Cost of having RA

I went for my routine eye test yesterday at Vision Express and yes you have guessed I need new glasses. I always had perfect eye sight till I got RA and now I need glasses for reading. I had my first pair just before diagnosis and now they need changing again. I had really good chat to optometrist about RA and gritty eyes, and blood vessels breaking in my eyes etc. She gave me a thorough examination with photos etc and confirmed that there is nothing sinister going on, just that the inflammation is putting more pressure on my eyes - she has encouraged me to wear the glasses more often to prevent my sight deteriorating as rapidly as it is currently - so varifocal (so I can mark college work whilst watching TV or keeping eye on my class) with antiglare coating (due to light sensitivity due to RA) and eye drops that I was later told could be prescribed by GP.

How is it that one little diagnosis means so much extra expense (to health and pocket) - new glasses so I can see, new shoes so I can walk without causing more damage, bus fares to get around as cant walk as far, extra health insurance just in case, prescriptions each month etc etc and no extra help from government because I am still struggling into work each week and they say that I will be "normal" once meds kick in....

Rant over, sun is shining (oh yeah I cant go sit in that for too long due to vasculitis and sun sensitivity due to MTX) - Im going out to sit in it anyway... excuse is I need the Vit D.. worry bout the affects later, for now I need some sunshine on my joints.

12 Replies

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  • What a great Rant! I found this cos I really needed a cleaner as I couldn't do it, OH at work, daughter , doing exams, so I claimed and got DLA which helps cover the cost. I resisted for a long time due to be too proud but my friends said you are entitled to help, go ask for it.

    Don't know if you have an but if not maybe now is the time to try? Xxxx

  • I did apply for dla last year when I was in more pain but got turned down as they said I could make myself a meal and walk a bit so I have given up on government funding as it sounds like they r getting even tougher with the new benefits.

    My rheumatoligist just says you will b back to normal once we get medication right so with that reference I dont stand a chance at claiming support. So pleased to hear u have managed to get help (just hope it doesn't mean ur in more pain etc as wouldn't wish that on anyone ).

  • Well unfortunately I still can't walk well and have a lot of trouble holding things so roll on the drugs working like ur Rheumy said! Xx

  • Found this very interesting,as I'm still quite new to this. I've had very gritty eyes & burst blood vessels but hadn't put it down to RA. I've learnt more on here than anywhere else. I sat out in the sun on Monday & burnt which I never have before,I'll have to be more careful but like you I'm not going to stay in! Take care x

  • The costs are crippling me! Yesterday's hospital visit cost me £30 for the bus and prescriptions, it had to come out of my overdraft which I have no hope of paying off as I lost my job and don't feel well enough to work now. My only pair of shoes that fit are worn out on the soles, I have no money for new ones, even from a charity shop. I'd love to sit outside in the sun but don't even have a chair to sit on! I tried for DLA but got turned down. I know we have the NHS which is great but all the little extras that need money spending on them are almost impossible. (And try feeding two adults on special diets for £50 a week, not easy).

    Rant over :-D

    xxx

    PS Dry/sore/gritty eyes can absolutely be part of RA, I was referred to an opthamologist with my dry eyes, grittiness/dryness can mean the eye is being damaged so don't ignore it!

  • So sorry to hear how tough u r having things. I feel what started as a ratty rant has hit some very sore spots.

    I get my new specs on thursday and if they dont help ease my eyes I will chsse my gp further. Thanks for your feedback

  • I know I shouldn't be - but I am actually quite glad that I have an underactive thyroid. This means that I do not have to pay for prescriptions - even the drugs that are not related to thyroid. I have a very small works pension and widows pension and could not possibly pay for all the drugs I take now. I have 10 lots of medicine (all prescription) each month. My pension isn't enough for a decent standard of living, but disqualifies me (so it appears) for any help from the Gov. With regards eyes - I found that drops made them worse so my GP now prescribes gel which coats the eyes and I find this is much better than drops. It is called lumecare. x

  • do you not qualify for a disabled bus pass? i applied through social services and got one because i can't walk far now either - its worth a try

  • Thanks for your blog so know were your coming from. Yes it is very costly to be sick, I now do pre paid script £10.40 for 10 months. That really helps as i have 3/4 things each month.

    When i applied for DLA was told you are able to work. I now have cut the self employment down. Was doing 5/6 mornings now 3/4 well i am going to start. From next month. As i also work for a shop thats mon to fri at least now they have given me a chair. Which has made a big difference.xxx

  • I too pay the monthly prepayment rather than pay for each script as I simply wouldnt b able to afford them. I work 3 days a week as a college lecturer and that went against me with any financial support I request. Sometimes when I feel too tired to keep fighting I feel like throwing in the towel with work. But I have some great students who make work so worthwhile and they remind me why I keep fighting.

  • Is it possible for you to apply locally just for a mobillity bus pass,I was able to and it does save money going to various appointments,just need a form from local transport office to take to doctor to signand a visit to council office to counter sign and then hopefully sit back and wait for pass.

  • I did look it up with my local council and the blue badge scheme but my council dont seem to give either badge or pass unless u get higher dla award. But might b worth checking with citiens advice when I get bit more time in the summer. Thanks for this sdvice I will look into it soon.

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