Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Now I can really say, FINALLY some answers!

I had my appointment with my new dr. today. She's a general practitioner. My mom has gone to her for a while and they diagnosed her allergies and asthma so I was really hopefully she would be able to figure out what the heck is wrong with me as well. My previous dr. basically tested me for rheumatoid factor and when that came up negative said she was referring me to a rheumatologist. And then never did. That was the last straw. Thank goodness this new dr. accepted me as a patient. My first impression of the office when I walked in was great. It was nice and quiet, only one other person in there. The receptionist was really nice. I was nervous since I don't do well with change but I was so hopeful she was going to be able to help that was sort of outweighing my nerves. I didn't have to wait long and the nurse called me back. She sat with me and asked me a lot more questions than the questionaire I had already filled out asked. Very in depth and thorough. After a while with her and after she took my vitals (my heart rate was a little low, she asked me if that was normal--I honestly have no idea) and then had me put on the most lovely paper dress LOL then had me sit back in the chair. I told her the dr. was really going to appreciate the fact that I hadn't shaved my legs in quite a while! LOL She laughed and said they're all women around there and that they say in the winter it's just extra insulation! The dr. also joked about hairly legs w/ me and shared her own hairy leg embarrasment story with me! That put me at ease, that they could joke with me about something like that but yet be so professional at the same time. The dr. came in and was very nice. She went over my history again and we briefly went over my IBS issues. I told her I think I'd found a solution that works for me for now (MiraLAX, if you have issues you need to try it) and that my real issues were with my joints and muscles aching, mostly my hips and knees. We talked about everything a lot and she actually listened to what I was saying...she came to the conclusion that she doesn't think it's an arthritis problem. She said typically arthritis is a problem when you wake up and moving around can help it. I have the opposite problem...I wake up maybe feeling just a bit stiff and by the end of the day some days I am hurting so bad I can hardly walk. Motion worsens me, it doesn't make me better. Because I was born with congenital hip dysplasia she thought it was probably related to those issues. First she did a pressure point test for Fibromyalgia which I knew I didn't have. My aunt has this so I knew it's not what I had a long time ago. Sure enough, she said I didn't have a single one of the pain points you typically have with Fibromyalgia. Then she did a range of motion test on my hips and was pretty surprised to find that my range is half that of a normal person my age. She also tested my knees a bit and she exclaimed how easy they were to pop in and out. I just kind of shrugged and told her they've always pretty much done that and she told me what they're doing isn't normal! She called it something specific, which of course I can't remember now. I always just attributed my loose joints to being just that, loose joints. No problem. Apparently it IS causing me problems. She said I need to get started on physical therapy right away to help strengthen certain muscles in my legs to help my knees and hips. She also had me go get xrays taken of my knees and hips to determine how much damage has been done. Along with this she wanted to do a full blood workup, testing me for thyroid issues, blood count etc. to make sure everything looks okay there. I also had to give a urine sample (having to pee in a cup was one of the things I hated the worst about pregnancy!). She also gave me 6 weeks worth of Cymbalta. It's a low dose, only 30 mg. She said while it can be used for an anti-depressant they also use it to treat generalized pain that isn't associated with inflammation--therefor it isn't helped by Advil or Tylenol--like the aches diabetics get. Since Advil and Tylenol do nothing for my aches, she thinks Cymbalta might help. My other dr. mentioned trying this but never went any further with it. The whole visit lasted over an hour! I cannot begin to describe how glad I am that somebody finally took the time to sit and listen to my issues, believed what I was saying and really tried to get to the root of the problem. I'd started to think I was crazy, that it was all in my head somehow because my other dr. didn't take the time to help me figure out what's wrong. It was such a good feeling to have somebody sit there and say "This is your issue, and I think we need to look into this further and see how bad it is, and this is how we're going to try and help NOW before we even know the severity." Basically I start my physical therapy Monday after work. I'm supposed to take the Cymbalta for the 6 weeks, and then I have another appointment scheduled with her next month. I'm not sure if we'll go over the tests results then or they'll let me know when they get them back or what...I honestly don't remember. It was a lot of info in one day to remember! One point that was brought up that I want to note is that this started getting a lot worse after I had Hailey. It's been going downhill ever since. I didn't understand why until today, now it all makes sense. Carrying her for 9 months put so much extra strain on my hip and knee joints...I could barely walk by the time I was at the end(that didn't stop me from hobbling down the hill from the parking lot to eat me some Chipotle now did it??? LOL Even if it did take me a good 10 minutes to get down there! Good times...)...that it basically caused my joints damage. That's why they've been hurting worse since I had her. So now I'm nervous about having more kids...will it get worse with the next one? Am I going to be in a lot of pain in my joints when I'm pregnant next time? And we're wanting to wait a few this something that's going to get worse over time and I SHOULDN'T wait to have more? That would be really unfortunate because we're really wanting to buy a house before the next one. But I guess we'll figure all that out when the time comes. I'm relieved to finally have a good doctor that I can trust and have faith in and I'm relieved to finally have some answers. On one hand, I'm also relieved to find out it's not arthritis...but on the other hand, it's scary to find out that it's actual physical "deformities" or whatever you want to call it. All I could think about was my grandma and her knee replacements and hip pain. As he dr. was telling me the physical therapist would be able to teach me some wrapping techniques for my knees, I was picturing my grandma sitting there in her bed rubbing rubbing alcohol on her knees and then wrapping them tightly in ace bandages. Is that how I'm going to end up? Having to have knee replacements and all that? God I hope not. But at least now I know what's wrong.


Wendy said...

I am soooo glad that you are able to finally start to heal all the pain!!

Erin said...

I bet the physical therapy will do a world of good and take the pressure off your joints! Keep your head up and really do all of the therapy! (oh, and you are right, Miralax is fabulous! And you can take it when you are pregnant, at least my doctor let me, I have IBS as well).