Tag Archives: arthritis

Whining Wednesday – Again

I had a letter from the hospital last week. In all the excitement I forgot to tell you. I now have two sorts of arthritis and two joints I’d never heard of before.

I have osteoarthritis, which I already knew without the help of a highly trained medical professional. I also have psoriatic arthritis. This adds a few symptoms (it is apparently the one that makes my fingers swell up) and is a pain to spell. This, as I think I’ve already mentioned, is particularly annoying as, due to a previous poor diagnosis, I’ve only just mastered the spelling of eczema.

There are a number of things I can do to help myself – according to the internet if I lose weight, cut down on fatty foods and sugar and eat more fish and fresh veg this will do me good.

At the moment I’m trying to think of anything that isn’t improved by following this advice. Unless you are allergic to fish and fresh veg this is general purpose dietary advice. It’s as useful as saying that if you want to live a long time you should breathe in, breathe out and remember to wake up every morning.

Incidentally, there’s a link on the internet telling you about the five foods to avoid if you have arthritis. Unfortunately it’s a film and they tell you what the foods are without showing you. This is no use to a  a man with no sound on his computer.

To add to my misery my computer has just started in that mode where it overwrites good stuff if you go back to edit. I forget what it’s called, and even worse, I don’t know how to switch it off.

We went for breakfast this morning. Julia paid. As I’m giving up my day off to act as her taxi driver while she supervises the fitting of a new sheet on the polytunnel, I think this is fair. It hasn’t improved my temper or my views on organisations that can’t organise relief staff, but at least I’m not hungry. After leaving the all I could eat breakfast before I filled myself to the earlobes I am in a good place – comfortably full with a warm glow that comes from having had value for money.

However, this doesn’t mean I’ve forgiven her.

It does mean that I had a good laugh with my food. A family arrived just as I was putting my crumpets through the toaster a second time. They immediately started getting in the way, though I was intrigued to find that the father, who had a lisp, called his son “son” at every opportunity. It’s good to see a man who faces up to a challenge and doesn’t let a speech impediment restrict his behaviour. On the other hand, I did wonder if they could have chosen a better name – it seems the kid is called Zachary.

And that’s not all. They made a big thing about being vegetarian, even down to asking if the vegan sausages were OK for vegetarians. I know vegans have to check if vegetarian food is OK for them but I’ve never heard an enquiry the other way. I started to harbour suspicions about the vegetarian credentials, and intelligence, of this family.

Then we got onto nuts. Was the breakfast suitable to sufferers of nut allergies. The answer was that the breakfast cereals may have had contact with nuts in the factory.

“Oh, that’s alright, a trace doesn’t matter.”

Now, correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t an allergy, an actual allergy rather than a fashion accessory allergy, life threatening and triggered by even a trace of the substance in question? I knew a bloke who was allergic to fish. He kissed his girlfriend after she had eaten fish several hours previously and ended up in hospital. That’s an allergy.

When you interrogate the serving staff about allergens and then say a trace doesn’t matter you are actually proving you don’t have an allergy, just a love of hearing your own voice. (As an aside here, I always try never to irritate anyone who will be alone with my food. I think this is a good policy.)

I’ll finish this subject here, as the next 200 words don’t really add much, apart from a heap of abuse about a woman seeking attention.

I’ll finish the post with my new joints. They were listed as SI joints, I’ve heard of SI Units and CV joints, but never SI joints. Turns out they are sacroiliac joints. I don’t really see the point of them, apart from holding my hips and back in place, which I’m sure could be done without extra joints, but, having read about them, I am now quite concerned. Fortunately, mine seem in good shape at the moment.

That’s the trouble with doctors, the more you see them , the more things get looked at until, eventually, you end up with a new problem. Since finding out I had sacroiliac joints I have had them in my thoughts every day.

Gold Medallion - Richard the Lionheart

Gold Medallion – Richard the Lionheart

 

The gold medallions are part of a series from the Cook Islands. They are 11mm in diameter and weigh half a gram.

