Wednesday, April 23, 2014

My Diagnosis

Yesterday I left off telling you that my dad said get to the hospital pronto Tonto right?  Okay so since I'm not the type to rush to the Dr. for every little thing (albeit this was NO little thing) I was still apprehensive about going to the hospital for what I thought was a slipped disc.

What could they do for me there?  They're not chiropractors.  What if they say surgery just cause they're "blade crazed" and just want to cut me open?  *Side note: another side effect of Prednisone? Major paranoia - at least in my case and many others that I've heard testify to the same thing.

I posed all these questions to my husband and he agreed.  Now when he agreed I was shocked.  I expected him to push me out the door - literally, because by now I was in such bad shape I was using a wheelchair to get around the house and those electronic chairs in all the supermarkets I'd shop in.  But when he said "Why go to the hospital, they won't do anything but prescribe anti-inflammatory meds and send us home the same day but with a huge bill."  Did I mention our health insurance was still 2 weeks away from kicking in?  Nice right?  A perfect unhealthy storm abrewin'.

"You know though that if you don't take me and I die this weekend, my dad will probably kill you at my funeral right?"

That's all that was needed to be said for both of us to realize that I should just go.  As we were leaving the driveway something made me tell the Hubs to go out of town to a different hospital than we usually use and that I felt more comfortable going to that one.  Our local hospitals can change their names all they want, it doesn't negate the fact that FAR too many people have been going in with stubbed toes or the sniffles and ending up dying.  I am a spiritual person and really think that God directed me to the right hospital that fine Saturday morning.

It was sunny and warm out yet I was shivering like a leaf.  That should have been my first sign that something majorly was out of whack internally.  Hubs wheeled me up to the ER and I could barely stand up out of the wheelchair to sit in the trauma room with the intake nurse to talk with her.  They sent me back to a room in the ER to wait for the Doc.  I got a male nurse who came in to help me get situated and he and my husband had to actually lift me up out of my chair and onto the bed because my legs were so weak.  I had lost approximately 20 lbs in 2 months.  Muscle mass in my thighs? Shredded.

In walks the Dr.  My heart rate was high due to the Prednisone so he decided to run some blood work on me.  After about an hour or two he came back to tell me that my blood work is all over the place and that my inflammation markers were through the roof.  We all walk around with a certain amount of inflammation in our bodies and the norm is measured between 0-20.  Mine was at 125.  He looked at me with the most concerned look on his face and said "You must be in some unimaginable pain, huh?"  Then when he found out that I wasn't able to get an appointment with a Rheumatologist until some time in March he patted my leg and said "That might be too late.  I'm going to admit you and you MUST see our in-house Rheumatologist right away."

And that's when I started crying almost like this....ALmost.... (wait for it at 0:14)

Yeah.  To say I was emotional is an understatement because I was finally going to be seen by someone in the know.  

My Rheumatologist came to see me and took one look at my skin and one look at my thumb, which looked like this by the way...
Don't mind the dry skin, it's from the nail polish remover not my illness. :)

She determined that because my thumb and another finger and some of my toes had severe pitting and little holes all in the nailbed that coupled with the severe joint pain that it must be....drumroll please...........Psoriatic Arthritis!  

I was shocked.  I'm only 31.  Arthritis at my age?  Noooooo......  But actually it was and is a big fat YES.  So now this is my life.  It's taken a hard left turn and I'm still in the thick of it right now trying to figure out how to navigate my health properly.  I'm now on a 15mg dose of daily Prednisone until my Dr. decides what "permanent" pill or shot I should be on to keep things under control.  

Tomorrow let's talk about the things I've tried, am currently trying, and hopefully will accomplish in the near future.  I'm really glad I can put this all down on here so that I can remember how it all went down when I look back on it later.  Online archives are the best.  Internet, may you never die!

My best,

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