Arthritis Action
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Not sure what to do next

Not sure what to do next

This is my first post even though I have been a member for some time and have studied people's posts who have similar conditions to my own.

I am 57 years and female. I was first diagnosed with osteoarthritis in my left knee in 1992 and until the last 18 months has slowly got worse. Since this time I have gone down hill fast and last year was diagnosed with Stenosis, Spondylosis and early on-set arthritis at the base of my spine.

Myself and my partner own a six room seaside guest house. Although we are very successful the profit is less than minimum wage so taking on paid help for any length of time isn't an option; especially as we have a mortgage/business loan to pay each month.

Like many people on here I am in constant pain in my knee, especially when I go from sitting/lying down to standing or standing to sitting/lying down; with the former being excruciating. I end up holding onto furniture and standing on my right leg while trying to straighten and then put weight on my left. After a minute or two the pain eases enough to walk.

I am no longer able to get into/out of the bath so am body washing at the sink and have just invested in a 2in1 shampoo so that I can lean over the bath to use the shower to wash my hair. I am struggling to get on/off the toilet, again holding onto anything near by to lower or pull myself up.

I am in pain from my knee all night and my GP has prescribed Amitriptyline 20mg to help me to sleep.

A short walk that takes most people 5-10 min takes me a painful 30 min. I am struggling to get in/out of my automatic car. I do as much shopping as much shopping as possible on-line.

My GP has tried steroid injections, morphine patches and various other pain relief. He has now prescribed me 30mg Zophine to be taken twice daily.

After struggling through cooking guests breakfasts I then have to get up to the rooms to service them and clean/make up ready for new guests to arrive. We are determine not to lower our standards as we have many loyal guests how deserve to have their expectations met when they come to stay with us.

I am often struggling and in tears before we get our work done. My partner can't take on any more. Obviously I am snapping at him far more than I realise or would like to. With regret we put the guest house on the market as we don't think that we have any option but to sell it but obviously this all takes time and guest houses take much longer to sell than most houses.

I don't mean to sound sorry for myself but if anyone has any ideas of what I should do then I would love to hear them. It's very frightening that we are trying to sell our business and home not knowing what we can do next: who will employ me in this state?

Sorry for the long post and thank you if you have stuck with me this far.

8 Replies
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Could you try being referred to an occupational therapist to be assessed for some equipment to make your life easier? Such things as grab bars or a frame with handles to fit around the toilet so you could push up into a standing position. Perhaps having an over the bath shower might help. It might be worth a try approaching your GP for this type of help. Age UK or Independent Age Might also be able to help. You don't have to be pension age to ask.

independentage.org.uk ageuk.org.uk

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The physio went through some equipment that she could give me but other than a walking stick there wasn't much else, but thank you for you suggestion I will speak to an OT friend of mine to see what she can come up with. Our shower is over the bath but I can no longer lift my leg high enough to get in/out.

Thank you again for your suggestion.

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So sorry to hear of your problems you are so similar to me with your problems I managed to finish work and retire at 60 years which was lucky for me I also have the back problems and have it in both feet now. Surely your doctor could get your knee operated on? I had mine done it's not the same and cannot bend it properly but at least it's one pain less. It won't cure your other problems but it sounds like the worst one, good luck to you

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Apparently I am too young, over weight and wearing the wrong coloured knickers for an operation yet; only joking about the knickers. In the last two years I have gone from a size 32 to 20 in my clothing. I don't weigh myself or I can focus on nothing else and end up on the scales several time a day and end up eating more and more, so find trying to forget it and going by how my clothes feel is more beneficial to me.

Thank you. I would like the operation now although it terrifies me I can't carry on like this.

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It's great to hear you're still trying to work despite the pain. Have you considered offering self catering so you won't have to cook. Taking some pressure off you ? Yes, you will still have rooms to sort, linen to wash. It's quite emotional having to sell up, after all it is your home. Advertise far and wide with fingers crossed - you never know. Your health and partner must come 1st. Would you not qualify for any knee replacements. Have they at least been x-rayed to see what options you have ?

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Thank you for your response yes we have thought about doing as you suggested but the cost of the conversion is so great that the better option is to sell. We wouldn't be able to get a loan for the amount and as we are award winning (10 last year alone) we hope that it will sell and leave us with enough money to buy a small house and then hope that I can work part-time at something to pay the bills.

Thank you for taking the time to try to help.

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Hi,

Could you try hyaluronic acid injections? These are standard practice in France (and probably elsewhere) but only available privately in the UK, as far as I know. One of these should last up to a year and, for me, got rid of pain and allowed more mobility. For me it was money well spent.

Best wishes

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I hadn't heard of this so turned to Dr Google and it sounds very interesting. It has to be at least two years since I last had an x-ray and I have had several falls since then. I am literally getting worse every week at the moment so I think that I speak to my doctor to see if he will give me some more information and maybe recommend a specialist to see how much it would cost, etc.

Thank you for your advise.

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