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Rebecca Barnard

2016-06-09 10:19

Bev's Story

Hi, I'm Bev. I'm 46 years young, originally from West Yorkshire, but now live in Lancashire, Ribble Valley, with my partner Martin.

I was diagnosed with osteoarthritis 3 years ago. I've known since my early thirties I had arthritis in both my hips, and have been dealing with this pain since my late twenties. When it got to a point where it was hard to stand some days I decided to visit my doctor and was sent for x-rays. It came back as severe osteoarthritis.

3 years ago I started working with my partner in his restaurants. It was only supposed to be a temporary thing, but I'm still here now. I would say a year in I started to get what I thought was really stiff back pain. It got to the point where I was struggling to get up and move around and was experiencing sleepless nights, and then one day my back just went. I was in lots of pain: I had numbness in my right arm and leg, and pins and needles in my fingers.

The doctor did some visual tests and informed me I would be sent for an MRI scan as he was concerned I may have ME (Myalgic Encephalomyelitis: a range of neurological symptoms and signs, muscle pain with intense physical or mental exhaustion, relapses, and specific cognitive disabilities)!

Sometime later the tests came back and I was told I had osteoarthritis throughout my entire spine and neck, with several bulging discs that were pressing on my spinal cord (hence the numbness). I was passed from surgeon to doctor to physio, but no one seemed to be getting anywhere... And so I decided to go private and called a private hospital for advice. The lady I spoke to was so nice and informed me that if I got my doctor to refer me to them I could get treatment on the NHS! My doctor was not very convinced but I pushed for it, he sent a referral letter and I got in. So far I've had 2 sets of spinal injections. The first one worked, the second didn't. After the first set of injections it was ace, I had my first full night's sleep in a long time.

I'm still under the private surgeon's care, and am looking for other treatments and ways to help with the pain. I am also looking for help with my mind-set, as I've also (with the stress of it all) developed a condition called spasmodic angina. This condition causes my heart valves to spasm, which stops blood flow and can lead to a heart attack. I have also been diagnosed with depression, which has probably been brought on by the chronic pain and sleepless nights. I'm on medication for both of these conditions.

I joined Cloudy as anything that goes towards helping me and other people's suffering from these conditions can't be anything but a good thing.
I believe the weather does affect me and my condition, especially the damp/rainy days. So hopefully from this study we will find out more.

My advice to all you sufferers. ... Keep moving!