May 10, 2013
After the chest scan, I was sent for an ultrasound of my thyroid. It too was covered in nodules. Now I have more blood work and an appointment with an endocrinologist. Thyroid issues can be autoimmune related. Hashimoto’s Disease is one. It is a cool name and better than saying ‘I have Rheumatoid Arthritis‘. I could say instead, I have Hashimoto’s.
I have this condition officially since December. I already feel like a professional patient.
When it started the only thing I cared about was getting relief from the severe pain I had. Next after settling into the diagnosis, I wanted to learn everything possible about it. Then I turned to the prognosis. This is not as clear cut. There is a lot of hedging in the answers. The truth is it is usually progressive. On average, it will just get worse.
I am lucky to have a really good rheumatologist. She is up to date on current information. She examines my joints each visit. It is easy to discuss my issues with her. She is working a plan to optimize my situation. She solves problem I have.
When I was a young nurse, my first job was at the VA in Syracuse, NY. I have always had the memory of a RA patient, bedridden, in constant pain with little relief. So sad. So scary.
Both my hands are swollen. My feet, toes, wrists, fingers are too. My shoulder girdle has sharp pain in the morning. My deltoids ache. By noon I feel better, but it gets worse in the evening.
Life with RA is a balancing act. Avoid joint damage as much as possible. Avoid drug side effects as much as possible. Keep moving. Stay optimistic.