Thursday, March 03, 2011

Je Suis Fatiguée

I am tired (for those of you who do not speak French). I've been on a whirlwind medical odyssey for the last two months - well, years longer than that, actually. But this was the first time I've ever had a doctor take me seriously and actually try to investigate my symptoms, instead of just telling me my pain, fatigue and dizziness are because I'm fat, or looking for attention, or whatever.

I told you all last post that the doctor had thrown out a whole lot of scary possibles - multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, brain lesions, etc. I went back to the doctor yesterday for the results of more blood work, an MRI of my brain and a nerve conduction velocity/EMG test on my arms (to test the constant tingling and numbness in both hands). First thing she did was tell me the MRI looked good. "You have a normal brain," she said. I fired back, "You're probably the only person who thinks so." She laughed, then said there was nothing on the MRI that indicated MS, brain lesions or brain cancer. She did say a very small percentage of people with MS do not have abnormal MRIs, so if the dizziness continues she'll refer me to a neurologist; at this point, she does not think it's MS that is bothering me.

She then apologized for stating before that she didn't think it was carpal tunnel causing the tingling, because it turns out I have it in both wrists, along with cubital tunnel, as well. Basically, both main nerves running into my hands and fingers are getting compressed either in my wrist or my elbows. She has referred me to an orthopedist to tackle these issues. I go the week after next to see the hand specialist.

Then, she said that my rheumatoid factor in my blood was high, indicating it's possible my pain and stiffness is being caused by Rheumatoid Arthritis. She said this could also be affecting my balance issues if I have it in my ankles. She also said just because my RA was high does not mean I necessarily have it. She has referred me to a rheumatologist to deal with all the aches, pains, and the bloodwork. I go to see that specialist the day before I see the orthopedist.

So, that's what's up. The good news is, she doesn't think it's MS, which is the thought that was scaring the crap out of me. The other good news is that I'm not some psycho hypochondriac looking for attention, as I've been accused of being. There is something causing these symptoms, and I am going to find out exactly what it is and beat it. I'm tired of being too tired to do anything but work, go to school and go to bed.


Suze said...

My aunt - mother of Steph from Sweet Water Journal which has been dormant for months - has lived with RA for decades, and my uncle (same sibling set) was diagnosed with it a few years ago. This does not sound like fun, esp with carpal tunnel on top of that. However, I'm glad you're finally getting some answers and can move forward with treatment soon. I am sending lots and lots of hugs your way!!

Jessi said...

I'm so glad you're getting some answers. Being dismissed by doctors is one of the most frustrating things in the world. I dread gong to the doctor because I'm so used to be being summarily dismissed.

Tooz said...

I'm really glad that it doesn't appear to be MS, because that was foremost in my mind, too. I hope you will soon feel much better. Love you.