I've been to the Rheumatologist a few times now.
Given 5 1/2 tubes of blood.
And numerous hand xrays (which, if you live in Eastern Broward County, just go to Imperial Point Hospital, no more than 20 minutes, in and out with results to the dr. the following day).
Eh. Degenerative arthritis of the both thumbs.
Lab results show a high ANA ... not really sure just what that means, but it points to Lupus.
LUPUS? Well that just scares the crap out of me.
I have symptoms. But they do NOT control my life, nor will they if I have a choice.
We are choosing to treat the issues systematically (whatever the heck that means?) by me taking prescribed heavy duty anti-inflammatory meds as needed, since it's classified as MILD at the moment.
Of course, of these symptoms I DO have, I'm not really sure what they relate to. Heck, I feel like a hypocondriact at times, because just Friday I felt terrific and then 36 hours later I'm laying on the couch, sobbing with my fist balled up into my eye sockets to try and force a headache out.
So, in the meantime, she tells me to read up on all the information she's given me. Said that it will get worse as time goes on. And I just sit there and look at her, saying "Huh? What are you talking about?"
Lupus kills people. I know someone who DIED from Lupus for Pete's sake.
Which of course, now that I had the snot scared out of me, I've started to read. And I start to see that yeah, I do see the 'possibility' of having it. Did you know that Lupus effects everyone differently, and also attacks different parts of your body (skin, joints, muscular, organs, etc.) ...
But of course, I'm still in denial. So in the meantime, we will just treat it systematically.
NOTE: I am not meaning to make light of this whatsoever, trust me. But I also refuse to think that I've got something this serious and life altering. I refuse to let it be. I know that there will come a time when it will have to be dealt with but in the meantime, I will only take the anti-inflammatory as needed. When that no longer works, then we will switch out to something with a little more impact and work our way up as needed. There is apparently NO KNOWN test to 100% confirm that you have it, but certain blood work points in that direction for the majority of those who do have it, along with a list of 10 primary symptoms. Of course, the symptoms Dr. R. points out to me I say are caused by something else (getting old, too much sun, etc.) ... which probably points back to the denial part of me.
If you are really wanting to know more about Lupus, then go directly to the source: LUPUS
I am scheduled to go back December 14th unless something changes between now and then. Thrilled.