When these Kings lived they didn’t know that the Cook Islands existed, but that doesn’t stop the Cook Islands and their relentless drive to make money from the international trade in over-priced numismatic items.

I’m sure these coins are all sold out, but have a look if you want to see the depths to which the coin trade has sunk. We had some, but I’m glad to say we sold them before I started work in the shop.

A Packed Day

I am writing this on a computer that has, according to the date of the last file I saved, not run since 2012. It has been switched off so long that we had to reset the clock before Google would allow us access. And, to even get to that point, we had to find the yellow cable that connects it to the router, as it has no wireless capability.

It runs on Vista and Microsoft Word 2010 and is a pleasure to use after so many weeks on the netbook.

The netbook was a mixed blessing, but it kept me going and I have been very grateful for it, despite my more than occasional criticism of its lack of speed.

All I need to do is wipe away six year’s supply of dust and spider webs, and it will be almost as good as new.

I say “almost” because there is the question of the On/Off switch.

There isn’t one. It broke and for the last six months of its active life I had to start the computer by hotwiring it, or, for those of you unaccustomed to the vernacular of the street (well, the 1970s street) touching two bare wires together.

It works, and more important, it cost nothing to do. These are two factors that are close to my heart.

That’s probably the biggest news of the day, though my three-centre medical excursion seemed big until we got the computer running.

It started with a visit to the doctor at 8.00 to discuss the pain in my little finger. At this point I’d like to say, because I have difficulty getting this point over to the medical profession, that although I don’t like to complain it is very difficult having an arthritic little finger. It doesn’t seem like much but it can be remarkably painful and it makes everyday life (like tucking my shirt in, packing parcels or washing up) painful and difficult, though the washing up water is very soothing.

So far it’s taken me a week to get the X-ray appointment, ten days to get the results and ten days to get this appointment (that could have been a week, but it would have meant missing work, and I don’t want that).

So are they going to give me anti-inflammatories, you ask, or an injection, or even a new wonder drug?

No.

The X-ray, I’m told is not typical of osteo-artritis so they need to find out exactly what is happening. Two arthritic fingers, two different types of arthritis. What are the chances of that? I can’t win a lottery, but when it comes to medical curiosities I lead the field. Having said that, I just looked up the different sorts of arthritis and am feeling slightly less blase about it now.

They sent me for blood tests. Eight blood tests. That’s nearly an armful. (I put that bit in for you Derrick).

After the blood tests I went for my 9.30 chest X-ray appointment.

In a week or so the results will be in.

At that point, you ask, will they give me anti-inflammatories, or an injection, or even a new wonder drug?

No.

At that point they are going to get me an appointment with a specialist.

If this carries on much longer I may have to resort to drastic measures.

We went for a drive in Derbyshire after the excitement of the morning and ended up buying raw milk from a farm. I’ve been meaning to get some for a while to see if it has any effect on my health.

When we got home we found a Painted Lady on the front garden, which gives me an opportunity to re-use the pictures I took earlier in the year.

We had more poppies too.

 

WordPress is a lot easier on a proper computer.

Mustn’t Grumble…

I really am being spoiled this weekend, with another yet another relaxing day.

It hasn’t all been plain sailing – it never is though, is it?

My arthritis flared up a few days ago. I now have it in three fingers, two on the right hand and one on the left. After a couple of days aching it was so bad yesterday that I could barely use my hands. Typing was OK and I could handle a knife and fork (carefully) but writing, for instance, was nearly impossible and the aches were spreading up my arms. Finally I gave in took paracetemol, and when that did nothing, tried ibruprofen. I’m not supposed to have that but I’m not sure why.

It didn’t seem to cause any problems, but then it didn’t do much to kill the pain either. This morning the pain was still bad and dressing was difficult. Then, as the morning advanced, the pain disappeared. It’s now disappeared entirely, leaving just a couple of stiff knuckles.

I’ve been racking my brains for any clue as to what could have set it off. I’ve done nothing strenuous with my hands, not changed my diet and haven’t a clue what could have set it off.

Anyway, not to grumble.

