Wednesday, January 29, 2014

New Year, New Me

I had my first rheum appointment of the year, today. I really love my rheumatologist, because she listens to what I have to say as well as observes what I am not saying.

First things first. Of course, the nurse (Nicole in this case) has me step on a scale. I truly detest scales, but, what can I do, right? I am down close to 15 pounds since I had surgery last June (I'll go into that soon). So, I wasn't complaining. Even after the holidays, I didn't gain (or lose).

Second, we go to the room and she takes my blood pressure & temp. Again, I'm pleased. 130/89 isn't great, but it is better than I thought it would be considering the amount of pain I have been in since the latest arctic front arrived. Temperature was 98.1. I'm usually 97.6, but that flux is probably due to my hormonal activity.

Third, Nicole and I go over my medications. She is one very intuitive nurse. Being she has worked in the office so long, and also suffers from an AI disease, she can sense when things just aren't "right". "You are walking kind of slow, what's going on today?" So I told her, "I hate this roller coaster weather we are having, my body can't figure out what to do anymore. My feet, knees and hands are taking the brunt end of the pain." 

So, it's time for my wonderful rheum to come see me. Her methods are AMAZING. She is so kind, concerned, and truly cares. When she talks to me, I sit in one of the chairs, not on the exam table. I told her what I (we) have gone through over the past two months. Doctors before her, and my primary care physician in the same office, I never felt comfortable discussing various emotional distress or stressful situations. I do not have this problem with her (them). My medical records are on a computer network. So, she sits there, reviews Nicole's notes, and then we talk. She doesn't look at the screen again until after we have concluded the ins and outs of what has transpired. All the while, though, she is typing, while looking at me, commenting on what I tell her. She reminded me that not only does this disease take a toll on my body, but my mind, too. And the same goes for my emotional state, it takes a huge toll on my RD/Fibro. I mentioned to her I used to have this blog, and she suggested I start it again, because I hold a lot inside me, and it isn't good by any standard.

I hopped onto the table, and she did her exam. I told her my feet have been really bad, as have my hands. I could tell she was concerned about my hands because she examined each one twice. Then, she tested all 18 fibro points. Only 1 or 2 were irritated. It was AWESOME for her to press on the ones in my back/hips and NOT have excruciating pain. She then had me take my socks off for my feet examination. Her first note, as I was removing them, was the swelling. Then as she pressed the joints, I nearly teared. Same with my knees. "Well, this is not fibro that is bothering you, this time. Your RD is definitely in a flare." With that, we both decided a steroid shot would work wonders. She also is having me increase the amnitriptoline that I take from only on Friday/Saturday to a couple other times in the week, because I need to relax my body and get the fibro under control before it goes nutty.

That was the extent of my visit today.

I will post about my surgery last June next.

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