So, um, it occurs to me that with the Christmas/New year business I forgot to tell everyone about my appointment with the Rheumatologist, I’m sure that you’re all hanging on the edge of your seat to hear about it. No? Tough luck.
Originally I couldn’t get an appointment with the specialist until March. March, I thought in November when it was becoming clear that my hands and other joints were only getting worse (don’t even mention the pelvis, just don’t), was not good. Straight away I asked to be placed on the waiting list for cancellations and miracle of miracles on about the 18th of December I got a call to say that they could fit me in on the 23rd if I could make it. Um, hell yes!
The rhematologist was actually really sweet. She listened to what I had to say about my falling apart body. She took what I had to say seriously. She examined me thoroughly. She wasn’t surprised or indeed horrified when I said that I was still breastfeeding my toddler (as doctors seem to love being). All in all, it went well.
Numerous outcomes of that appointment were:
- I am very, very flexible. Not quite as freakishly flexible as some people but apparently the resting position of my feet when I am lying down is not right. They flop down or something, who knew.
- Multiple other joints and bits and bobs do things that they are not meant for. Things I didn’t realise they did, or at least that what they did was wrong, until she asked me to show her.
- That flexibility is kind of on a continuum, my level is not quite at the extreme end where connective tissue disorders reside but not really okay either and certainly contributing to some problems.
- I have some sort of non-specific inflammatory arthritis in my hands. When she first saw them she inhaled sharply and said “oooooo”, which I took to mean that it wasn’t just me who thought they look a little strange.
- She’s not sure about my pelvis. She thinks that, although she’d like to unify my problems under one diagnosis, there may be several things wrong with me that are not really related. Awesome.
- She took my pain seriously and has placed me on two new medications to be taken every day, to reduce inflammation and pain etc.
- She wants fresh pelvis x-rays and blood tests. No other doctor has ever wanted pelvis x-rays, I only had some done because a friend of mine is a doctor and she wanted to make sure I wasn’t dying of bone cancer while we were visiting her in Spain. This is a pretty big deal. She actually gives a crap about investigating my pelvis.
- The original blood test results weren’t normal. Something or other was elevated, which it would be in arthritis, hence the new blood tests to see if it is worse.
I left feeling really optimistic. She’s not 100% sure that she can do anything for my pelvis but she feels she can do something for my hands and, you know, she is trying to help me, she listened, she heard.
So, for the moment I am holding my breath and managing my pelvis pain and taking my pills until I next see her in March and even though the state of play is pretty much the same. I feel better. I do.