Adventures in Rheumatology

Not my hand. Or Rheumatology related. But it contains joints, so, you know...

For months now I’ve been in pain.  It started at the end of September, just before Ren Fest, with sickness and fevers and chills and suck.  Then it was followed with joint pain.  Mostly in my toes and fingers, but occasionally in my knees and elbows.  Then I kept getting sick and kept hurting.  So I decided to see my doctor.  She said “Sounds like it could be lupus or RA, let’s send you to a Rheumatologist.”

So she did.  And a month and a half later I went.  Today.

The appointment was for 1pm, and I was called into the exam room at exactly 1pm.  Which was kind of awesome.  The nurse took my BP and my temp (which, oddly, was 99.4.  When I take it at home it’s always 97.5ish, though I wouldn’t say it’s a fever) and took off by 1:03.  Which was also awesome.  I hate having to explain everything to my nurse only to have to say it all over again when the Dr. gets there.

Around 1:20 Dr. Z finally entered the exam room.  We chatted for awhile, then he manipulated all my joints and listened to my lungs and my heart.  Then he told me what he thought.

1. Post-viral Arthritis.  There’s very little information on the interwebs about this, and most of it is related to autoimmune diseases like Lupus, RA, etc, etc, etc.  He mentioned, though, that Post-viral arthritis also attacks the tendons, and I’ve been having tendon trouble.

2. Sjogren’s Syndrome. This one actually makes a lot of sense.  It makes as much sense as Lupus, I suppose.  Dry eyes, dry mouth, joint pain…  It was the dry eyes and dry mouth that probably made him suggest it, paired with the fact that my joints don’t swell, they just hurt.

He still had the nurse take four vials of blood (“You’re getting off easy” she said) to test for Sjogren’s, Lupus, and other sundry autoimmune diseases.  I will be going back in one month for a follow up.  Though he didn’t mention it at all, I’m hoping that I get test results before then, but I’m not holding my breath.  In the meantime, he said to keep taking ibuprofen and continue “living with it” unless things get worse.

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6 thoughts on “Adventures in Rheumatology

  1. Isn’t it good to know that you aren’t crazy or “just cold”? Hopefully the bloodwork will give some kind of answer so you can get a more specific treatment than “take two of these and see you next month.”

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    • DK says:

      It’s definitely nice to realize I’m not crazy. It’s hard to judge what I’m “supposed” to feel like because I don’t exist in anyone’s skin but my own. The other night I started asking The Hippy if X ever felt Y. Or if A felt like B when he did C. Some stuff he agreed with, most stuff he didn’t.

      It may continue to be “take two of these,” but at least if there are answers it could be “take two of these and keep an eye on this.” Autoimmune is made of crap and failure, and it’s just kind of something you have to live with.

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  2. I notice there was little mention of (whispers) “dryness.” Hee.

    Am glad you are getting some possible answers, and as to blood draws, my personal best was 10 vials at one sitting. Lucky me. However, I sincerely hope you get more answers sooner than I did. Hang in there, eat that Ibuprofen, and rest.

    And I hope you feel better soon. Remember – there are smiley happy people holding meds on the Sjogren’s site!

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