newly diag with OA - driving question

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dubjean
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2006
Total Posts : 38
   Posted 3/24/2006 11:54 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi all,
I was just diagnosed with OA, which seems like a good thing since the rheumy thought it was RA before all the testing and X-rays were done, and I had a question to those with finger joint pain. Does anyone else have a problem driving? Whenever I drive my hands hurt from holding the steering wheel. Any suggestions to help relieve the pain? Only 42 and hope to have many years of driving left in me..lol.
Thanks

CaMama
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Date Joined Mar 2005
Total Posts : 1884
   Posted 3/25/2006 12:37 AM (GMT -7)   
Hey Dubjean, weekends can sometimes be pretty slow around here - I'm sure you'll get a lot of responses when the new week starts. Sorry about the diagnosis, but it sounds like your doc is on top of your needs and will hopefully continue to be.
 
What meds did the doc put you on? I get rather stiff fingers too and have had trouble in the past with the steering wheel. I've had to loosen my grip, or move it around the wheel to help out at times...if it is cold, I've tried driving with isotoners on since I didn't have the grip I needed, it gave added warmth to the fingers, some support to the pain (though that can backfire on me at times), and put a little more grip on the wheel that I physcially could not give.
 
I sometimes get a funky pain in some fingers that really is irritating - sometimes a heavy dose of Motrin helps that out a little. Speaking of.....I think that bottle is calling right now and the old fingers are telling me to stop typing.

Take care. ***


 

Post Edited (CaMama) : 3/25/2006 9:12:44 AM (GMT-7)


Ducky
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Date Joined Mar 2005
Total Posts : 3199
   Posted 3/25/2006 7:23 AM (GMT -7)   
Hey Dubjean, and welcome to Healing Well... CaMama is right, try loosening your grip on the wheel, or try changing positions of where you puts your hands on the wheel. I know my fingers/hands get stiff if I stay at the 10 / 2 position too long, so I try to move them every so often... The gloves that CaMama suggested is good too... Good luck to you and let us know what meds you're on and if we can do anything for you - Duck
Diagnosed January 2005 - Psoriatic Arthritis/Spondylitis
-Currently taking 50mg shot weekly of Enbrel
Diagnosed May 1998 - Graves Disease
-Complete Thyroidectomy September 1998 - While 11 weeks pregnant
Other Complications - GERD/Scoliosis/Hiatal Hernia/Graves Disease of the Eyes
Current Meds -  Enbrel/Prevacid/Synthroid
Past Meds - Inderal/PTU/Prednisone/Voltaren/Feldene/Mobic/Cortisone and Steroid Shots


curley
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2005
Total Posts : 4305
   Posted 3/25/2006 6:20 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi amd Wlocme to HW dubjean,I have OA and my finger joimt's hurt pretty bad.Infact some of my joint's hurt so bad at times I cannot crip the stearing well.
Thanks
Curley......
a.k.a.Mela...........


dubjean
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2006
Total Posts : 38
   Posted 3/25/2006 7:24 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi everyone,
Thanks for the responses. I was taking 3 ibuprofen twice a day for the past month (prescribed) and they didn't seem to help so she prescribed 20mg piroxicam which I just started taking today. I'm hoping it helps as I work in a store and it's tough to do much of anything with hands hurting (cashiering, bagging, stocking, etc. - so far no problem counting money, though...lol), but my boss and all other employees are really good with letting me do whatever feels comfortable at the time, as long as I'm working.
I don't grip the steering wheel tightly, but I'll give the gloves a try. I bought one of those cloth covers for it to help keep my hands warm but maybe the compression from the gloves will work better.
I'm sorry you have the same problem, Mela, and hope some replies help you, too. I wish I could take a nice dose of Motrin right now, CaMama...hope it helps! Ducky..thanks for the response...just trying to think positive while knowing I'll have this problem for the rest of my life...bummer!

CaMama
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2005
Total Posts : 1884
   Posted 3/25/2006 8:44 PM (GMT -7)   

Once you get the right med combo in you, hopefully, the pain will ease up considerable and/or go away. You may still get flares, but as long as you can relief for the most part, that will make a big difference. I've found that my 'new pains' are often at their worst in the beginning - unfortunately lasting quite a few months at a minimum......I don't know if I just get used to a certain level of pain after a while and the flares make them noticable or if the pain actually does subside quite a bit (which, I think is the most of the cases) - but I do seem to have really bad pain for a while - like the problem is 'breaking in' that new joint for a while then it's just a maintenance thing. Very strange.

As you may have seen in the other post regarding hands - some people offered some good advice on what they use to soothe their hands, such as a parafin machine (which I may have to ask for as my birthday present this summer!) I've never heard of piroxicam - good luck, I hope it kicks in soon and gives you much relief!

It sounds like you are getting support at work, that is awesome. My husband has worked for a grocery store for 19 years now and it's taken quite a toll on his body. He has a few knuckles that are really awful and swollen all the time.

