Posted , 8 users are following.
Hi, everyone. New member, but have been suffering from OA for the last 27 years. Started when I was 26 years old as severe pain and swelling in hands and fingers while doing piece work at a factory, and has progressed and spread from there. I had bilateral knee replacements in January 2014, three level spinal fusion in October 2015, and have been on full disability since June 2015. I've been bouncing from ortho to neuro to rheumy and GP for the last solid year. My current MRI from March shows major spinal herniations throughout my entire thorasic and lumbar spines. We'd thought they'd result in a lumbar spinal fusion but after today's final diagnosis, that's not the case. Osteo on top of degenerative disc disease on top of dealing with migraines and hypothyroidism is just getting to be too much.
The wonderful doctor I met with today was very thorough, very straightforward, and very sorry of the resulting diagnosis. He said there isn't an actual treatment available other than managing the syptoms - meds, therapy, and more joint replacement if it gets that bad again. My left thumb joint has already almost fused itself, I guess that explains the severe pain I've been having there. My GP referred me thinking I had psoriatic arthritis because I've started having psoriasis breakouts, but the final diagnosis is osteoarthritis. My neck, shoulders, wrists, hands, spine, knees, ankles, and feet are greatly affected. I was in pain management for the last solid year straight. I'm currently on muscle relaxers, prescription anti-inflammatory med, anti-depressant, and pain meds. I cannot sleep at night even with sleeping pills, am still in pain 24/7, and am literally a shell of my former self. I cannot believe this is what my life has become.
My biggest hurdle at this point is accepting this final diagnosis gracefully and moving forward as best I can knowing it'll only get worse. My husband keeps saying I need to move more, I keep telling him the more I move the more I hurt. When I do too much I also have severe migraine headaches that last up to two full days with horrendous pain, vomitting, and light and sound sensitivity.
My doc wants me to go back to pain management, he thought they may be able to do more for me or perhaps teach me meditation skills. The final treatment they've offered after all the meds, injections, and physical therapy is to have a neuro spine stimulator implanted to see if that would help with my overall pain. I don't know if that's even something to consider at this point, it sure sounds like a gnarly operation to me.
My day is spent basically being a lump on the couch so I don't aggrevate anything if I can help it, my feet hurt so bad I cannot walk on them very much. Even when I do, then my low back becomes excrutiatingly painful and seizes up. I have to find a spot to sit and recover. If I'm in a chair with a low back, then my neck and shoulders start spasming and I'll end up with a migraine. I can't stand, I can't walk, I can't sleep, and I am REALLY tired of saying, "I can't..."
Any insights on how to better manage this mentally and emotionally would be most kind and beneficial. It's wonderful to be in a group that are experiencing what I am and that can relate to the struggles on each level.
I promise not to be such a downer and complainer in future posts, too. I'm generally very positive and upbeat but today's really, really messed me up.
2 likes, 22 replies