Y’all. I don’t usually post in the evening. I usually pre-draft my posts, and edit, and take time to get pictures, and whatever whatever. But I’m too excited to do all of that, because TODAY I GOT A DIAGNOSIS. That’s right – after 7.5 years of symptoms and a year that had over 120 medical appointments, I finally, finally have an answer.
I have rheumatoid arthritis.
Is it a good diagnosis? No. It sucks. But I’m over the moon happy just to have it. Because this means I can have a direction, a treatment, specific things to do, targeted medication, an actual plan to work toward health. For now, my rheumatologist and I are going to work on calming the massive amounts of inflammation in my body. That inflammation has been ongoing for years, causing so much damage, but hopefully we can get it under control and I can move more toward the health I used to have. After that, it’s all about management.
It’s funny – apparently I had a really good indicator that this would be the diagnosis back when I had my foot MRI in the spring. The fact that there’s arthritis in a formerly-broken bone, with cystic change inside that bone, is classic RA. And considering my foot has been swelling every day for 14 months, except the 12 days I was on a steroid for inflammation, getting the inflammation under control (without steroids!) will be a big part of making my feet useable again! It should also help my chronic sciatica, upper back, shoulder, and neck pain. Oh I’m so hopeful. I know it’s a chronic disease and it can go into remission but can’t be fully cured, but I’m so very hopeful!
Honestly, I don’t think this is the only answer. I took food allergy tests earlier today as well, and I imagine there will be some answers when I get those results, too. I also still think the diabetes insipidus test will come back positive when I take that one in early January as well. But at very minimum, this RA diagnosis will help me treat the chronic pain and inflammation with the right meds, and – fingers crossed – removing inflammation from the equation will make it possible to slowly lose weight and take the pressure off my joints (an important action that can help minimize RA’s effect on joints/bones).
You know how sometimes you can get into a negative spiraling circle, where one bad thing leads to another and another? For me, agoraphobia leads me to staying indoors more, which increases my agoraphobia, which makes me want to go outside even less, etc. This diagnosis feels like the opposite – a spiral into good things. With this diagnosis, we can treat the inflammation that’s blocking me from being able to lose weight, so perhaps I can lose weight, which will make my body healthier and make it so it takes on less damage from the RA, so less inflammation will be produced…and so on. And guys? A positive spiral is something I desperately need!
I hope so much that this diagnosis leads to good. I’m just so happy to have an answer!