Last year my mother was diagnosed with a particularly nasty form of an immune disorder. Like, a large portion of people aren’t diagnosed with it till they “end up in a coma in the hospital with their system shutting down” nasty. Which makes my mother incredibly lucky since she never got anywhere near that bad. But in retrospect she’d been experiencing symptoms of it for at least a couple years prior, and they’re struggling to get it under control now.
Needless to say, when the doctor informed her that this significantly increased my chances of having an immune related disorder, she added in the fact that I’ve been dealing with arthritis in both of my hands, and had a bit of a freak out.
I wasn’t nearly as worried, other than my hands and screwed up knees I have essentially zero symptoms that match up with any of the immune related problems I’d looked at. But when my mom’s youngest sister’s bloodwork came back as “highly likely you have an immune disorder but we can’t figure out which one” I agreed that I probably ought to see a rheumatologist. After all, if nothing else, at least one could make sure I was coping properly with the achy hands…..
It took 3 months from my doctor sending in the referral to my appointment with the specialist. I rolled my eyes and thought that it was a good thing I wasn’t actually experiencing any real problems. But when I actually got into the office I discovered that they are actually just that busy. Oh, and instead of sending out the questionnaire they want filled out to you ahead of time, you’re required to wait to fill it out till you’re in the office because they use a fancy computerized pen to record your answers so that no one has to data entry it. Which is cool, except that it’s my HANDS that hurt, which means that holding a pen for extended periods hurts…..*gripe grumble*
Doctor was a nice fellow who’s new to the practice (they need to add at least one more though, to cope with the patient load….), got on my case about never having seen a dermatologist about my adult acne (honestly, unless I’m having a flair up, its rarely more than a few spots, so I’d never really thought about it, though the times my doctor tried to do something about medically the treatments only worked for a short time). He agreed that based on the bloodwork already done, combined with my lack of symptoms, my chances of having what my mother has are pretty much nill. Made me flex various joints, asked me if my ankles ever bother me (nope, but I did sprain the hell out of them as a kid). He put in for a bunch more bloodwork, and some xrays. Come see me in 6 weeks to discuss the results.
First available appointment is for EIGHT weeks, yes they’re that busy, and I head down for bloodwork and xrays. Xrays of my hands, and my kne….ankles?? Wasn’t expecting that. My ankles never bother me! But ok, if that’s what he wants…..
A week later I’m starting my new job. One that once again requires me to be on my feet all day. Been there, done that, more times than I can count. I know it takes some time to re-adapt to being on my feet after several months out of work, feet hurt, and knees hurt, and the nerve under where they did the lateral release on my left knee gets irritated, due to swelling from that pain, resulting in what is essentially “diabetic nerve pain” in that leg (one of those “side effects” that they either didn’t tell me about, or that I didn’t understand properly at the time of surgery *sigh*). Its a pain in the ass (not literally, but close enough). But once I’m used to being on my feet again it’ll be fine.
Two weeks into the new job and it’s not my knees that are giving me hassle, its my ankles. Oh, the knees are a bit achy, but not like my ankles are. And its bad. Tiger balm doesn’t help at all, and two days off in a row doesn’t help much more….what the fuck?? I swear this had better be all in my head……