Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Someone shit in my gene pool.

Sorry, no sexy shoes this Tuesday. Usually window-shopping for shoes I would never really buy would be fun and a nice distraction, but after everything that's been going on, I just can't help but find it petty.

As many of you know, I've been dealing with a series of health issues. My asthmatic lungs are still recovering from being shredded by 5 bouts of bronchitis between last July and this January. I had to change birth control medications because the one I was on had, after 2 years of being amazing, started causing "mood changes" of a wide variety, a vaginal Sahara Desert, and a zombie libido*. (those issues have cleared up on the new meds, thank heavens) And now it's been a year since we started trying to figure out what's causing my back pain.

Physical therapy did very little to alleviate my pain, other than teach me how to compensate for and protect my back and providing access to the TENS unit to break the worst of the muscle spasms. The x-rays and MRIs came back pristine. The orthopedic surgeon said that there was nothing he could cut in and fix. A breast reduction won't do much to help; I may have ridiculously large breasts for my small frame, but the pain is in the wrong places to be caused by them. All of the bloodwork has come back negative, one after another.

The closest we've come to an answer was the most recent round of testing. My Vitamin B-12 level is well within the normal range, but near the lower end. My doctor gave me an injection of B-12 yesterday; if it helps, we'll keep doing it. So far, I've only gotten side effects and no relief, but we'll see. I get the feeling that she's grasping at straws at this point, trying to find something she can fix, something that isn't a debilitating, life-long issue.

Something other than Rheumatoid Arthritis.

The next round of bloodwork is the one I've been dreading the most. It's the start of the battery for Rheumatoid Arthritis. It's what nearly every doctor I've seen has said is the most likely explanation. It's the reason I've been dragging my feet about scheduling appointments to see doctors and get my blood examined.

Damn it, I'm 21! This is supposed to be something that happens when you're old, or middle aged at the very least! I'm young. I'm still in college. I'm not even married yet. I've got my whole life ahead of me, and the doctors are telling me that it's likely that I have Rheumatoid Arthritis. Yes, it's rare at this age, but I had a great grandmother on either side of the family that was diagnosed with it by 30. Early onset forms of these "diseases of old age" almost always have a strong genetic component.

As a close friend of mine once lovingly said: "Who shit in YOUR gene pool?"

I'm probably going in to get the bloodwork done sometime this weekend. And then I'm going to need a lot of crazy, raw sex and tender cuddles from my boyfriend while I wait for the results.

*Zombie Libido: a libido that is dead, but every so often can be brought back to life temporarily by lots of love and hard work, or a your friendly neighborhood necromancer


  1. One of my best friends in elementary school and junior high had RA. He'd had it since he was 3 or so.

    My understanding is that they have much better treatments for it these days, so it's not as bad as it once was.

  2. Thanks Tim. And thank goodness for the scientists and doctors doing the research to make these breakthroughs.