Snakes and ladders and cats

Snakes and ladders and cats

Hello. I haven't posted for a while so I thought I'd give you all a quick update. After changing GPs, I finally managed to get referred to rheumatology but the rheumatologist refused the referral because my blood tests showed slightly raised urate levels. Although my GP agreed with me that I didn't have gout, we still had to spend a couple of months proving our case before I could be referred again. This involved taking allopurinol and colchicine and this annoys me because both are nasty things to have to take and indeed colchicine is a toxin. The good news is second referral has been accepted and I'll finally get to see the rheumatologist at the end of this month.

Meanwhile, the pain and swelling in my fingers has increased despite diclofenac, Co-Codamol and amitriptyline. My shoulders, feet, wrists, elbows and knees are also painful and swollen at times. However, I have been signed off as fit to return to work with modified powers and duties. This isn't going as well as I had hoped but it isn't long now until I see the rheumatologist. I'll limp along, quite literally, until then.

During all of this, I have distracted myself by searching out assistive devices and clever gadgets to make life easier. One of the first things I bought was a rainbow coloured tablet dispenser. I have written about this elsewhere — search this forum for “rainbow”. Then I looked for a new knife sharpener. I'm dangerous enough as it is without having blunt knives. I found one on Amazon that sticks to the work surface by suction so you only have to use one hand. I sharpened everything I could find :-). Amazon has done quite well out of me over the last few months – that's also where I found the IMAK arthritis gloves that compress the swelling in my fingers and reduce the pain when typing.

On the subject of typing, the occupational health unit recommended that I try the Dragon dictation software. I'm still learning how to use it: in fact I'm using it now to type this. I've generally been quite impressed with it but I'm quite blown away by the fact that it knows the word diclofenac and can spell colchicine!

Last but not least, I invested in a palliative care cat. I have a lovely new furry friend called Jim who lies on my poorly hands to make them feel better. Everyone should have one.

8 Replies

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  • Hah! That should have been 'modified hours' not powers. My superpowers are still intact.

  • Grenflower, you had it right the first time!! There are a lot of gadgets and gizmos out there and we only find out about them when someone else on here has found them and blogged about them.

    We look after our neighbours cat when they go away and he is so funny,he talks at us when he wants something. It is quite hilarious at times.

    Sylvi.xx

  • Hi Greenflower - thanks for the update blog - I have been wondering how you have been getting on. Some people seem to have such a struggle just to get on a rheumy list it's extraordinary.

    3 weeks must still seem quite a way off if you are in that much pain and discomfort but hang in there. It is a good idea to take some photographs of joint swelling if you can - just in case your hands are not as obliging as you'd like when the big day arrives. I don't know much about gout although my dad had it but surely it's possible to suffer from both high urate levels AND inflammatory arthritis? Anyhow I really do hope you get some clear diagnosis and appropriate medication - if you are going to be on cytotoxic drugs then it's important that they are the right ones so I'm really hoping there will be no more time wasting and red herrings for you from now on. I have a pair of those IMAK gloves and agree they are great! Never had to get as far as Dragon software because the MTX did the job by and large. Please let us know how you get on. Tilda x

    PS lovely looking cat although my black dog Fred says "Grrr"!

  • Yes, gizmos are great. Sounds stupid but I resisted getting an electric can opener for years. Finally got to the point where I was getting too tired to cook a proper meal, but would go to get a can of beans or something like that for my dinner instead, and not be able to open it!

    For some reason I had this stupid idea that giving up and getting an electric can opener meant I was totally useless. Now I have it and have got used to it, its a lifesaver.

    Next step is to admit that I actually need to employ someone an hour or two a week to change my bed and do my floors.

  • love the cat picture i used to have a main coon she died of old age though aged 17

  • Well done on getting set up with all your gadgets. I love my fluffy, electric snuggly blanket, its got me through lots of days!! Love Axx

  • gorgeous pic, well done getting an appt. although i think you shouldn't have been fobbed off in the first place. Let us know how you get on. xx

  • Beautiful cat... the meds you have been given are the meds for gout( colchicine and allopurinol)

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