Arthritis

For those that are new here I have arthritis. It’s osteoarthritis which means it’s the lovely bone on bone crunching arthritis not rheumatoid arthritis which is a lovely body attacking its own joints. I say lovely in a highly sarcastic way because it hurts. I can sometimes feel the bones crunching and the joint is always tight.

I discovered I had arthritis one day when I had issue picking up a coffee cup. By issues I mean I kept dropping cups, plates, pretty much everything one day after a big few weeks at work. I went to the doctor who suggested I go get some x-rays he’d been bugging me about for my hand. When I did they discovered my thumb was pretty much a crumbled mess. I went to a specialist who said I was one of the worst case of osteoarthritis he’d seen in a young persons hand. Only one worse was a 21 year old builder who had surgery asap. That day I had a shot or cortisone in my hand that made me nearly pass out and in the end it didn’t really work that well for me. I also discovered that I was no longer able to be a chef because my hand was not going to hold up to the stress, I had to give away heavy lifting at the gym. I also discovered that because I was so young they weren’t going to replace my thumb joint or fix my carpal tunnel (whole other story) until my thumb was totally unusable.

Hoo-fucking-ray right?

Now I had every idiot and his dog blamed the heavy lifting I was doing at the gym. Um, no, infact the heavy lifting gave me awesome hand grip and strong hand muscles that protected my hand for the longest time. The doctor said this type of early degeneration is more likely genetic, then heavy use at work, then other lifestyle factors (that’s the gym bit). Gym was third on the list. Again hoo-fucking-ray.

Now the thing about arthritis that no one told me until I did my research is it’s a progressive disease. Starts in one place where your joint deteriorates (in my case left thumb) and then over time the rest of your joints go to hell. I can already tell my knees are slowly going, my other fingers hurt, and my toes are no good. For someone who works on their feet all day it’s total balls. I’m considered permanently disabled by the governments disability department but not enough to receive any assistance for it.

Now I’ve tried all the creams and all the pills. My GP wont give me anything harder than panadol or a muscle relaxer for my hands. Fair really because while you can’t treat the arthritis you can treat the associated with a flare up. It also sucks because some days I could cut my damn hand off. Flare ups are not the best either. Any sort of minor upset like a change of weather, overuse or in my case banging my hand and it’s like a shot in the hand and agony. The thumb also slips around in the joint which is just fabulous and a whole other joyous part of buggered joints.

Overall the worst part of having a chronic illness like this is you can’t see it. I say “oh I have a sore hand” and people think oh her hand is a bit painful and aches. No, it feels like someone is shoving a hot poker through my thumb joint actually and no there is no real reason today why things flare. It’s not like I can just do something to fix it. It’s a management thing and that’s it.

It doesn’t stop me from getting out and doing things though. I do my beat and keep rolling because it’s all you can do.

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