Take care....***


 


dubjean
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2006
Total Posts : 38
   Posted 3/25/2006 9:40 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi CaMama,
I think another name for piroxicam is feldene, if that helps. I find that I'll get flares (I thnk that's what they are) when I've worked hard the day before so I'm trying to pace myself better. I tried the parafin machine when I first started having joint pain as my daughter had bought one a couple of years ago and wasn't using it. I didn't find that it helped much, but I'll try it again and see if it makes a difference now that the pain is increasing.
It is great at work that they seem so understanding, but it's still hard because I was one of the best employees that could and would do anything that needed to be done and now I feel so useless. I'm thinking of telling them to schedule me for the middle of the day so I won't have to rush to get the morning stuff on the shelf before the store opens or stocking shelves for hours at night when the store closes. I'm doing mostly late shifts this week so I'll see how it goes.

What type of arthritis do you have and how long have you had it?

CaMama
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2005
Total Posts : 1884
   Posted 3/26/2006 12:29 AM (GMT -7)   

I have psoriatic arthritis. I was diagnoses with Juvinile Rhuematoid Arthritis (JRA) at age 11 (I'm 35 now.)  My mom said I started complaining around age 7, but it took years of doctors and testing before they figured out what was wrong. No one could figure out where I got it from. I had rubella (German measles) as a child, my guess is that is the culprit. It was suggested to me in 96/97 by a doctor that I had psoriatic arthritis, or at least rhumatoid with autoimmune disorder. The psoriatic arthritis was later confirmed by a rhuematologist in either 2000 or 2001.

Currently I'm taking Plaquenil. It is helping me a lot - I wish I didn't have flares, but what can you do?  Drugs like Feldene, Voltaren, etc., never did much for me, however NOW I do get some relief from ibprofin since a lot of my problems cause muscle and tissue pain as well.

I have issues with my immune system and was unoffically diagnosed (unofficial I say because they never did a biopsy of my liver) with autoimmune hepatitis.  Because I'm what my doctor calls immuno compromised topped with the sensitive liver, I get sick very easily and very often. I was supposed to start Enbrel a few months back, but constant illnesses have kept that on hold. Much of the severe illness issues started when I was pregnant w/my 2nd child 5 years ago and then reappeared 3 years ago after I was hospitalized for an acute case of Mono/Epstein Barr Virus that had thrown my liver enzymes off the charts and caused me to almost loose my spleen.
 
I understand the feeling of uselessness - don't let it get to you, you'll get through this. If you work days, won't that mean you'll be on a register more? Beware of doing that to yourself - the repetitive motion like that may get to you faster than normal because you are not doing well at the moment. My husband can no longer work the physcial jobs and does the register, it gets very painful - luckily, he can still do some tasks and that helps him get some relief/change during his shifts....but on the days he's strictly on the register all night, forget it, he's in a lot of pain!
 
Take care. **
 


dubjean
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2006
Total Posts : 38
   Posted 3/26/2006 4:59 PM (GMT -7)   
I'm glad you're doing better on the new meds, and I don't know about you but it's worse not knowing. It's like..just tell me what I have no matter what it is because then I have a name for this monster...lol. That must have been terrible growing up with all those aches/pains/illnesses instead of enjoying your childhood/teen years. Must be a joy and exhausting with 2 children! Mine's away at college but graduates in May so will be home to aggravate me then. Maybe I can get her to clean up after me for a change...

My position at the store is between full-time (management) and part-time (everyone else), so I work 40 hours a week and do a lot of management duties (such as money, scheduling for the day, etc.) along with cashiering, stocking. I know what you're talking about cashiering because that's about the worse thing I do. If there are enough others, then I make sure I don't do it. You are stuck in one spot, grabbing items one at a time (I use both hands) and twisting them around to scan them, then we bag everything. I'd rather grab and bag or stock..lol. I feel bad for your husband because at least I can change the schedule so I don't do it too much! I also make the guys stock the heavier items or the ones on the top shelf (as I'm short). I also refuse to work the frozen food, now because first, it's heavy, and second, my hands get sooo cold. I'm glad they like me at my job...lol!

Take care of yourself and thanks so much for the support and chat!

erin.K
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2005
Total Posts : 3148
   Posted 3/27/2006 5:16 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi DubJean and welcome to HW.
It was really interesting to read your posts as I just am getting caught up on all of them.
Awe, I know what ya mean with the hand pain.  I've RA and Crohns related arthritis as well.  From 1996 till just this past May you know what my part time job was?
CUSTOM FRAMING!  So I totally empathize the labor intesive part of the hand pain. It got so bad I couldn't even write or hold a pen anymore.
Being with a company for almost a decade brought a lot of understanding.  I wasn't physically able to "do" my job...but I dealt with all the clients in the end...no more using tools, drills, hammers, screwdrivers and all that fun stuff. tongue I miss it a lot.
Hah!...but there I went and threw myself into my passion (medicine!) and went into nursing. Can't do the standing for that neither. But I hope for a remission & I know in my heart I will have my career back & will be able to work a regular nursing shift someday.(I really wanted to go pre-med but I knew that becomming an MD would be impossible due to the arthitis problems....pulling a 24 hour shift? There are things I will accept!LOL) My stubborness didn't interfere with that decision in dropping the Dr. idea. LOL
 
