| | Waiting Has a Way of Slowing Down Time
Hi All - I'm new here and have a story to tell (don't we all). I'm hoping you will read and possibly have some thoughts to share. It's a long story so I will attempt to condense it as much as possible...
I went to my doctor's office after-hours clinic Tuesday, April 20th. I had been having some pain in my ankle for about a week and a half. I assumed it was a sprain, had been wrapping it, elevating it, icing it. It wasn't getting better so I decided to have it looked at. After an X-ray, exam, and some questions, the doctor decided it was arthritis. I'm 26 years old, I was a little skeptical at the diagnosis of arthritis at such a young age in a joint that has never caused me any trouble. That said, I have had issues with my knees and hips pretty much my whole life so it did make some sense. He also pressed on a spot on each of my legs (which felt like he took a hammer to my bone - OUCH) and said I have bursitis in my hips (I feel like the place he poked was way too low to be hip).
I asked if, while I was there, he could take a look at the rash on my face. He called it a malar rash and said it could indicate Lupus. He decided to do a urinalysis (to check for protein?) and some bloodwork to look for Lupus and Rheumatoid arthritis. He told me that results would be in the next day or Thursday and that they'd call when they came in. In the meantime, work was crazy busy for me and so when I didn't get a call, I didn't follow up - I just assumed that meant that my results were all normal.
I got a call the following Wednesday, April 28th. The nurse said that some of my bloodwork came back abnormal, indicated I could have "inflammatory arthritis," and that I needed to schedule a follow-up appointment with my primary care doctor to determine if I need to see a rheumatologist. My appointment is scheduled for this Monday, May 3rd, but I'm nervous about what they'll say and the wait is causing a lot of anxiety.
Now, for some more information:
Three months ago, I began having intestinal troubles. Some constipation and lots of diarrhea. After stool samples/cultures and bloodwork with no answers, my primary care doctor sent me to a GI who did a basic exam and said that "we'll probably never know what's causing this," told me to take meds according to my symptoms (Immodium/Miralax) and to call him in a couple weeks if I did not get better. I, at that point, felt defeated - like there was nothing else I could do and I would just have to live with it so I gave up.
I have a family history of autoimmune disorders. My mom has Lupus, Raynaud's and Sjogren's. She has also been diagnosed with fibromyalgia, COPD and diabetes.
I had brain surgery last year for Chiari Malformation. I ended up having a bad reaction to the dura patch they used and contracted chemical meningitis. After a full recovery (I felt back to relatively normal by September last year), I felt pretty good and healthy until the intestinal troubles hit in February. Also worth noting, I had my gallbladder out last June after all the antibiotics for the Meningitis caused problems with it.
I have also been diagnosed with Interstitial Cystitis and have a history of numerous ovarian cysts.
I've had a little fear in the back of my mind forever, just waiting for the day that an autoimmune disorder would show up in me. Now it seems maybe it is? Could this all be something else?
Thank you very much for reading this far. I apologize for the lengthy post - I'm just really nervous about my appointment Monday. I'm dreading it but, at the same time, it can't come quickly enough.