The Joys of Medication – copycat post!

June 22, 2009 at 8:48 pm | Posted in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) | 1 Comment
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This post on the ‘Rheumatoid Arthritis and Me’ blog just about says everything I’ve been trying to say regarding my feelings about medication! So instead of saying it, I’ll just post a link. Here it is. Enjoy!

Wheelchairs – the pros and cons

July 16, 2008 at 8:21 pm | Posted in Me, rheumatoid arthritis (RA) | 1 Comment
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Well I jumped the big hurdle today – metaphorically of course as I can hardly walk, let alone hurdle – I went out and about in a wheelchair for the first time. I hope it’s also the last, but it’s another psychological barrier crossed anyway!

The cons that I was anticipating mostly didn’t happen – no adverse comments from anyone, not even the woman who looked at me a little oddly when she saw me get out of the chair and walk down some stairs while hubby pushed the chair down a nearby slope. (If he’d tried pushing me down it we’d all have ended up in a heap at the bottom!) I’m sure she was thinking, ‘What a fraud. She doesn’t need a chair. She can walk!’ but at least she didn’t say anything. Hubby bore up manfully under the strain of manhandling the manual wheelchair … and said he rather enjoyed having a chance to push me about as it’s usually the other way around. I can’t think what he means!

Comfort? Well, we were going round a ‘stately home’, Somerleyton in Suffolk, who kindly provide wheelchairs for those that need them – basic models for sure, but considerably more comfortable than trying to walk in the state I was in. Although it didn’t look ‘well sprung’ the chair did go over various large stones and things without jarring much.

The one con that I hadn’t foreseen, which shows considerable stupidity on my part I fear, is how restrictive it was. Even though I was lucky in that I could at least get up and walk down stairs etc. getting in and out of the thing was not easy, so my usual pottering about, taking closeup photos etc. just didn’t happen this time. It was fun getting photos from a slightly different eye-line than normal though! However, I also discovered that without telepathy it’s quite hard to communicate with the person pushing – not easy for him to hear me apart from anything else. So I’d say ‘ooh, can we stop here?’ and by the time he’d said, ‘Sorry? What?’ and I’d said, ‘I was just wondering if we could STOP here?’ we’d gone quite a way further down the path than I’d had in mind and the ‘photo-opportunity’ was missed.

Still, all in all a very positive experience (on my part anyway, although poor hubby is slightly exhausted this evening), and best of all … no one could see the size of my bum.

I’m glad I don’t have to queue for the GP tomorrow – but that’s about all!

July 14, 2008 at 7:30 pm | Posted in Me, rheumatoid arthritis (RA) | Leave a comment
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I’ve had a frustrating morning – can hardly lift my left leg at the moment and both knees very painful, and so I phoned the rheumatology helpline at the hospital and explained the problem. My nurse actually answered the phone. Oh good, I thought. She didn’t remember me … but I can’t blame her for that as we’ve only met once. It’s still good because if someone else answers they say ‘Oh you need to speak to Jean and she’s in clinic…’ , so at least I jumped that hoop.

Told her the problem. ‘What do we normally do about your knees, Penguin?’ she says. Well that’s helpful.

‘Well since I only got a diagnosis in April and this hasn’t happened before, not a clue!’

‘Oh, well if it’s specific joints we usually inject them with steroids’ …lovely, ‘and local anesthetic’. Presumably to numb the pain from having the injection, rather than the pain I’ve already got. Oh joy!

Hmm, in my naivety I’d been anticipating more of a tea and sympathy approach followed by something like ‘try a support bandage’ or ‘have a hot bath’ … guess I have a lot to learn about RA!

The nurse continued, ‘But you need to see your GP first to confirm it’s to do with the arthritis. I’d be surprised if it wasn’t.’

‘I’d be bloody surprised if it wasn’t … what else is it going to be?!’

‘Well quite, but as I can’t see them we do need to get someone to have a look …’

Thinks – I can look, I have a brain too, and guess what, my knees are all swollen and I can lift the left one. But no, that’s not good enough.

‘Well it won’t be today, because if you don’t get in at 8.30am they won’t see you on the day,’ I says.

Oh well she says, full of NHS optimism, ‘Phone and see if they have a cancellation.’

They did – tomorrow. So I’ve taken that.

I suppose I can be glad about the fact I don’t have to queue up at 8.30 tomorrow morning to get an appointment, only to have to come back at 9.30 to have the appointment, considering how ‘interesting’ standing in line is at the moment – almost as much fun as going up stairs.

I didn’t dare ask how many weeks it would be before I got into the day unit even if the GP did confirm it – or how many weeks it would be for the GP to even write a referral letter.

Maybe I just need to burst in to tears at the GP tomorrow to get something done. Shouldn’t be hard the way I’m feeling.

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