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Showing posts from January, 2014

So here we are

Yesterday, I received a call from the rheumatologist's office asking if I could come in for an early appointment the next day. The test results were back, and they had a cancellation, so the timing was right. I said I could, and asked if they could tell me about my lab results. The woman on the phone declined to discuss it because she was a member of the office staff. So I settled in to wait. Knowing that I would soon find out about my condition and prognosis made me very antsy, very unsettled. I didn't sleep well, but I woke up feeling just about par. Time and a hot shower took care of most of the stiffness and by 8 am, I was on my way across town to see my doctor.

He went over the x-ray results first, assuring me that there was no discernible damage in the joints of my hands. He said there was damage to other joints - knees, hips, elbows, and shoulders, and that it was made evident by the grinding, crunching noise these joints make whenever I use them. He said my lab work wa…

It's only time

I had my first rheumatology appointment today. I started having symptoms in July 2013, and the first blood tests that showed up positive for Rheumatoid Arthritis were performed in August. As soon as those results came back, my doctor started calling specialists to get an appointment for me. There are two practicing groups with Rheumatologists in my area, and one in the next town. The first appointment they could get was more than three months in the future. I tried calling, too, but there were no sooner appointments available. So I waited - and my condition got worse. I went from having mostly good days with some stiffness and pain to having mostly bad days with brief - sometimes only hours-long - periods of normalcy.

In the interim between the first blood tests and today's appointment, I saw my general practitioner three times. Each time, she prescribed different anti-inflammatory medications which were supposed to help my symptoms and the pain. They didn't help. One of them …

Walk a mile

Yesterday started out clear and cold, but by late afternoon, clotted clouds covered the sky. I didn't have to look out the window to know that, because the waves of exhaustion and low-grade fever started rolling over me at around 11 am. As soon as that first burning sensation in my ears and eyelids hit, I knew that a low-pressure system was moving through. Most of the prevalent information that is available insists that people with rheumatoid arthritis have never been proved to suffer unduly during rainy or cold weather. The prevailing information is wrong.

Yesterday's exhaustion was debilitating. I was at work when it hit, and found myself in danger of nodding off in the middle of some critical tasks. I consumed coffee and went for a walk through the building, hoping to wake myself up. It helped a bit, but when I came back to my office and settled in again, sleep washed over me until I felt as though I was drowning. I put aside the bank reconciliations I was doing and instead…

And into the black...

Hi. My name is Amy, and I am - well, I'm lots of things. And I'm not very fond of labels. Let me just say that I'm 42 years old. I have one failed marriage under my belt, a couple of bad relationships, and one really good one, which is ongoing. I like hiking, reading, writing, and playing the bongos. Until last year, I was in reasonably good health. Then, from out of nowhere, came near-constant pain, stiffness, and exhaustion. Lots of other things were going on at the same time - grief for my father, who was recently deceased, severe work-related stress, and kidney stones. But after the work-stress eased a little and the grief mellowed just a bit, after the kidney stones had passed, I still didn't feel good. My back was agony, my hips screamed, and my knees crunched with each step. My hands, wrists, elbows, and shoulders ached constantly. And I was tired - oh so tired - I could fall asleep within minutes, no matter where I was or what I was doing. It went on this way …