Working, Osteoarthritis and pain killers

Hi I'm new and have been reading a lot of your posts. I have Osteoarthritis in my cervical spine which has caused disc compression, in my hands (nodes and mainly pain in thumb/wrist joints) constantly dropping things and struggle to do simplist things, the burning sensation and pain is out of this world, and in my knees along with the crumbling and grinding noises the pain is unbearable as well as my knee giving way on me, I've had physio and do exercises religiously, I can't take codine/morphine based medications as the side affects make me so sick and unable to function at all, steroids make me put on weight which I'm trying to loose not gain.

How can I try and keep a job if I can't take pain medication?

I also suffer from depression, anxiety and stress and feel like I'm going down hill, as I'm expected to just get on with things when I'm in so much agony and find it hard enough dressing myself. My doctor and consultant have said more physio and pills but I can't afford to have time off (if I can't do my job I'm a long term issue and they can't facilitate me)

Why do people think you get no pain with this or it's never that bad, Sometimes I wake up crying, numb hands and arms, exercise my knees, neck and fingers then struggle with my clothes, hurt as I walk downstairs, drop my mug or coffee pot, hobble around .... I'm only 46 and feel 100

9 Replies

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  • Hello Traceye22, So sorry to hear you are having such a bad time. I am 55 and I have Osteoarthritis which affects my cervical and lumbar spine. I have every sympathy with you as I have the same problem. I cannot take codeine / morphine pain meds because of severe side effects. I feel as though I have basically been 'left to get on with it' by the medics, although I have to say that my GP is a good listener. I am also very overweight so I get the usual, ' If you lost weight you would feel much better ' !!!! what do they say to the patients who are not overweight I wonder ??? CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy) has been a huge benefit to me, an absolute lifesaver ! I would definately recommend you give it a try, I have also found accupuncture to be very beneficial although it is,for me anyway, fairly short acting. Just take one day at a time, find different ways of doing things if you can, and if you can't, look for something completely different to try ! Gentle hugs to you.

  • Thank you, I'm trying to take one day at a time, and am looking for another job dropping to part time to enable me to cope with the pain and lack of pain medication. Just frustratrating as I'm so active and enjoy lots of things and the pain and OA has made doing some of them impossible. A new journey, I guess

  • Its so tough for you at the moment. I think the problem of the medication is that the Doctors who put you on the meds don't actually have arthritis if they did they would understand that the meds do not hit the sides of the pain. I went to a Rheumatologist I found him knowledgeable and discovered I have Osteoarthritis and Fibromyalgia. I'm on Antidepressents I also go to Counseling. I attend meditation classes and have holistic therapies when I can afford them. I had to give up work I simply could not do it anymore. I'm on an Invalidity pension and have had to accept that the employment side of my life is over. Try and join a support group it will help you feel less isolated and alone. Unfortunately when you have a chronic condition it will not go away but you will learn how best to deal with it. If I'm feeling down I listen to uplifting music or watch a comedy on tv. I hope this response is of some help to you.

    Take care

    Headwrecked

  • Thanks for your reply, I'm on antidepressants and have had so many different counselling over the years. I'm thing of taking up Tia Chi, just need to get over this pain and feeling sorry for myself, will try the comedy on tv.

  • Hi Tracey22

    I to am new to this site, but I have been looking at a few of the posts.

    Like you I to suffer with all you have along with osteoporosis in all of my bones which causes 24/7 pain +++ I am on dihydrocodeine 30mg 2x3 times a day with 100mg of paracetamol, then I take a 120mg of modified release dihydrocodeine at bedtime with 4x10mg of nortriptyline 200mg of pregabalin for all the nerve pain. I also have an understanding active thyroid so take thyroxine plus stomach problems so more tablets and last but not least I have a skin condition that gives me boils and assesses so bad I had major surgery to remove a large area of affected skin.

    I also get diazepam to stop the muscles going into spasm in my back.

    Like some of you I have had the injections in my spine, hips and shoulder.

    I pray that they will find a cure for all of these bone conditions and one day nobody will have to suffer the long sleepless nights, and the stiffness this debilitating agony brings us.

    I wish you all a bit better for the weekend.

  • Hi Tracey22

    I have an underactive thyroid.

    This phone is playing up.

  • Oh I sympathise with you, I've tried every pill under the sun and the trouble is my body will reject it if I'm put back on it, docs say I'm hypersensitive. Tried Lorazepam at night, it helped and I was able to sleep, but unable to drive my car to work and function and think straight, so had to stop taking them, vicious circles.

  • Hi I'm 52 I have athritis in spine both hips and both knees now I know how you feel . I'm in pain all the time. I take gabapentin which help the nerve endings on spine . I'm on amitripylene at night I take co codamol they don't work. I have to lie on back all night as to painful to lie on sides I work 31 hours a week which kills me . I'm struggling on I have applied for pip last November got refused it went to appeal list by 1 point so waiting on it coming back from the judge as have put in for it to be looked at again hopefully will get it so I can reduce hours my family tell me to pack it in . Don't give up keep going back to Dr that's what I have done good luck x

  • Hi Tracy. Hope your well as you can be? I've just recently found out (at the age of 47) that I have Severe Osteoarthritis of neck, which effects my shoulders/ arms & back, & now it's starting to effect my lower legs & feet. I also have the same discomfort, tingling & itching sensation, grinding in my neck & shoulders, numbness in my fingers ..... the list goes on, frustratingly. I take Gabapentin 200mg three times a day, it helps most of the time, but makes me very sleepy. I work part time, which is comfortable for me at the moment, but my employers are very understanding thank goodness. Also have a very understanding GP. Like you, I struggle with the simplest of task, getting dressed/changed, making several attempts of trying to put a t-shirt on & after several minutes have passed, shouting at myself & getting frustrated because I can't get my arm to go where I want it to go. 😠 I have good days & bad days, but when it's bad i try do as little as possible & rest, that works for me. Still trying to get used to it, & trying to come to terms in how it affects my daily life. But OA is unpredictable, it could hit severely at anytime of day for me. But trying to stay positive, & I say 'there's nothing better than a cup of tea to fix it. Metaphorically Speaking!'

    Hope you find some form of comfort to ease your pain soon.

    All the best

    Ruth

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