To make you laugh...I don't have a car, I'm a terrible driver. So there's one arthritic off the road! LOL. I failed my driving test 3 times because I couldn't back-up you know? Couldn't turn my neck around & put my arms around the passenger head piece to go in reverse properly (or the way they want you to do it) hah!...Hey...isn't that disibility discrimination??? LOL.
take good care.
erin  
Active, Severe RA. Crohns Disease. Chiari Malformation & Right Brain venous anomoly. AS. Emphysema. Rheumatic Lung. MVP and Tricuspid prolapse. Had Lymes disease for 10 years.
Meds: Humira 40mg every 4 days; pred; Pentasa; Imuran; dilaudid; diazepam; Avinza 30mg; MiraLax & too many others.


dubjean
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2006
Total Posts : 38
   Posted 3/27/2006 10:24 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Erin,
I'm in awe of anyone who has the ambition and drive to pursue their dreams while in chronic pain. I have a friend that is a manager at one of our stores and she has lupus. When I first started having the hand pain and told my boss things I wouldn't do because of the pain I thought of her and wondered how she did it every day, while having more problems than me. I've been at my job for over 8 years now, and have seniority over everyone else there, so it helps with the understanding. The med must have started working better today because there wasn't as much pain (or it could be because I was off yesterday) and I actually had to tell them I wanted to do more than they expected of me. When I have good days, I want to do as much as I can without having a problem the next day so they won't think I'm trying to take advantage. Also, I think they'll be more understanding when I have a bad day and can't do something. Such a fine line!
It also helps that I stopped smoking at work so I don't need to go outside for those quick breaks that non-smokers find unfair. (I know...working on stopping totally..my goal is to be smoke-free by the time I see my rheumy in 6 weeks, as she's really against that, and I want to get as healthy as I can to keep the rest of my body pain-free.)

Did you just flunk your driver's tests due to backing up, or are you really a bad driver? Don't they have those really large mirrors for people with neck problems to use backing up? I think it could be a form of discrimination...unless you really suck...lol!
Stay as healthy and pain-free as possible!
Wendy

erin.K
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2005
Total Posts : 3148
   Posted 3/27/2006 10:43 PM (GMT -7)   
tongue  oh Wendy you crack me up. umh? honestly, i wouldn't say i'm THAT bad...i mean, i never killed anybody nor have been in an accident. LOL. but yeah, he failed me because i didn't/couldn't turn around and look! i was 17 at the time, so i didn't care...i got ticked off and sped home!
yeah, you'll find that with OA rest will help with pain. or say rather not using the joints all day will prevent OA pain from flaring up.
i really empathize with you.  i'm pretty much total bed rest a good 4 out of 7 days a week. not doing well & WHEN i get a good day where i can actually walk and stand for longer than 15 or 20 minutes with tolerable pain...I GO NUTS! 
Sunday was like that for me. went food shopping w/ my honey, showered, and cooked for about 3 hours and made a nice dinner. that is like EPIC activity for me. and thus today, very bad hip and hand/elbow pain.  but those days i cherish.  he says, slow down or take it easy...and i can't, because i never know when a good day will happen again! so i tell em "take advantage of me when i'm like this PLEASE!" LOL.
even when i'm on total rest...doesn't matter, same amount of mobility issues and pain day after day.
most days of the week, if i shower & get dressed that's A LOT.
i was quite an athlete...and i really think i'll be functional again. maybe not soon...but it will happen... 
so i can earn lots of money & get a car & not stink at driving! hah.
take good care.
erin
Active, Severe RA. Crohns Disease. Chiari Malformation & Right Brain venous anomoly. AS. Emphysema. Rheumatic Lung. MVP and Tricuspid prolapse. Had Lymes disease for 10 years.
Meds: Humira 40mg every 4 days; pred; Pentasa; Imuran; dilaudid; diazepam; Avinza 30mg; MiraLax & too many others.


dubjean
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2006
Total Posts : 38
   Posted 3/27/2006 11:10 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Erin,
You may be on bed rest, but it sounds like you have determination and heart and those are what matters most in the long run. Those without pain don't realize that it's worth it to do anything and everything you're capable of when you feel 'better' even if you know you'll pay for it later. You learn that if you don't then you may be in pain anyway, so why not? I lived with a guy for 9 years with Chrons so I know about that disease, too and what he went through. He finally had an ileostomy, unfortunately he decided to self-medicate with alcohol on top of everything else so I finally threw him and his bottles out...lol.
Everyone here has really helped get my problem into perspecitve. I just wish I didn't break out with acne on top of this...I feel like a mix between a teenager and a senior citizen right now!
I think you should make money, then get your license before you waste the money on a car (in case you fail again...lol.)
I hope you'll be able to take a shower tomorrow (dressing can be overrated)!
Wendy
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