Hello, I am new to this site. I am 54 and have had osteoarthritis since I was 48. It started in my right thumb for which I underwent a trapeziectomy, then the left thumb where the joint swelled so bad that I had to undergo a thumb fusion, I have mutliple back vertebrae affected along with my neck, shoulders (for which I receive joint injections) , my right elbow, left hip, both knees (I had an arthoscopy on the right) both hannds and fingers and both my big toes. I am currently in absolute agony which has come from a very bad flare up starting 6-months ago. I work for the NHS and have been signed off from work since May; they are now considering retiring me off due to ill-health. I panicked and thought about my mortgage which I have to pay until I am 65; I have applied for PIP and pray that it is sucessful. When my back goes into "spasm" I have to use crutches or walking stick, the problem with this is that now my hands, elbows and shoulder are so bad I canot weight bear on my crutches/walking stick. Does anyone know how I can get round this problem? And how do you cope financially if you cannot work?