Student Nurse would like info on Rheumatoid Arthritis please

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Hi i am a student nurse in my second year and am doing a mini portfolio on Rheumatoid Arthritis and would like some information from a patients point of view please.

What is it like living everyday with rheumatoid arthritis?

What restrictions if any does it impose in your lives?

What type of aids do people need in their everyday lives to get through the day?

What would you say is the most prominent side effect of this long term condition, pain, reduced mobility ect?

Any other information you are willing to share would be much appreciated.

Thank you all so much

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  • Posted

    My arthritis started very suddenly age 31, I was still recovering from a flu virus when I went to a beer festival, during which my knees swelled up so bad that I could not manage to cross my legs or walk down the stairs on my way out. It then attached the whole of my body, especially the neck, knees,wrists and ankles. After 2 days it subsided slightly, but then carried on for 2 years, during which time I needed a walking stick and had a lot of problems with my wrists. The cold, frosty weather aggrivated it badly to a degree that I could be OK one minute, but at night during the winter after a set time it would flare up and I would be struggling to move, and again early morning I would be stiff and struggling to move for several hours.

    The worst thing was not knowing if it would ever get any better and depression also getting the treatment that I should have received was a trial, I kept reading about new treatments in the ARC magazine but was not given them.

    After taking Etoricoxib for many years It is now mostly under control until I had an extremely bad flare up in my right wrist after a cortizone injection to my right shoulder to treat pain and once again even though my gained knowlege of my condition meant that I should have been put on Methotrexate or similar I was once again refused treatment and then kept waiting for a major wrist fusion operation that I then needed to my right wrist becauce of the damage that the flare up had caused!

    When having a bad flare up it can cause severe tiredness/frustration and depression.

    I have also experienced a total lack of understanding at work both by colegues and managers in the past.

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  • Posted

    hi, i am 65years old and was diagnosed with ra in april 2011 it started in my left hand.The swelling was so severe i went to my local a&e were they said it could be a infection so they put me on a antibiotic drip,which reduced the swelling and the pain then sent me home with no other treatment.after three months the swelling and pain came back with vengance, it so painfull i dont think anyone could put it into words.Finally they found out it was RA and prescribed sulfasazine to treat it,that didn,t work and now i have it in my knees, wrists,ellbows,and shoulders.This has happend so quick in such a short time its unbeliveable.Ifeel like i am 85, i dont think any aids to help does any good what so ever. Just had steroid injections over the past 2 weeks and the pain and swelling has subsided.Feel like a new person.
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  • Posted

    I would just like to add that getting a proper diagnosis has been a problem over the years as under the major types of Arthritis - Osteo/RA there are over 200 types which can be confusing when trying to self treat. Also many people think that it is only a disease that old people get, which isn't true at all.

    It can go into remission and I have had periods of being very well along with periods of extreme pain, disrupting my sleep and daily living.

    Iam 45 now and have found that cortizone injections /steroid tablets make my condition worse but NSAIDS taken daily very usefull, also parecetamol when the pain is very bad, I have taken Co-codamol when the pain is very severe but the side effects of constipation where too great that I had to stop taking them.

    Taking a multi-vitamin with Probiotics helps with tiredness and stomach problems due to any side effects.

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  • Posted

    Hi, I would just like to say thank you very much for all that has taken the time to reply you have helped my portfolio alot. I am sorry to here your conditions and the psychological affects it has on most of you. I have found out from doing this topic that it seems to be only the physcial signs and symptoms that doctors and nurses are treating and that psychological feelings and relationship and lifestyles seem to be forgotten about.

    As there is no cure for this long term condition it seems to be pain management that is essential to continue with every day life.

    Thank you again for all your comments.

    Sarah

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