Friday, 24 September 2010

Thank all of you who have given me your support and best wishes, they are much appreciated. Crafty Cripple suggested that I look at Lene Andersen's blog about her experiences of living with rheumatoid arthritis. Thank you, it has really helped and I would highly recommend it to anyone else who has been diagnosed with arthritis.

One of Lene's posts which struck a particular chord with me was about living with pain. September is apparently National Pain Month in the US. She asks not only for better understanding of pain but also for pain sufferers to be more honest about what they are experiencing. Most people try to hide their pain from others and think it is weak to admit to it or talk about it. I have definitely been guilty of that. During my trips to the doctor over the last few years, due to pain in my back and left hip, I have been made to feel stupid, a time waster or simply a nuisance. As I was otherwise fit and healthy my pain was usually dismissed as a trapped nerve or a pulled muscle which would heal in a week or two. Sometimes the pain went away sometimes it didn't. After a while I just put up with the pain and survived by taking over the counter medication. Fortunately the pain was moderate so I was able to get by, until recently. Finally three months ago I had had enough. I really liked my GP and decided to talk to her about the problems I had been having and the new problem with my ankle. Instead of dismissing me as a hypochondriac or just hysterical she actually listened to me and took me seriously. It is thanks to her that I got my diagnosis earlier this week. Sadly for me (although not for her) she has just retired, but I will be eternally grateful to her for believing me and helping me do something about it.

I do realise that I am partly to blame. I should have been more assertive with my doctors. There have been a few times over the last couple of months when I have been close to tears because of the exhaustion and pain. The only person that I have been able to talk to is a friend who herself lives with chronic pain so she understands what I am experiencing. I have now resolved to me more honest about how I am feeling.

I am gradually coming to terms with my diagnosis and I have now got dates for physiotherapy and an appointment with a rheumatology specialist. I still feel guilty for putting my OH through this though. His Mother suffered from severe arthritis for most of her adult life and she unfortunately died last December from the complications of her illness. He knows only too well what to expect and I am so sorry to have to put him through this. The only positive thing is that my arthritis is fairly mild at the moment. Hopefully, with the right treatment, I can stay well most of the time with only the occasional flare up.

1 comment:

Sue said...

Hi thanks for sharing your thoughts with us, my thoughts are with you and your friends are always here if you need us, see you at Priory Beads next month Sue X