I’m going to have to do some research on this because if it comes back I’ve decided to go to the doctor. It was that bad…

The only thing I’ve had that I don’t generally have kefir, and that’s supposed to be good for you. It’s even good for arthritis according to this article. I’m mystified.

To be honest, I spend most of my life mystified so that’s no surprise.

Just a Quick Post

We’ve just had the traditional turkey stew with dumplings. Julia made it while I was asleep in front of the TV. A good wife truly does have a price above rubies. After that we had Christmas pudding – we’ve been pacing ourselves.

Today in the shop we had quite a few customers plus a dozen parcels to send out, so it was busy enough to prevent boredom but not busy enough to be frantic.

All three of us ended up serving several times, which is a sign of reasonable customer throughput.

We also bought a collection of coins and medallions and some sovereigns, so it was lively in both directions.

I’m off to take Number Two Son to work in a minute and won’t have a lot of time when I get back (at about 11.15) so, having snoozed and eaten my way through the evening, I’m posting this quickly to keep up with the posting challenge.

I think this is day 82 of the posting challenge as I started it a few days before the haiku challenge.

Finally, for now, I’m suffering from my arthritic finger again. After following Tootlepedal’s advice to pull it and wiggle it I can report that it is considerably improved, despite the counter-intuitive nature of the treatment.

That’s all for now. See you later.

A Small but Welcome Improvement (Part 2)

The title isn’t entirely true. This part is about all the bits of yesterday that weren’t welcome, and weren’t improvements.

When I first woke yesterday I was aware of a cold stiff finger. Fortunately it was mine, otherwise this could have been a very strange post. The little finger of my left hand is now following the ring finger of my right hand into arthritis.

I’m not sure whether it’s good to spread the load between hands or not.

Two hands with inconvenient fingers, or one hand with two inconvenient fingers?

 The third arthritic finger is likely to be the little finger of my right hand (it does get a bit cold and stiff at times) so the situation is likely to deteriorate soon anyway.

I doubled up my dose of turmeric, applied a pain-killing gel and cursed old age. There’s not much else you can do, apart from staying positive and, despite all my efforts, this isn’t really one of my strengths.

I am more Dylan Thomas than Pollyanna.

After the brief ray of sunshine that was my visit to the dentist, I arrived at the shop with two minutes to go. I hate being late, even by arrangement, so this was good.

Then I started entering more soul-destroying stock onto eBay. Every one I do is one more step towards my wages, and one more step towards becoming cold and empty inside…

And having come full circle, in a distinctly literary manner, I will leave you all, facing the cold, bleak, dead, stiffness of my existence.

Yes, that positivity stuff definitely isn’t working.

Ageing Bit by Bit

I was tempted to title the blog Stiff Little Fingers. This would be accurate as far as my arthritis goes, but might raise false hopes in the hearts of ageing punks. I added the link as it’s one of those words that can cause confusion when written by an Englishman and read by an American.

What happened to suggest the title was that I went to bed last night, slept reasonably well and woke up with a little finger that wouldn’t bend. It’s ached for years, and often seems rather cold compared to the other fingers on that hand, but so does the little finger on my other hand.

I now have a ring finger on the right hand that is arthritic and a little finger on the left hand that looks like it’s starting to go.

It freed up while I was at work (sorting junk postcards this morning) though it returned in the afternoon when I drove to Grantham (I only did a half day in the shop today).

So, it started with one finger (I would link to that post but can’t even hazard a guess where it is), moved on to a knee and is now colonising another finger. At this rate I have about twenty years before all my fingers are useless. (Though if my calculations are accurate I will spend my late 70s only able to type slowly and operate doorbells).

As I’ve said before, I’d have taken more care of my body if I’d realised how long I was going to need it.

Having a few days off

Yesterday I fell asleep instead of posting.

Tonight, after 12 hours helping bottle jerk seasoning I feel like my body is about to fall apart. From my bad back to my arthritic fingers I am a total wreck.

After a couple of hours my back started to seize. After six hours my knee went, closely followed by feet. After ten hours my fingers started failing. Then, after eleven hours, I lost the will to live.

I’m going to sleep now, and will see if I can do better tomorrow.

🙂