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    Old 09-26-2004, 05:22 PM   #1
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    Arthritis most everywhere ???

    Hello... I have questions or at least.. I hope theres someone out there who identifies with some or all of what I am going to describe.

    I've never been a sick type person... I was always healthy, strong, active. Once I approached and then passed menopause though.. all systems went whacky!

    Heres whats going on. I have developed a dowagers hump... all bone.. not a fat pad and lost an inch in hieght in the process. My neck and upper back hurt.. pretty much all the time and xrays show cervical spondylosis in all joints, narrowing of the foraminal space. I've also developed a slight curvature in the t-spine... and lumbar spine is shot to hell with arthritis. I have arthritis in about every dang joint of my body.. shoulders, elbows, wrists, knees, ankles, hips.. with left side seeming to be worse than the right... but both knees bad.

    I've had high bp... occassionally uncontrolled for 10 years.. and now have some heart issues, like left ventricle hypertrophy and they said.. possible anterior infarction.. old.

    I'm on like 4 meds for high bp and usually either Lodine XL 500 or Celebrex 100 mg and Flexeril for the arthritis.. although sometimes have to take hydrocodone for the pain it gets so bad.

    Not sure why.. but I've been falling way too much over the last 10 years....with increasing frequency. I am tired... a lot and fall asleep at the drop of the hat. More than likely cause... I don't sleep well all the time. Get this.. I also have sleep apnea and GERD!!! And sometimes... while asleep with inhale stomach acid reflux... NOT FUN. I awaken to not being able to breathe, cause I am choking on my own stomach juices! I've been down on the floor more than a few times and husband trying to help me get clear so I can breathe.. It terrifies everyone in the house!

    oh yeah.. I am on Protonix for the GERD...and that does help. But, my husband says I wake him up gasping for breath during the night. I don't remember it.

    So, when I'm not in agony from the pain of arthritis during the night when I am supposed to sleep, I am up and down with the sleep apnea and GERD.

    btw.. I am almost 55 years old... don't look it... and am NOT ready to die or become an invalid.

    I'd like to know if there are any other people out there going through what I do. I cannot see a doctor often cause of the cost.. We have insurance, but it doesn't cover much. My meds are killing us.

    Thats enough for now.. I'll come back with questions if anyone responds.

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    Old 09-26-2004, 05:34 PM   #2
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    Re: Arthritis most everywhere ???

    You are not alone with all of your ailments. My husand has acid reflux and sleep apnea among other things. Have you tried going to the sleep clinic? They will analyze your sleep apnea and prescribe a CPAP machine taylored to your breathing needs. My husband was not able to get used to his, but he knows several people who just love theirs. Also have you tried elevating the head of your bed to reduce the acid from coming up?

    My husband has cut out coffee and that has made a world of difference in his acid reflux. It seems that anything with caffiene will make it worse. It was tough giving up the coffee after dinner, but it was worth it.

    Old 09-26-2004, 06:24 PM   #3
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    Talking Re: Arthritis most everywhere ???

    I only have coffee in the morning. I find I cannot drink much pop either...also fatty foods. NOT potato chips.. Not that I should have any of that stuff with my bp and all. I"ve cut out most meat... only a bit of turkey or chicken.. maybe some fish.. but all those only occassionally. Mostly, we eat vegetarian.. and little dairy either. Although, I have to admit.. there have been times when I forget myself.. and do a reversion back to say.. 25 when I could eat a heavy meal at night, and snack up until bedtime. Boy, do I pay for that mistake. Big nono.

    The arthritis is troublesome because there is never a joint in my body that isn't acting up at some time or other.

    I am now applying for SSDI.. because working is just out of the question. BUt, I try to remain chipper. oh yeah.. I'm on Prozac every day too.. so that helps quite a bit.

    Thanks for your response.

    Old 09-29-2004, 09:26 PM   #4
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    Re: Arthritis most everywhere ???

