November 2012

rheumatology departmentFinally, the time has come, and it is off to the hospital I go… luckily my appointment was made for 8.30 am so there shouldn’t be that many in front of me.  Deep down I was dreading this because I had visions in my mind of my nan… just laying there being so dependant upon others for her care.

I know medicine has advanced greatly since the 1960’s but the thought of having Rheumatoid Arthritis scared me.. I am only 54 and I was waking up feeling like a 90 year old… I was as stiff as a board in the mornings… so if I had to be anywhere early, I knew I would have to be up at the crack of dawn, in order to un-stiffen myself and get there.

Hubby offered to come with me, but he had only just started on another site, so getting time off was not an option really… my mate offered to come but at 8.30 am she is taking her kids to school and to be honest, I didn’t like imposing on her as she has such an hectic lifestyle, what with 2 kids, work and a business to run.

I wasn’t kept waiting long before I was seen by the nurse and the preliminaries were done, weight, height, blood pressure etc, urine test. By luck blood pressure was under control and there was nothing in my urine test to cause concern.. then came the most daunting thing.. filling out a form.

I explained to the nurse that I was having great difficultly lately holding a pen..  and when I tried to write the pain in the side of my hand and thumb was immense… so by luck she said I could go through the form with the doctor and she would help me fill it in.

He looked at the results from my knee x-rays and confirmed that there is wear and tear and that I do have spurs and osteoarthritis in them.. but with proper physiotherapy, pain killers and anti-inflammatory drugs the pain could be managed.

This of course, led to me having to tell him, that I have tried various anti-inflammatory drugs in the past and I get an upset stomach with them.. the only thing I found I could take was Cuprofen and that didn’t seem to help at all.

He then said I could go on a drug called Arcoxia, which is gentle on the stomach and could even be taken without food… so he prescribed me these with a 90mg dose saying that it will be a couple of weeks before I started to notice an improvement.

With regards to my hands, he wanted to go for an MRI scan…. and again I was given the obligatory blood test form… due to the increased ESR levels and this time he wanted to do a Rheumatoid factor test.

So armed with a form for the physio to be handed in to the physiotherapy department and a form to be given to the nurse outside for them to make a MRI appointment, I then, after handing in the MRI form, made my way to the blood test place and waited and had my bloody taken.. again in the lower arm.

Next stop physio department… well I arrived there and they took the form and I was told they would contact me with an appointment.

The consultant told me once he got all the results back he was then arrange for another appointment for me to see him and discuss the results.

Finally I arrived home… and just crumpled on the settee and slept…


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