I saw a rheumatologist for the first time today. I booked my appointment a couple months ago, and today was finally the day. 😬
I explained to the nurse how I’ve had debilitating joint pain and swelling come and go in different areas for the past year and a half. At first she seemed dissuasive because it was on-and-off rather than constant, and today I was feeling alright, and hadn’t had any flare ups since august. But she did say that it’s common for people with RA to be seronegative, meaning no positive RA factor in the blood.
I don’t know why, but I started crying as I was explaining and recalling the pain I was going through last august. How I could just barely walk, how people at work kept asking what was wrong with me and telling me how I needed to see a doctor.
Thinking about it now too, I am tearing up again. I don’t understand why it makes me so emotional. It was really frightening at the time, because I knew it would pass, but in the moment it did make me wonder if I would ever be able to actually walk again. Even now, two months in the clear, I’m in constant worry that I’ll wake up and once again lose my ability to walk — which, considering the pattern of the past several months, I know it’s gonna happen again but I don’t know when. 😰
After the doctor came in, she told me that it’s common for RA to begin very spotty, to come and go at first. I mean that sounds correct to me, I think with all diseases, at first it comes and goes before it reaches severity. 🤔
So after the rheumatologist, I went straight to the lab to get more blood work done. I really don’t mind getting my blood taken! I was thinking about all the people scared of getting the vaccine because of fear of needles — getting blood taken is far more uncomfortable than a quick shot — yet still I personally do not mind either. I almost find it kind of relaxing 🤐🙊
Now I wait for my test results and will be back again in a month. They said that if I have another flare up that I can come in immediately for an emergency appt. I hope the results are more insightful this time, but I know now that it’s less about test results and more about personal experience. I have more peace of mind speaking with a specialized rheumatologist now. Maybe this is the beginning stage of RA, maybe something else, I’m trying not to dwell too hard on it… it’s good to know that for another flare up I know who to call… it sounds like she would definitely prescribe steroids for that to help me manage the pain. Taking it day by day is all I can really do right now to keep me sane.