Hands, ankles, and doctor updates

I’ve griped a couple times about my experience with my (now) former rheumatologist and his office.  I’m very glad to be out of there.  It took them a month to print out a copy of my records at my request.  And then they tried to double charge me the fee for the records.  And no, that wasn’t unusual for them.  Every single visit they’d end up trying to double charge me the co-pay.  Apparently their receptionists don’t know how to code payments properly and their billing system (or person) is to stupid to check and see if there’s a payment paid before sending out a bill.

Anyway, the first appointment with the new rheumatologist was yesterday.  We’ll see how it works out long term, but short term I am seeing more progress than I was from the last doctor.

Hands: In college I was diagnosed with a “repetitive motion injury” in both hands, which, like most college students, I shrugged off.  Back in 2008-2009 I suddenly started having much greater problems with both hands, that was eventually diagnosed with the sort of arthritis that happens when you abuse your joints as a child.  Since my bloodwork was normal for the normal rheumatoid markers everyone (including me) just shrugged and went on with life.  Over the last couple years though I’ve seen signs that my hands may be getting worse again, and that was part of why I wanted to see a rheumatologist in the first place.  The last guy looked at the new xrays and said he saw bone erosion, and then decided he didn’t want to treat it.  This guy looked at the xrays the last guy did and says he doesn’t see arthritis at all.  He thinks it’s all mechanical, as in, there’s a joint problem yes, but not an arthritis type one.  Mind, over the last several months I’ve seen definite signs that my hands are getting worse again.  For example, typing has become a bit interesting.  I’m struggling to hit the keys that require extension of a finger.  Such as the “T” button.  I thought at first it was my keyboard, but cleaning the keyboard didn’t help.  A trial run on my husband’s keyboard proved it wasn’t just my keyboard that was the issue.

Ankles: Ankle problems are, as stated previously, fairly new to me.  Despite having sprained them all to heck as a kid.  However the bone spurs are still considered fairly minor despite the discomfort I’m in.  The new doctor is sending me to an orthopedic surgeon, not for surgery, but to discuss options for shoes and support braces etc, as I clearly need something if I’m going to continue working on my feet.  In some ways I’d love a job off my feet, but I’ve learned that I really need a job that keeps me interested or I go batshit behind a desk.

The new rheumatologist ordered new bloodwork, too, so I guess we’ll see what the results are.  I do intend to push to get additional info and help with my hands.  As long as things weren’t getting worse I was mostly willing to deal.  It was frustrating having had to give up alot of the handiwork/craft stuff I used to do because I could no longer do any for more than 15 minutes or so, but the discomfort wasn’t an issue in daily life.  But if whatever it is really is progressing then I wanted it figured out, and if at all possible stopped or slowed.

2 Comments

  1. Comment by bogie:

    It sounds like the new doc is listening to you and is taking care in getting it right instead of “doing something” (or not, as your previous specialist). It could very well be a tendon/nerve issue in your hands, and those have a completely different rx, whether medicine or PT, than RA issues. Hope you get to the bottom of it soon!

    • Comment by Ruth:

      In alot of ways it wouldn’t surprise me if it IS a tendon or nerve issue. I just want to know what it is and if/how we can slow it down or stop it! He does at least seem to be listening, so crossing fingers!