Thursday, July 30, 2009

Forty-two Ways in Forty Two Days- Having a Diagnosis

Anyone who is ill- and especially those of us with chronic illnesses- know that waiting for a diagnosis can be as excruciating as our symptoms. It has been over four years since my diagnosis with Rheumatoid Arthritis and it has been several months since we started looking at Fibromyalgia as well. I am not too concerned with this one. It would explain the spasms in my back whenever my hips pop and in my neck and shoulders but I am resigned to the pain and I will NOT take Lyrica so it's more of just a knowing that I am looking for.

Several weeks ago- my husband broke out in hives. Not just a little case- he was miserable. His whole trunk and the palms of the hands and bottoms of the feet were covered and he was a hot mess. He went to the urgent care and they gave him a shot of prednisone and it made a huge difference. A week later he had another bout and they gave him a dose pack. Within days of ending the dose pack- they were back again. This time they did a blood panel and sent him home with an antihistimine and Benadryl cream. Our biggest concern was that he had become allergic to something very common like nuts or wheat. Instead, the call that we got was that it was autoimmune in nature- but of course they wouldn't tell him exactly what over the phone and scheduled an appointment for yesterday (three weeks later). The last three week have been a bit of a rollercoaster. Fortunately we have the internet to search and found possibilities before we ever went. I went with him to his appointment as I have been through this before and we found that he has a mild form of Lupus.

We were prepared for this. We have questions, of course, but at the moment we will research and wait. Our next step is another blood panel and then probably an appointment with my Rheumatologist. At this point they are not going with a regular treatment- just the benadryl and a round of steroids when needed. They don't want to start him on meds until he becomes symptomatic on a regular basis.

It is such a relief to have a diagnosis. It is like a weight lifted off our shoulders. We know what we are fighting and what to watch for. I am so thankful that we have gotten to the bottom of this and now we can start the process of dealing with it. I am also grateful that we found out this quickly rather than going around and around with potential allergies before the docs started looking in this direction. I am grateful that we can fight this together.

No comments: