Got this e-mail from mom and what's been going on with her!
Good evening to all,
Some of you are aware and some may not be, of my recent medical dilemma. Many have been asking and thought this would be the easiest way to inform you. My symptoms came on very fast and were/are very painful. It feels like I have been in a bad accident and every joint in my body aches. My right hand is swollen to the point I can't make a fist and have trouble wringing out a dishcloth (and to a Harshberger that is huge!) My feet are swollen and shoes are tight. I had trouble getting out of bed and made a trip to the ER (thanks to Jan) several weeks ago. They ran different tests, blood work, scanned my arm for blood clots, etc. They determined I had pleurisy. I have been taking Ibuprofen and Arthritis strength Tylenol and finding no relief from the pain. After several different Dr visits I was prescribed different 'drugs' and still no real relief.
Today I had an appointment with Dr. Campbell (Rheumatology Associates) and he is diagnosing me with inflammatory arthritis until all the blood work and x rays get back with the 'real' diagnosis, which could take 2-3 weeks. He really feels I have rheumatoid arthritis and is also having blood work done to check for lupus. The first test came back negative for lupus, so he is doing a more inclusive test. Also said I may have osteoarthritis in my knees. He prescribed methylprednisolone with the understanding that I need to very closely monitor my blood pressure because of my aneurysm on my aorta. This med will help with the joint swelling, therefore less pain, which will be wonderful. I will see Dr. Campbell again in 3 weeks. He said RA comes on with a vengeance and can be triggered by stress, also pleurisy is not uncommon.
Next week I see Dr. Sowden, heart surgeon, concerning the aneurysm. Really don't think it requires surgery at this point, just need to keep monitoring it. I will also be seeing Dr. Oshaughnessy, cardiologist, the end of the month. These heart doctors were both Herm's doctors, so I was very thankful that I was able to get in with them. We both really like them.
I have not worked since Dec 24th and will be off until the end of the month....unless I see much improvement in movement and can manage the pain. I do need to keep moving or I really become stiff, but on the otherhand, I tire so easily and have little get up and go! This to shall pass and with the proper diagnosis and treatment I will be raring to go!
Thanks for your prayers and calls. Will keep you posted as I know more. There is HOPE and I am HOPEFUL.
Love and peace to you all,
P.S. After just one dose of the new drug it seems my hand is feeling some better, just realizing it is easier to type :) As Herm would say, "YIPPEE SKIPPEE!!