nurse with arthritis

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    I have been inactive for past 4 yrs. I am preparing to take a LPN refresher course in a few weeks, here. I have sarcoidosis, and it has been quiet and stabilized on meds. Of course, now my arthritis is flaring up! Anyways, I can deal with it. It is just in my knees and ankles. It is worst in the morning. And really just hurts more when I am doing steps. It is a tolerable pain, but I am looking for some suggestions on any ointments or treatments. I know when my back flares, I have used those arthritis patches, and they really help tremendously.

    It figures now that I am going to do clinical, I have arthritic flare-up. But, that is why I am taking refresher course. I already have active license, but want to take refresher for my own skills. I have only worked for about 5 1/2 yrs. as a nurse before going on disability. My long-term goal is to get into agency/HH. I will only work PT.

    So, for those with arthritis, what do you use?
  2. 11 Comments so far...

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    May I ask what kind of meds you are on for your arthritis? Do you also have RA? I am a nurse with RA and I just went off Plaquinil after two years due to the side effects. I cannot work when feeling like I'm going to pass out, throw up, or have a severe headache. I don't know how I'm going to deal with the flares once the plaq leaves my system but I figured I would cross that bridge when I get to it.
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    I am on methotrexate. I have not been diagnosed with RA, but I do have rheumatoid nodules. I really don't have the bi-lateral pain for the RA diagnosis. However, I do have the positive rheumatoid factor. I have sarcoidosis, and rheumatoid nodules are common in this disease.

    In fact, my last dr. visit my dr. asked me if I wanted to try going off mehotrexate. I told him "no". A few years ago, I had to go off d/t my liver enzymes being so high. I was not weaned off, just taken off cold turkey. I was in and out of the hosptial for the next two years. I really believe that it was d/t pulling me off the methotrexate, and at such an aggressive drop. I have improved with all of my other symptoms, but the arthritic pain is flaring at times. I did have two IV doses of Rituxan in 2006, and I believed that really helped.

    Have you tried other meds besides the plaquenil? I know that I tried Imuran once, and it made me very sick. I felt like that I had a bad case of flu after taking it for two weeks. As soon as I discontinued it, I was fine.

    I just bought a magnetic bracelet, and it seems to help.
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    I was diagnosed w/bad OA of bilat knees at the ripe old age of 28. I usually have a high level of NSAIDs on board...I joke with a few of the GI docs at work that if I'm ever hospitalized for illness, they'll probably be the first consult I get. I usually take ibuprofen 600-800mg q6 and take naproxen 500 bid as well on bad days. I'm off of them now b/c I'm scheduled for surgery next week, so of course my knees are acting up. I've been doing ace wraps PRN at work, and icing them after my shifts...I lay on my stomach to sleep and secure the ice packs to my knees to keep them from shifting around, usually they feel better when I get up.

    I keep telling coworkers that I'm in school for the long haul now b/c I want my PhD so that I can do research when my knees finally give out all the way, they think that I'm joking...
    dragonfly59 likes this.
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    I have had RA since 2001, have been on MTX since then, and have been on all the biologics (humira, orencia,remicade and now enbrel) which help for about 6-8 months then lose their punch. In two weeks i am starting a phase 3 clinical trial which will add 2 half doses of rituxan. I have had FMLA for the past 3 years, only needing to take a day here and there when my RA flares. I work in newborn nursery, which is pretty light work, my problem is opening sealed formula bottles and computer charting. I have brought in some silicone jar openers and have requested a mouse for charting on our laptops, I have areally hard time with the finger pads.
    Just wondering if any of you have been on rituxin and had any side effects?nbch:I can't tolerate any of the anti-inflammatories except voltaren gel, I have lidoderm patches I can cut up and use in my wrists and knuckles, but not when I am working because of hand hygiene. Tylenol doesn't help much, so I take half an ultram while I work.
    Last edit by kemper1974 on Jan 10, '09 : Reason: adding a line
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    I'm finding that plain aspirin works wonders. I take two in the morning and two at bedtime, and use Tylenol or a combination of ibuprofen and Tylenol for breakthrough pain. Of course, I've got to hope that my stomach will hold out under the NSAID assault, but prescription drugs cost too much, and nothing else even touches that ground-glass feeling in my hands, knees and hips.
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    I've been on Prednisone for about six weeks now,but tapering off. Also,take Mtx. And I'm praying,because I have no health insurance at the moment.
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    Quote from VivaLasViejas
    I'm finding that plain aspirin works wonders. I take two in the morning and two at bedtime, and use Tylenol or a combination of ibuprofen and Tylenol for breakthrough pain. Of course, I've got to hope that my stomach will hold out under the NSAID assault, but prescription drugs cost too much, and nothing else even touches that ground-glass feeling in my hands, knees and hips.

    First of all, I want to thank your two sons for serving our great country.

    I do want to ask you though. Have you thought about taking a DMARD for you arthritis? This combination you are taking as you know will spell disaster for your stomach at some point down the road. Can you qualify for one of the drug company discounts? I'm of the mind set these days that aggressive is good with the auto immune diseases.
    Last edit by lorster on Jan 17, '09 : Reason: change and add text
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    I have taken Celebrex, which helps, but also has side effects,so I took mine PRN. I've also taken Glucosamine Chondroitin, but it's somewhat expensive (as is the Celebrex). I also have Fibromyalgia, which really flared up recently. I use whatever helps--heat, a massager, neck pillow. I need to discuss pain control with my pcp and rheumatologist. I am on multiple meds, including Plaquenil (for Systemic Sclerosis), vascular and cardiac meds (including Warfarin), so I have to be careful what I take, due to the possible interactions.
    I wanted to mention one more thing--the One Touch Jar Opener advertised on TV is wonderful! I got mine for Christmas, but they have them @ Walmart(s). (I've got the can opener too).
  11. 0
    Quote from katrind1
    I have taken Celebrex, which helps, but also has side effects,so I took mine PRN. I've also taken Glucosamine Chondroitin, but it's somewhat expensive (as is the Celebrex). I also have Fibromyalgia, which really flared up recently. I use whatever helps--heat, a massager, neck pillow. I need to discuss pain control with my pcp and rheumatologist. I am on multiple meds, including Plaquenil (for Systemic Sclerosis), vascular and cardiac meds (including Warfarin), so I have to be careful what I take, due to the possible interactions.
    I wanted to mention one more thing--the One Touch Jar Opener advertised on TV is wonderful! I got mine for Christmas, but they have them @ Walmart(s). (I've got the can opener too).
    Thanks for your post. I diagnosed myself with FM.,(was dx'd with R.A. about 3 years ago)only recently, as I don't have health insurance at this time.I've been living off the meager proceeds of the sale of my house. Stores like Walmart,Target and Xpect discounts offer fairly good Rx. discounts. I'd prefer not taking Rx. drugs,but do what I need to do. Have you found any herbal remedies to be of any help ?


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