Wednesday, 8 February 2012

Cold plus arthritis equals = pain

We, like everyone else, are experiencing extremely cold conditions. This has resulted in pain, stiffness and tiredness.

The temperatures have been down to minus 20 degrees at night and minus 10 degrees in the day. The mornings have left us without water and heating although until today they have come back on. Today we have no central heating and frozen pipes. Luckily we do have a wood burner and an open fire but this is insufficient to heat the upstairs where our daughter and her family live and they are desperately trying to get the pipes unfrozen. We telephoned several heating engineers but were running out of possibilities until one man took pity on us and is coming soon.

In an effort to keep warm we are drinking cups of tea and eating stews, casseroles and curries! Luckily these are all favourites of the families. We are all wearing layers too, which helps, but doesn't help to ease the pain. I have a thick pair of walking socks I bought many years ago when I was able to go hiking and these have been doing a sterling job.

The heating engineer has been and found a valve had been fitted wrongly. He has rectified the problem and now the heating has come on! Simple and effective.

My daughter is very pleased to have the heating back as she has been trying to potty train her little boy and he was not impressed to be doing so when he felt cold!

Saturday, 4 February 2012

2012 has not started well - understatement!

After a pretty rough 2011 I had hoped 2012 would be better; how stupid could I have been?

After suffering pain in my neck area again I suddenly found it was spreading down through my left shoulder to my elbow, wrist, hand and fingers. Then I started to go numb from my fingers up.

After a particularly difficult day my husband was helping me get ready for bed and the pain was so intense I almost passed out. He got me in the car and took me to hospital. I had a scan then was put on a drip with morphine, steroids and anti inflamtories. A doctor came to see me and said I had a trapped nerve in my neck which was the problem and I need to see a neuro-surgeon.

I was transferred to a hospital nearer home the next day and for ten days was treated with morphine, anti-inflamatories, fitted with a neck collar and had my arm immobilised with straps. I came home with the collar and immobiliser plus morphine and anti-inflamatory drugs.

I saw my rheumotologist a couple of days ago and he examined me then referred me to a neuro-surgeon. He explained that, although it isn't his field, the operation could help the pain from my shoulder to fingers and the numbness but I would still experience pain in my neck. He also said the operation was risky because of where the problem lies. I understand that I need to think about the operation as any operation is intrusive and has it's risks. I have used a wheelchair for around 11years now and am used to this but I do have functioning arms and hands. I can walk albeit slowly and painfully. Having said that I would like to be better than I am now but if I had to wait a very long time before an operation it would be dreadful as I don't want to become reliant on morphine or a neck collar. I am somewhat confused and worried about things.

I have an appointment with a neuro-surgeon 14th February which is quick. The ball has started to roll and I hope they can help me as even typing this is painful and the morphine makes it hard to concentrate and think.