same condition but her's didn't start till she was in her early 50's. my mum had an ocupational therapist who got her loads of gadgets, splints and carers allowance. i thought because i was younger and working i wouldn't get those things.
i'll visit my gp and make sure i'm not fobbed off with pills again.
i've recently had an opperation for calcification of the shoulders, i'm suffering from really sore hips and my ankles and wrists make the most amazing clicking sound so i think its time this was looked in to properly.

thank you for your advice and kind words Paula, its good to know i'm not alone xx
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Date: 10.01.2012
From: paula

Subject: Re: all fingers and thumbs

Hi,
My mum started with OA when she was 26, and she is 59 now and needing a joint replacement op on both thumbs. My grand dad is under a rhumy specialist for his OA, if you need help, you need help, yes you can claim DLA and be working, so have a think and look into it. Anything worth a short yeah? GP's are good at fobbing off although not all of them. As sid in previous post if more than one GP in practice have a shot at seeing them, if you get too anxious at appts and the hand are not playing ball for you to write, get someone to write down what you want to say, how you are feeling and even if you feel down and pissed off with the limitations say it. Take it with you. My brain goes to mush at appointments. I saw my GP in dec for swollen hands, I had blood pressure taken, then oh your tendons are inflamed here is a cream, bye! Within a week at urgent care centre, back to the gp, had an x ray and blood test from another gp, pain and inflamation got worse, could not pick up knife and fork or cut dinner up at christmas, and the sleep, i am knackered. Saw another GP and got urgent referral to rhumy, and was diagnosed with RA last week. You need support and here to listen anythime ok? Hang in there you are not alone. Thinking of you and hope you get the support you so need, you sound like one really brave person and my hat is off to you xxx
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Date: 10.01.2012
From: marlene

Subject: Re: all fingers and thumbs

Hi Paula, maybe a ct scan is more what you need. This will show every point that you have OA. The scan begins with an injection, short scan, go off and have lunch or look round shops for two to three hours then return to the clinic for a full body scan.
I have also had an MRI for the OA in my spine.

There are lots of different pain meds, physio, hydro pool physio. This is good for helping yourself when the joints are all stiff and cause more pain.

OA is more painful than words can say I know i have it all over. Try to see a different GP as Paula suggested. That is what I did to get sent to a rhumy team to get sorted once and for all.
Like yourself I also have had surgery.
I hope this forum helps you it is a god send for all of us. Take Care, hope you get some answers soon. X
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