Hi Everybody! Nice to meet you all
I have an appointment with a rheumatologist this tuesday. At an appointment with my primary care physician, I asked about what to do for this periodic joint pain I get in my wrists, elbows, hips, and ankles. I thought maybe I'd get a rx for physical therapy. Well, he wanted to run the usual yearly check-up blood work and he added on 4 tests for rheumatoid arthritis (ANA, CCP, Rh, ESR). My CBC and metabolic panel came back totally normal. The ANA came back 1:1280 and the Rh was high also. The CCP and ESR were negative/normal. But the lab tests the ANA further if it comes back positive. There was some sjogrens ss-a and it was positive for anti-dsdna. So my primary Dr said I don't have RA but referred me to a rheumatologist to investigate further. So, of course while I wait for my appt, I Google these results. Now, I'm not a doctor (in case I didn't mention that before :D), so I won't try to diagnose myself. What I read mentioned SLE a lot, and I became worried. After reading about various autoimmune diseases, I was inspired to check my temperature- 99.5F; it was August 4th. So I checked every day after that, and it was always between 99.2-99.8 until a couple days ago (Aug 15), it was normal at 98.2. My normal has always been around 98.0. Today it's back to 99.2. Did I will that to happen?? So I'll add "mysterious low, low grade fever" to my short list of symptoms, in addition to what has felt like a 9 month long UTI, but doesn't produce a positive culture.
I know i will get most of my questions answered at my appointment on tuesday (hopefully!), but is this a familiar-sounding path? I feel like I've been pretty healthy. I've been rough on my joints with years of sports, dancing, and weight-training. Have I been staving off symptoms this whole time by exercising? Or is it ridiculous of me to worry if I feel relatively ok? I'm scared by what I read. I've kind of crawled into a shell and haven't gone to the beach/hiked with the dog/worked out once since all of these tests results have come back 2 weeks ago. I really have only had a check up 4-5 times in my 18 years of adulthood. I don't like to make something out of nothing. But I also want to know, of course!
All the best to everyone, and thank you for your time <3