Is this normal?

I work as an HCA on a children's ward 3 days a week. This week I have done 3 consecutive days......today being day 3. The last couple of days have been a struggle with my joint pain and tiredness. I woke up this morning and it's a struggle to move, I have been in bed all day. My whole body feels like a dead weight and aches. I also have my usual joint pain. I'm extremely tired and have only managed the stairs a couple of times. I have my first appointment with a rheumatologist in 6 weeks. I feel terrible!

5 Replies

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  • Some of the more common symptoms before or whilst waiting for diagnosis are flu-like symptoms & fatigue which you'll probably relate to. Perhaps a read through the NRAS site would helpful to recognise nras.org.uk - you'll probably find this page particularly relevant at the mo nras.org.uk/what-is-ra-arti...

    Be kind to yourself at this stage, not easy when you're working but you'll find you need to rest in between shifts to cope. It will get better once you have a firm diagnosis & on your treatment but it's not an immediate fix, some of your meds will take time to be effective so a little patience will be needed.

    Any other questions just ask, we're all aware how very difficult it is how big a change you're going through. :)

  • hi Rockin rose, i'm sorry to hear that your having a tough time at the moment. I was also a HCA at a children's hospital in central london, and unfortunately 6 years ago,I was diagnosed with severe RA. So, it is very normal to struggle with joint pain and tiredness whilst working long shifts back to back. i can completely sympathise with how you are feeling. it does become frustrating when flares set in, because it can leave you feeling miserable for a while, but when you go for your rheumy appointment, try and have a chat with him/her and tell them how you are feeling, as your doc is the best person to give you the right advice. Also, ask your rheumy if you ca be prescribed some pain relief, as that always seems to help me. Sometimes, flare ups can take a coupe of weeks to settle. I do hope you feel better soon. Hope this info helps. x

  • keep a diary of how you are feeling - just a few words about each day will do. It's surprising how difficult it is to remember when you are feeling better (or worse!) and helps the medical team to assess you more accurately.

  • Speak to your ward sister to request that you don't work more than 3 days together, also ask occupational health for support.

  • Sorry meant no more than 2 days together !.

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