Reflections from an Arthritis Sufferer
You’re not alone in this.
Around the world, others who suffer from arthritis have the same frustrations and go through similar challenges. And so we’ve reached out to our growing community and asked them to share their own inspiring stories. Read on below for one follower’s emotional account of what it’s like to struggle with chronic pain.
Hi guys, Dr. Arthritis approached me to write a small piece about my experience of suffering with joint pain. I have never done anything like this before, but hey, there’s a first time for everything so please bear with me.
This year, I turn 59 years old. However, my problems started 5 years ago with pain in my knees. At first it was just pain and I could tolerate it (I have a good pain threshold) and it did not interfere with activities of daily living. But as many of you are aware, these things worsen.
Initially, I was going up and down to the doctor and after a year of to-ing and fro-ing, I finally got an MR Arthrogram scan. The results showed a tear in some of the tissue in both my knees. They fixed the tear and cleaned up the joints, but the problem did not go away.
After months and months of waiting, the doctor finally agreed to go ahead with a knee replacement. Again, after another delay, I had one knee replaced in October 2016. But the operation didn’t go too well. Following another scan, my consultant said there were still problems and that I had to be referred on to someone else. Additionally, my other knee was getting more and more painful. And because I was limping when walking, my back had also started to suffer. I am still waiting for the appointment…
The stress during this time has been immense and led to a small stroke last September. Fortunately, this is okay now. It’s easy to tell family members how painful it is but it’s hard to understand if you don’t suffer from it. I sometimes think that everyone is getting fed up with me especially as I am so up and down because of it. I now tend to keep a lot to myself.
Sadly, painkillers don’t agree with me. [I] have tried endless creams which have not worked. Even got to the stage where I tried cannabis oil (not addictive for pain)–but again, it was no good. Lots of money was spent looking for relief but nothing seemed to benefit me. My biggest problem is the lack of sleep. I force myself to stay awake for 15 to 20 hours sometimes just so that once a week I can have 3 hours of continuous sleep without being woken up by the sheer pain.
I’ve had to reduce my working hours to 2 days a week and now only work 6 hours at a time. I find it very painful to go to work but I love my job and really don’t want to give it up. I feel if do this I am just losing more of my life. It does get to me when people stare and ask what’s wrong. I am not old.
Looking to the future, I am desperate for it not to get any worse. I feel like kicking and hitting my head against a wall sometimes. I just feel so frustrated and I am aware that I am losing my happy and positive personality. I have a lot of negative thoughts but I don’t know exactly how to express these in words for you.
I don’t ever wish to depend on my family for care. If it ever comes down to this, I don’t know how I’m going to cope. I am not a person who wants to be looked after, but some days I do feel that my life has been taken out of my control. I now find it difficult to even go out to the shops. I do grit my teeth and force myself to go to work as this is the only way I have maintained my sanity.
Thank you for taking the time to read this. I hope this gives you insight into what this disease is like for me and I hope it may give you some benefit or a feeling that you are not alone. Feel free to share it with anyone you think it might be useful for.