    Your situation almost parallels mine - down to the time frame. I am 61. I feel so badly for you, simply because I feel badly for myself. I take pain medications to help me function. I take sleep medicine to help me sleep.
    I'm not ready to give up and die yet, but the older I get, the closer I realize that I am to that point. My whole family died last year, and I prefer not to take those antidepressants/in the long run they don't work for me.

    My husband is retired, and frankly we cannot afford all those medicines. I don't take cholesterol because I have a liver condition, and it's too expensive. I chose blood pressure medicine instead. My husband did the opposite/so we each gave up a very important medicine because of the cost.
    No, I don't qualify for the Medicare/indigent type situation.

    When my husband lost his job, I didn't feel I could justify the extra expense of going to a small exercise class for people with arthritis, so I gave it up.
    I take Vioxx every 3 - 5 days if the pain reliever is not working. Hubby shares my Vioxx.

    I fall at the drop of a hat. I have had 7 fractures over the past 30 years. I use a cane when I got out of my house. Basically I live a hermit life, thus the nickname I chose. Getting old sucks!


    Old 09-30-2004, 04:11 AM   #5
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    Re: Arthritis most everywhere ???

    I sympathise. I'm younger but have psoriatic arthritis in just about every joint in my body. It started in March this year. The pain got so bad I started waking up in the night gasping for breath too, but it wasn't sleep apnea, it was hyperventilation syndrome. I bought a book on how to fix that ( thru correct breathing) and had that problem sorted in just a few days. I can feel it coming back when I have a spell of really extreme pain, but now know what to do.

    I've been on Arcoxia ( still am), then tried Sulphasalazine, and am now on Methotrexate. Now, finally, I'm getting some respite. I had been reduced to sleeping and sitting, and on heavy painkillers, and that was my life. But the Methotextrate has made a big difference, and coupled with spring weather, I'm hopeful.

    So has your doctor referred you to a rheumatologist? I hope so. You deserve the best treatment. You need to get some respite from the pain, and I'm sure when that comes, it will make the world of difference.

    Good luck!

    Old 09-30-2004, 11:27 PM   #6
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    Re: Arthritis most everywhere ???

    I can not address all of what you're going through but as a sleep lab technician I will say, get yourself a sleep study!! You need to be on a CPAP and yes it is difficult for a lot of people to get used to but stick with it because it will improve your quality of life immensely, plus by leaving your sleep apnea untreated you are putting yourself at much great risk for high blood pressure, stroke, heart disease, depression, accidents, among other things. Also know that sleep apnea and GERD are related. Most the patients I see during studies have both and once they get on a CPAP their GERD improves greatly.
    I haven't had as many tests as you have had done but yes I hurt in every joint in my body every day and I am 25. I have an appointment with a rheumatologist soon and they will either confirm my GP's diagnosis of systemic lupus or venture somewhere else. Best wishes to you and please get this help you need that will absolutely make a huge difference in your life! I hear what you describe from patients all the time!
    Best wishes!

    Old 09-30-2004, 11:35 PM   #7
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    Re: Arthritis most everywhere ???

    By the way I just re read your post and though I am not a doctor, so much of what you describe (even heart problems, clumsiness, etc...) could be related to your witnessed sleep apnea. How long have you snored regularly? Chances are you have had some degree of sleep apnea that long. Not everyone with sleep apnea has snoring but almost everyone with regular snoring has some degree of sleep apnea. CPAP works and it will be worth it, your only other real alternative is surgery and it is painful to recover from as they basically go in and remove as much of your soft palate and throat tissue as you can live without, unfortunately people find they usually have some degree of sleep apnea even after surgery and have to use CPAP anyway. I really hope you get this problem treated. I see people like you every night I work and it's so sad to see that they've had an increasing downward spiral in their quality of life when the treatment can restore their sleep and have them breathing normally again. A lot of patients see a complete reversal of their symptoms in a short time. Please let me know if you have questions... I hope so much that you find the help you need!
    Take care!!

    Last edited by UT_mom; 09-30-2004 at 11:37 PM.

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