So yeah, my appointment with the Rheumatologist finally came. I’ve been eagerly awaiting getting to the bottom of the situation with my hands. I spent the first twenty minutes at the Diagnostic Clinic filling out intake paperwork, then I went upstairs to meet my new Doctor. He asked me about the problems I’ve been experiencing, took a detailed history and upon examining my hands and other joints had two words to say : Rheumatoid Arthritis.
I’m not gonna lie, I’m a bit shook up. I’m glad to have caught it relatively early on, but it’s still a bit scary. I’ve seen what advanced RA does to joints and it’s horrifying to say the least. The first line meds to treat it are essentially immune suppressants. It’s much more than arthritis, it’s an autoimmune disorder that manifests itself in a plethora of ways including arthritis. What it means is that my immune system is attacking my joints.
I brought lab results and xrays and these proved to be the clincher for the diagnosis. He looked at my xrays with me and said ‘See these shadows near the joints? That’s decalcification.’ I don’t have a ton of bone erosion yet but ANY is frightening enough.
The Rheumatologist is pretty cool. Nice laid back Black Man of about forty or so. He told me, ‘I can’t cure this for you, but it can be managed and long periods of remission are possible.’. He gave me paperwork for a bunch of lab tests and said ‘For the next few months you and I are going to be BFFs.’. We shook hands and he sent me on my way.
As I said, I’m a little funny feeling right now. It’s starting to sink in. But I’m not going to use over it or let it screw up my program. I’ve worked too damn hard to turn tail and run.
I’m a little scared but I refuse to let it conquer me. Time to activate the Celtic Fire in the blood. I’m coming up with strategies for taking it easy on myself and am not going to bus tables more than two days a week. Non-consecutively. I have to make money but I’m not going to kill myself to live. Hosting is relatively easy money and I’m fortunate to have added it to my restaurant skills.
Aside from that news, life is about the same. Upped my Wellbutrin due to some creeping depression and feeling far better for it. In love with my Boyfriend and life. That’ll do.
So I have a connective tissue disease, BFD.
Time to let Mr. Berserker out of the bag, methinks.