Ankylosing What?

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I saw the rheumatologist for the first time last week.  It was refreshing to see someone who seemed to know what was going on.  My general practitioner is great but I’m glad she referred me instead of just treating the symptoms.

I don’t have a diagnosis, yet, but the new guy ruled out lupus and rheumatoid arthritis. I told him I can’t afford an MRI, so he is taking a “Dave Ramsey approved” course of action.

The doctor asked me a bunch of family history questions. I told him about my dad. He’s 70 and he claims he can still run like a deer. The doctor laughed and said I’m better off than running around like an effeminate deer. I had never considered it, but deer are kind of effeminate.

I had a few x-rays taken and a few vials of blood drained from me. He sent the blood to the lab and I’m going to start some super-expensive medicine that should be deeply discounted with one of those prescription cards issued by the drug company.

As long as my end is under a hundred bucks I’ll manage. The doctor said this medicine costs about $3000 a month. Before he told me my out of pocket cost would be reasonable, I considered leaving. Who needs a diagnosis if you can’t afford the treatment?

Using medicine as a diagnostic tool reminds me of House M.D., but my physician isn’t giving me hepatitis to treat me. I’m glad.

The doctor says it is possible my issue is mechanical, but if the medicine works, the two ailments that fit my symptoms are psoriatic arthritis or ankylosing spondylitis. The symptoms fit the latter disease better.

I can’t even pronounce it. I just know I’m in pain. I may be near an actual diagnosis, and at this point, I hope it is one of these disorders. It means there is a treatment.

(CC image courtesy of Anagoria on Wikimedia Commons).

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6 thoughts on “Ankylosing What?”

  1. So sorry to hear, but be glad for a good doctor! I’m being treated for psoriatic arthritis. But, the first time I saw the rheumatologist, he just looked at me and said, You have osteoarthritis. A year later, he finally said, hmm, well, maybe it’s psoriatic arthritis. Well, I go back to see him next week (It’s only been a few years since I’ve first seen him), because now I’m have breathing troubles- can’t walk and talk at the same time-, bladder issues, on top of several other “new” inflammatory issues. Which makes daily life pretty …well, fun. it’s a party going on in there! Beginnning to wonder if it’s just psoriatic arthritis. Making cooking hard, and making eating undesirable. If I had to make it in the catering world these days, I think I’d be out of work. After making a few dishes for family reunion saturday, my body was “frozen” when I woke up sunday morning. Sad. Hopefully a step up on meds from the current nsaid (feldene) (which has worked fine until this spring) will fix things. I hope you start to feel better! I believe that most of these inflammatory arthritis’s are treated with the same meds, it’s just to find the right one for you.

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  2. Thank you for the kind words. I hope your appointment has some good news.

    I’m fortunate because my back x-rays and x-rays of my knees and ankles (where I’m having the most trouble) look clean. Told I have mild arthritis in my lower back. I assumed the back pain was just osteo. I’m excited to have a knowledgeable doctor.

    The next few months will have some possibility. I know that I will always have issues, but if it is treatable it is easier to bear. As long as it is an unknown illness, I’m seen as lazy because I look fine.

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