Hot, red, painful.....and making me generally miserable 😢

Hello, apologies in advance for a long waffling post...

I posted 4/5 months ago when newly diagnosed with inflammatory arthritis but have been plodding on, popping sulfasalazine & nsaids since- reading from the sidelines and waiting for improvement ....

I have been eagerly waiting my 3month review but the letter just never seemed to be coming, finally after much phoning, reception says I was missed off in error but can book me in for the end of the month.

Everything is kinda getting on top of me, I think having an appointment coming soon allows you to get by until that day, then I could get some answers/new med whatever, but, after getting by for so long I almost feel I may not manage to hold out, but I don't know what to do.

This past few weeks things have got progressively worse, generally all over but mainly in my right wrist, it is burning hot, red and very painful. My GP doesn't want to intervene and simply said to wait until I see the rheumatologist at end of month and offered to sign me off work until then, then asked if there was anything else she could help me with....

I declined the "sick note" and left as I am just as sore at work, as i am at home, so may as well be getting paid for the pleasure 😔

Feeling really deflated and at a loss, but mainly concerned as my wrist is so hot, with a notable patch of scarlet skin over what appears to be a hard boney, tender lump that appeared on the back of my hand a few weeks ago.

What would your next steps be?!

-💕 from A frustrated Triple07


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12 Replies

  • Suggest a call to NRAS helpline, for advice and reassurance. Hope you feel better soon.

  • You could strap the wrist to help with the pain darling. I would also ring the rheumy again as it is their mistake not yours so even if you have to cry over the phone (which i think will be easy by what your saying) to let them know how bad you are. I know they have emergancy appts available so keep on pushing. Gentle hugs darling.xxxxxxxxxxx

  • I agree with the above post as I have done lots of reading about early treatment for RD and the one constant seems to be that the best outcomes are from aggressive treatment as soon as possible. It is therefore justified in my view to really push for an appointment urgently. In my own case my GP managed to get me one very quickly so that may be the best way for you to go. Also certainly worth contacting the NRAS helpline as well.

  • Take a photo of it now (essential to show the rheumy team), write down when it started and how much pain it is causing (scale 0-10 with the 10 being the worst?) by the end of the month it may well have gone down again. This happens and has happened a lot to me without too many long term problems. Not to worry too much but it does mean that you are undertreated.

  • Whilst this doesn't relate to a wrist, it sounds similar ... I had a hot, red, extremely painful (couldn't weight bear), burning ankle joint after Christmas, one locum GP suggested gout or phlebitis. It didn't heal up, saw another locum GP, she thought suspected DVT or joint infection and sent me to A&E! In A&E, they ruled out DVT, couldn't get hold of a Rheumatologist despite phoning and bleeping the on-call dr. for 4 hours, ended up seeing an orthopaedic doctor who suggested it was the start of cellulitis, but to come back if the redness and swelling spread up my leg! Came home from A&E none the wiser, no dx & no treatment but thankfully within a week it was improved. Hope your wrist improves too.

  • Also you can try some K-T tape (Kenesiology Tape). It helps me with my knees and wrists when they get hot and sore. Just don't put any oil or lotion on your skin before using the tape as it will stick to your skin.

    You can try some Voltaren Gel but it requires a script. Try icing it for a while, and if you have some essential oils, try mixing some coconut oil with peppermint, lavender, rosemary, and / or frankincense. You can use one or all if you have them. They don't last as long as say the Voltaren, but they work very fast and are non-toxic.. Good luck with that

  • If voltaren gel is the same as voltarol gel (diclofenac emugel) it's available OTC in the uk. I use it on my hands / wrists as I'm trying to avoid oral NSAIDs, and it does help a little. You can get a 12 hour version so don't have to reapply it constantly.

  • Ah - There you go - Here is it strictly via script. I do like it occasionally..

  • I wonder what the rationale is for that, not like you're gonna snort it for a laugh or OD on it!?

    I've only been using it for a couple of weeks and would say it does help a little, not as effective (for me) as oral diclofenac but fewer side-effects.

  • I know, right??? Silly.

  • If you are only on nsaids you can meantime take other pain relief, paracetamol and if it agrees with you take codeine? Totally sympathise with you - i have dragged myself to work at my worst as being home wont help. Also if you are taking oral nsaids dont use voltarol gel - it is still absorbed as a drug and could cause problems with your rrnal function

    Heat and/or cold packs are worth a try and steeping your lower arm in a basin of warm/hot water with epsom salts.

    Dont you have a rheum nurse? X

  • Thank you all so much for the replies, was feeling so frustrated.

    I phoned my rheumatology clinic and the receptionist kindly passed on to the consultant how things were. She says she will review me at my appointment on 24th March, and I could see my gp meantime if I needed to be off work until then 🤷🏻‍♀️

    No further forward really

    I wear a wrist splint anyway and have been alternating between ice and heat but will take the other suggestions on board too, thank you all for taking the time to reply, hopefully it will die down soon xx

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