It looks like I’m on my way for an official diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis. (though I suppose the new news doesn’t knock out Sjogren’s, which is one of the other contenders, though my rheum thinks RA is more likely)
Today I had a musculoskeletal ultrasound. I had worried that this would be very painful, as I remember how much pressure it took to do abdominal ultrasounds. Fortunately, musculoskeletal ultrasounds require much, much less pressure. Unfortunately, it was still enough to be quite uncomfortable. My hands are still crankier than normal, 4 hours later.
The ultrasound determined that I had inflammation in all of the joints they looked at, though they could only see ‘flow’ in one of them. ‘Flow’, in a musculoskeletal ultrasound, helps to make certain that you’re looking at active inflammation rather than scar tissue. However, as all of my swelling has happened since March, they’re willing to accept that it’s extremely unlikely that I have scarring. As far as the exam went, there was one piece of good news for me: no bone degradation/damage anywhere. That’s a big deal with RA, as it is known for eventually damaging and deforming bones and joints if it is left unchecked.
I’m trying to think of this as a good thing. The proof of inflammation, which I could easily see but my rheum wasn’t as certain about, should mean more effective treatment. I desperately need this under better control – I’ve missed an intolerable number of classes, and if I continue at this rate, at least one of my professors will fail me for absences from class. (Yeah, as an undergrad you can get a waiver of that sort of thing, but the American Bar Association has rules that have stood up to challenge in courts about attendance, and all schools that are ABA certified have to follow those rules) And oh, the pain…the idea of being free of this pain seems almost like a dream. Not to mention, my fiance and I want to get an engagement ring, and my fingers have been too swollen to make sure it fits for AGES now!
Anyhow, sorry for the silence lately. This probably-RA has been causing me a lot of pain and keeping me lying down on my side, and I haven’t figured out a good way to use my computer from that position so I haven’t been on it much.
In other news, until I see my rheum (3 weeks from now), I’m switching back to one of the meds I tried and went on from. Salsalate upset my stomach pretty badly, but it worked really well. That’s better than what I’m dealing with now – Mobic isn’t working well and it’s giving me badly disrupted sleep with hyper-vivid dreams.