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Multiple chronic conditions, drug allergies & osteoarthritis

Posted: Mon Oct 14, 2019 9:45 am
by Guest Posts
I have arthritis in neck, shoulders, hands, ear, & spine (causing sciatica on both sides, right side has been about 10 years & left almost 3 months). I use wheat bags, v cushion, massage cushions, cushtie cushions, cooking aids, grab rails, back scratcher, bathing aids, long shoe horn, etc. I struggle with mobility aids as I cannot carry much or hold easily & have falls (veering, chronic pain, knees & ankles giving way). Sleep is poor (keep waking) & am stiff on waking (need daily bed physio). Is there anything I can do to ease my pain? I cannot tolerate any pain relief except paracetamol (which doesnt help) & cannot use NSAIDs, statins, sleep medication, nerve pain blockers, etc. (I have many other problems including type 1 diabetes, moderate heart disease, likely fibromyalgia, chronic IBS, etc).

I'm really struggling to get over the bath to shower but my landlord (housing association) has refused to replace the bath with a walk in shower. My legs are bruised & I've spent my life savings making my home homely & suitable for all my health needs. The OT tried a battery operated sear but it didn't help & I struggle to sit because of pain. Is there anything you can suggest?

It hurts to type & I'm not quick anymore & struggle to sit to watch the blogs so I hope you don't mind me emailing.

Any advice appreciated as I live alone & don't wish to move to another home as I haven't the finances to alter things again, energy, or mental or physical strength to cope.

Thank you, Vi

Re: Multiple chronic conditions, drug allergies & osteoarthr

Posted: Mon Oct 14, 2019 3:59 pm
by Arthritis Action
Your symptoms sound very much more like fibromyalgia than anything else, especially given your sleep disturbance and progressive loss of mobility. If you have not already been seen by a rheumatologist, you should ask for a referral as many departments have fibromyalgia programmes that can help you to help yourself. Medication is not very effective for fibromyalgia as you have discovered, and the best evidence-based treatments are graded exercise and cognitive behavioural therapy to help you learn strategies to cope better with your pain and distress, and to help you come to terms with the almost inevitable trauma in your past that has triggered this pain in you. This isn't something you can overcome with will power, medication or adaptations as keeping mobile is so vital, so ask your GP for referral.

Dr Wendy Holden
Medical Advisor to Arthritis Action and Consultant Rheumatologist

Arthritis Action
56 Buckingham Gate
London SW1E 6AE

020 3781 7120