First, a heartfelt thank-you to everyone who commented on my post, “spoke too soon.” It’s really great to have such a kind circle of friends. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate your compassion, encouragement and advice.
As of today, the hip bursitis is much better than it was, though it’s still there. I did a little more reading up about the condition and started icing (I’m already taking diclofenac, so the meds end of treatment is covered), and that’s helped to ease the inflammation. I’ve also decided to discard the tortuous tennis-ball cure. It’s just too painful, and after trying it a couple more times without positive results, I feel I can toss it without shame.
As for steroid injections, well, I’m not going there yet. Rationally, I understand that they can make the pain go away. Irrationally, the idea of an injection into that already massively painful area gives me the holy heebie-jeebies.
Translation: Cluck-cluck-cluck — I’m a big chicken.
My other hesitation regarding injections is that, since I get my medical care through the VA, my only hope for immediate treatment would be a visit to the VA ER. While my few experiences there (because of the the dog bite) have been good, I’d rather not make use of the ER unless I’m in such severe pain there’s really no other option. Hip bursitis is bloody painful, but my life is not in danger; it really isn’t an emergency. And short of a steroid injection, I’m already doing all that can be done to relieve the bursitis on my own.
RA Superb*tch pointed out in her wonderfully dry, no-nonsense way that my bursitis is actually caused by my rheumatoid arthritis, so treating it directly related to getting my RA under better control. I honestly hadn’t made that connection at all; I was thinking of the two conditions as completely separate. Sometimes I can be incredibly dense. (Thanks for the heads-up, SB!)
And she’s right, of course. So, when I see my rheumatologist in July, I’m going to remind him that we were going to start me on plaquenil. (With all the chaos caused by my dog-bit hand and my freaky high blood pressure on the day of my appointment in May, we both forgot all about starting the new med. I only remembered it several days later.)
With luck, adding a third DMARD to the mix will help both my RA and this nasty bursitis. In the meantime, I’ll keep icing as needed, keep taking the NSAID I’m already on, do the stretching and strengthening exercises I’ve been taught, and give Shadow his tennis ball back, which will make us both happy.
And I’ll continue to be grateful for all of you, my friends. You’re the best.
Hi Wren, Glad it’s coming around at least a little. Saw my rheumy Tuesday and he assured me that the tendonitis and bursitis is all connected to the arthritis. Way to many itises if you ask me. Hang in there! Kris
You will get back on the road to feelng good Wren. You have too much determination not to! 🙂 When I saw my rheumatologist she also said my hip pain was related to RA. It makes sense.
By the way, I enjoyed the post on being angry! In all honesty, I did used to hold in my anger but RA is helping me to learn to let it out.
I had wonderful luck with plaquenil for many years. It takes a while to kick in (surprise!!) but I never had any side effects and it worked well. I hope you have the same or better results.
Shadow is probably very happy to have the tennis ball back 🙂
A steroid injection will do wonders in getting the inflammation down so that the joint exercises will be more effective. Do you have a primary doc with the VA who could fit you in before your rheumy appt next month, Wren? I sure hope you’re able to get things 100% under control. Best of luck.
Hope you feel better soon, Wren. Can’t be fun to have any part of your body feel badly like that, much less such a major part like your hips. I hope you can get things under control more with the plaquenil – fingers crossed! Take care of yourself! 🙂 L
I hope the plaquenil works wonders for you my dear. What I love about this “community” that we have built is this; we all are so excited when we- or any of our friends have a streak of good days. I know that when you were having yours I was over the moon for you. It gives us hope. And then- when you or we have bad days, we all rally around. Rather than just show pity- it’s support that is given. While we take hope in one another’s good days we empathize and more on the bad. I have learned more from your blog and the other blogs on treatments, side effects, and attitude than I ever could from my doc. For that I want to say Thank You- for sharing with us-good and bad.