It’s been a few months of ups & downs since I posted my first blog on here. At that time I’d just been referred onto the Rheumy department & was full of uncertainty as to if I had RA or not.
Sods law on the day of my 1st appointment everything had settled down & apart from a few aches I had nothing physical to show the consultant. No major swelling or sore points, not even the hobble of a walk I’d become accustomed to since Xmas. Luckily I’d heeded all the advice I was given and had kept a detailed diary, complete with glossy close-up photos of various joints at their worst. They may not win any Pulitzer prizes but still I was a bit put out when the Rheumy had to ask “what joint am I exactly looking at there?” Still my photos had helped her see what was going on & although she was almost certain I had RA she sent me away for further tests & a baseline chest X-ray.
That’s where it all went a bit tits-up for a while. My chest X-ray had come back with a shadow on one of my lungs. My Rheumy phoned to say she was sending me for a CT scan to see exactly what it was & tried her best to reassure me it that it probably wasn’t serious but it was a fraught couple of weeks waiting for the scan & subsequent results. In that short time, and with the “help” of the internet, I’d managed give myself about 5 years to live (10 on my cheerier days) & fretted over every conceivable outcome. I’m guessing the added stress didn’t help but my joints then seemed to go into total meltdown, my hands became a total mess & completely new pains & swellings I’d not encountered before surfaced in my knees, feet & ankles.
Results day finally came & the big beaming smile on my Rheumy’s face as I entered the consultancy room told me instantly that all my worrying had been unnecessary. She informed me it was simply some harmless scar-tissue that the x-ray had picked up. The sense of relief was over-whelming & I could’ve run around the hospital shouting out my joy to anyone who cared to listen. Sods law again, this time my feet were playing up and running anywhere was out of the question.
With my lungs given a clean bill of health my Rheumy confirmed I have RA & was happy to get me started on some treatment at last. After discussing things over in-depth with her we agreed to start on just 400mg Hydroxy daily for the first 6 months as we’re still hopeful of starting a family. She’s also put me on a course of steroids, which I know are only temporary but they’ve been an absolute Godsend. I’m still getting pain in my shoulders & wrists after work but my hands have been flare free so far. The most noticeable effect though is that I have some of my old energy back. Pre-steroids the most I could muster was standing quietly at the back nodding in time to the music at concerts. Last week at a Biffy Clyro gig I managed to work my way near the front for a good old bounce. I paid the price & was a bit tender the next day but haven’t enjoyed a night out as much in ages. My wife & friends we went with all said they’d noticed a change in me but the greatest compliment came from my sister-in-law who simply just said “It’s so good to see you with your old sparkle back in your eyes!”