…throw in a little salt and toast with a Margarita.
I’ve encountered a new twist in my medical journey. I had an appointment with my new internist and naturopathic physician on Monday. Their office is very thorough, and take a great deal of time getting information and answering questions. I did not feel at all like I was in an assembly line, as is often the case with normal physicians.
I will cut to the chase and tell you that after examining both me, and all of my medical records and tests from the last 8 months, Dr. K. has come to the conclusion that I do not have Rheumatoid Arthritis. Instead, he strongly believes that I have a widespread infection, most likely Lyme Disease.
Lyme Disease is very tricky to diagnose, since it masquerades as a number of other maladies, and it is often missed. Even by the big guys. Even the guys at Mayo.
I’ve had a number of blood tests to determine if I have the Rheumatoid factor in my system and they’ve all come back negative. You can still have RA, even though the tests come back negative. But, there is one particular test that Dr. K. feels is definitive regarding RA, and I was negative on that one as well. He explained the difference in the tests, but I was too busy weeping on the carpet.
I knew, in my heart, that I did not have RA. But no one was listening to me.
The more I’m learning about Lyme Disease and the symptoms, the more I’m convinced that I have it in spades. Many blood tests do not detect Lyme Disease, but the IGeneX test is the only one that I’m aware of that can pinpoint and determine this disease. The plan was to draw my blood in the office, and send it off to California to see if I do have Lyme Disease.
My veins, however, had other plans. After 2 nurses tried (twice each) to stick me in various parts of my arms and hands, even the doctor got in on the action and could not get any blood out of me. My very best vein has evidently developed scar tissue from all the sticking of late, and collapsed from all the stress.
I left with bandages all up and down my arms. Since I have other blood work that has to be done through a lab, they sent me home with the entire kit, so that I can have it done all at once.
There are some other issues with my immune system that my doctor is suspect of. I may have candida plus some other fun problems, that are inhibiting my body’s ability to fight off infection.
Today was test day. I had to start the day with a stool sample. Followed by a saliva test, in which I have to fill 4 vials with saliva throughout the day.
Have I ever mentioned that I have an issue with body fluids? Especially my own.
Let me just say that my gag reflexes are fully functional.
Then it was time to go to the lab for the drawing of SIX vials of blood. The very sweet and patient nurse had to stick me no fewer than 5 times, to no avail. She suggested that I wait a week, and let my very best vein heal, and then try again.
I begged her to try one more time. Because some of these tests take 3 weeks, and I dearly wanted to get the results back before my next doctors appointment Thanksgiving week.
She said that she could try the vein in my wrist, but it would be painful.
At this point, pain is relative. I asked her to please try. And she did. And it worked. She was able to get 6 vials out, one tiny trickle at a time.
I look like a drug addict, with track marks all over my arms.
But all of the testing is complete, and will be shipped off tomorrow. And then I wait.
In the meanwhile, I’m going to a new Physical Therapist for my knee. We’re making progress. And by we, I mean that he’s doing all the work, while I fill the cuss jar he installed in my honor.
My knee cap, and one surgical port are bogged down into the scar tissue from THE TWO UNNECESSARY SURGERIES AND WEEK OF IMMOBILITY FOLLOWING THE SECOND SURGERY, AT THE SURGEON’S REQUEST.
This is making my knee cap lean to one side, and is responsible for a good deal of the pain that I’m in, on top of the inflammation. So my P.T. has to manually loosen my knee cap. And then he uses these electrode type thingies (high faluten medical jargon) attached to my thigh to retrain my muscle, and more electrode type thingies on my actual knee.
But I prefer to call it what it is. Death by electrocution.
But you know what? It’s working. The inflammation is lessening, and I’m able to straighten my leg out now, and bend it to 112 degrees. Huge progress.
I’m still on my rather strict diet, because that is helping my autoimmune system to repair itself. And as a bonus, I’ve now lost 13 pounds in the last 6 weeks. Eleven more pounds, and I’ll be at my goal weight.
I’m encouraged by this change of events. I feel like I have an awesome team of doctors on my side. At long last. Between my primary care doctor and Dr. K., my bases are covered.
My head is still spinning as I’m now researching Lyme Disease. It’s not an easy disease to treat, but it is treatable. The finish line is somewhat within sight.
I would love to hear from any of you all that have dealt with Lyme Disease, either directly or indirectly. I won’t know for a few weeks if this is what I have, but I have an awfully strong suspicion it is.
Thank you for joining me on this roller coaster ride toward healing! I really feel like real answers are within my grasp. And I so appreciate your continued prayers and encouragement. I cannot say that enough.