Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Saw the rheumatologist

I didn't post yesterday and I had several people who sent me e-mails asking if I was okay.  I love it!  I'm used to checking in daily and I guess you guys are used to it, too ;-)  Yesterday I was all set to write, but then my Internet service went down, along with my cable.  Even my cell service was being weird.  I live in California, nowhere near that devastating storm, so I didn't know what the heck was going on.

Yesterday I went to my physical therapy appointment and updated the therapist on what's going on with my back, as well as the situation with the R.A., all the bloodwork that's been done and just pretty much everything.  I'm making progress on the back pain, but it is still significantly with me every day.  She did give me some new exercises to do that further works on strengthening my core and leg muscles at the same time.  I was happy about that because that's exactly what I want.  You know things have drastically changed in my life if I'm saying I was happy to be given exercises to do!

The other thing that happened yesterday is that I decided to fight a little harder for myself.  I mentioned that I got an appointment with a rheumatologist on my birthday, over a month away from now.  My primary care doctor told me what I needed to do to get a sooner appointment, so I called back and basically shot straight with them.  I told them that not only was I scared about perhaps being told that I have R.A., but that it would be done on my birthday and I just couldn't deal with the stress of that.  Besides, waiting a month to hear that news is like torture, so I am willing to go anywhere at any time in the county (I told this to the person who originally scheduled my appointment, but thought I'd try again).  Miraculously, the person that was helping me on the phone, someone different, was very sympathetic towards me and found an appointment for me for today.  It was a little further away, but go ahead and ask me if I cared how far it was.

I have been praying a lot and I knew that it put me in a place of great peace so that by the time I walked in to see the doctor, I was perfectly calm and my regular self.  The doctor was very thorough with me and very patient as I told him everything that has transpired.  He looked at my history, especially at all the bloodwork that has been done recently, asked me a ton of questions and did a physical exam.  He told me that I don't clinically present as a person with rheumatoid arthritis.  Yes, some of my labs were abnormally high, but that's why they look at more than just the labwork.  That was a huge relief to me and I found myself silently praying to God in thanks as the doctor continued talking to me.  He is going to run more lab tests, wants me to do x-rays and is going to investigate further why I am continuing to have the pain in my legs.  He will get back to me when he has all the results and then I'll see him in three months.  I remember telling a friend a few days ago that if it turns out I don't have R.A., I would gladly take the pain in my legs.  In comparison, leg pain is nowhere near what the people who have that disease suffer.  If you're curious, just do a Google image search on it and you'll see why I was in tears over the weekend with the thought that I might have it.

I'm definitely not dropping the issue of the constant pain in my legs, as well as the lightheadedness.  After all, something is wrong.  But, I'm not going to spend all my energy worrying about it.  I have seen a team of doctors and other medical staff lately and I know they're on it.  Let's see, in the last two weeks, I've seen the acupuncturist, physical therapist, dermatologist, neurologist, nurse practitioners, primary care and now the rheumatologist.  Man, that's a lot of poking and prodding!  You know what?  I haven't given up on myself or given in to the stress.  I'm still taking really good care of myself and walking through all of this.  It's definitely not easy dealing with all the monkey wrenches of life, but the difference is now that I am dealing with it.  I know that food does not solve any of it and I am not about to turn the direction of this ship into a perfect storm to send me back to that 417-pound Kathy.  There's just no way.  A shift has happened in my life and while I may make mistakes along the way, the whole point is that I pick myself up and keep right on trekking down the road, taking you all with me of course ;-)


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