I have not posted on my blog in a while as I have been sitting in doctor’s offices/ appointments with Specialists and many, many tests taken, MRIs, CT scans, Echocardiograms, Breathing Tests in that tiny booth for an hour of breathing tests, X-rays, tons and tons of blood work, etc. Boy, the co- payments for all these were draining my wallet.
The diagnosis is Rheumatoid Arthritis with overlapping Scleroderma! I'm currently on Predisone which is a harsh drug and gives you a Moon Face and a hump at the nape of your neck! Ugh! I've been on this drug since February and can't wait to be weened off of it soon. R/A is bad enough but Scleroderma turns your body into stone and can affect all the major internal organs such as the heart, lungs, kidneys, etc.
I complained for 8 long months to my Primary Care doctor that I was in extreme pain and unable to even dress myself or raise my hands above my head. My hands and feet were swollen really bad. I also was experiencing difficulty swallowing. I learned to continue to speak up until my doctor heard my pain loud and clear! You have to continue to speak up when you have problems and notice changes in your condition, don't feel too self-conscious to speak up during your appointment or even call your doctor or another member of your health care team.
No problem is too small to inquire about, and early treatment for any problem can make the disease more manageable for you and your health care team.
It's understandable that a person with a chronic illness like Rheumatoid Arthritis/Scleroderma would become depressed. I try hard not to accept depression as a normal consequence of my condition. If depression makes it hard for you to function well, don't hesitate to ask your health care team for help.
I think it is a must to learn skills like meditation, calming exercises, and relaxation techniques may help you cope with emotional difficulties as well as help relieve pain and fatigue.
If you have problems doing daily activities, from brushing your hair and teeth to driving your car like I was going thru, consult an occupational or physical therapist. They have more helpful hints and devices than you can probably imagine.
Of course, we all resort to our computers to do research as the doctors will not spend the time with you to explain everything. The clock is ticking in a doctor’s office and they want the next patient in so they can meet their quota for the day to fatten up their bank account.
I live in Florida, so exercising in my community pool turned out to be my best friend, as it hurt too much to continue going to my Silver Sneakers classes three days a week. It doesn’t hurt to exercise in the water.
If anyone out there is experiencing leg pain, don't forget to put a bar of soap at the foot of your bed under the fitted sheet. Check it out for yourselves online. It truly does work and if the pain comes back months later, replace the bar of soap and use the old one in your shower to bath with.
What happened to the Oath all doctors took?????? I had to fight tooth and nail to get a referral to see a Specialist. Well, I’m on an HMO. If I were on a PPO I would not need referrals. But PPOs are expensive.
Since just yesterday before I decided to get back on my blog and write, I was chatting to two friends, one is a lovely blogger friend and the other is my Maid of Honor, both going thru serious medical issues. Also, I mentioned a year ago, that my son was diagnosed with CML which is Leukemia and the news put me in an emotional state of depression then.
All mothers will agree, we worry constantly about our children no matter their age.
So, we all need the strength to deal with these chronic diseases and need tons of prayers not only for ourselves but for the people we love and care about. I strongly believe in the power of prayers!