Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Update on the RA

I had an appointment with my rheumatologist a couple of weeks ago to celebrate the six month anniversary of my diagnosis. Here's how the party went down:

  • I scheduled the first appointment of the day because the longer I have to wait in the office, the more anxious I get. Despite the fact that I am early, the office is half full and two people are called in before me.
  • After being called into an exam room, I end up waiting thirty minutes. My anxiety level was already higher than normal, but this time there were special circumstances that made it even worse. This appointment was approximately two weeks before I was supposed to go in and find out about the lump in my breast, so I was still rather freaked out about the whole thing. Positioned on the wall right in front of the exam table was a huge poster displaying all the different types of lumps that can develop in one's breasts. Yeah, it was rather hard to avoid looking at it.
  • After thirty minutes, I begin to panic and start walking out of the room only to bump into the physician's assistant, who I end up seeing instead of the doctor.
  • My pain levels have been quite a bit worse and I have already been on plaquenil for six months with no huge improvement, so I was all ready to discuss new treatment options. Instead they want me to give it three more months because my blood tests are still improving (this did not sound right to me so I made a mental note to check my lab results later).
  • I explained my insane fatigue and muscle aches. She says, "Yeah, that's part of Rheumatoid Arthritis," and offers no advice.
  • I asked about supplements and she names a few, but then tells me that I want to be careful not to take too many.
  • All I wanted to do when I g0t home was crawl back into bed, but I kept thinking about how she said my blood tests were improving. How could they be improving, but I feel so much worse. I gathered up all the copies of my tests results since a few months before my diagnosis and put them in chronological order. After reading through them, I find that my tests have improved a little since the very first blood test, but are actually worse than the others since then.
So that was my six month appointment. It did not go as well as I was hoping it would, but it was not completely their fault. Obviously my anxiety was somewhat of an issue, but it almost always is. I also should have questioned her more than I did, but it's hard not to get into that "yes, doctor" mode and except everything they say as fact.

I am going to wait the three months, but I am going to request that I actually see the doctor this time. My primary keeps telling me how great he is so I would like to give him a chance before I look for another rheumatologist.

Enough bitching! Here are the things I have been grateful for and/or have brightened my day lately:
  • We watched an episode of the Fantasy Factory the other day where Rob entered a grilled cheese contest and makes the most expensive grilled cheese sandwich ever. It inspired my husband to want to make gourmet grilled cheese. It was cute to see him debating about which type of cheese and bread he should try. I also enjoyed eating the results.
  • We met our friends for breakfast at the farmer's market. We had a great time and I was able to hold their two month old almost the whole time. She is absolutely precious!
  • I am very grateful that my friend's mom did not strangle the waitress who accidentally spilled a huge glass of cold orange juice over her shoulder and down the front of her white shirt and pants at that very same breakfast. But she did get free breakfast and a nice polo with the restaurant's name on it.
  • Project Runway - It inspires me!
  • An amazing, but sad book called The Book Thief. I just finished it and am so glad I read it.
  • Getting to pick out a new book to start reading from the piles I have in my bedroom.
  • Looking out the window to see all three feral cats lounging on the front porch bench waiting for their breakfast to be served. I made sure they did not have to wait too long.

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