So, I have pain. Not massive oh-my-god-I-can’t-think pain, but background stuff. The kind that will wake you enough from a sleep to realise you are awake but only for a second, before you drop off again. The kind of pain you don’t need to feed painkillers to. The kind you can live with.
I decided I wanted to know why.
It has been a fairly long process. I started trying to find out a few years ago.
First I was told, tendonitis. Then inflammation, then oedema, then tendonitis again. In that time I had physio and painkillers but no one really looked at me, or my history.
Then my new Swansea doctor had a locum in, mainly because of covid. Doctors were moved around. I can’t even remember the name of the doctor but she asked if there was a family history of rheumatism.
The answer was yes… My parents have both osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.
She nodded and I was sent to a rheumatologist. Of course, with the environment being what it is, I have never met my consultant, just talked to her on the phone and communicated through letters.
On the phone she asked a lot of questions, I answered and she said she wasn’t sure what I had but I appeared to have markers for both types. She sent me for a lot of x-rays. Then I got a letter back.
I know why I’m in pain. It isn’t rheumatoid arthritis, but it is osteoarthritis. I have it in my shoulders worst, and it makes perfect sense.
What does this mean? Well, not a massive amount. It does mean no impact exercise or sports, although I have never been keen on those. I am more of a yoga, swimming girl, and guess what. My GP looked at the results and told me to shift some weight but only with a healthy diet, swimming, yoga and cycling.
I can’t ride a bike but I do have a tricycle. So, come the summer it looks like I will be out on her. (Yes, my bike is a her called Trinity).
As soon as the gyms open I will be back in the pool and doing yoga. I got a ways to go but this year seems to be a good time to make myself feel better and get a little fitter.
Yes, I am worried about developing osteoarthritis at only 45 but it is something I can live with. I can manage this.