I still remember the first time I met my rheumatologist. Well it was only a few years ago.
He looked at my xrays of the arthritis that had started in my thumb, and within a week moved to my wrist as well. He looked at my blood test results.
Then he started asking questions:
- Had I ever had a rash when I went out in the sun? (Ever since I was a kid.)
- Had I ever been diagnosed with reflux? (Yes) Had I had a gastroscopy and what did they say? (Just some free-floating reflux.)
- Had I ever had irritable bowel? (Yes) Colonoscopy? (Yes - they just said it was irritable bowel). That means they don't know what caused it.
- Had I had headaches? (Yes) Unexplained menstrual problems (Bad enough to have a hysterectomy - with no cause found.)
- Fatigue, random aches and pains? (Yes, and yes.)
- Depression? (Yes.)
For the first time in my life someone told me all these random things were actually part of the same thing. I wasn't just so incredibly unlucky to have all these separate issues - I had one condition that caused all of these other strange, seemingly unrelated things.
Since then I've even found that some other lupies had their childhood traumatised by nosebleeds - just as mine had been.
It was an amazing thing to discover that when I had been sick on and off for years, there actually was a reason. I had been having lupus flares without ever knowing. Being diagnosed with lupus was a shock - but it was also a relief. Suddenly so much that had never been explained now was.
This post was written as part of NHBPM – 30 health posts in 30 days: http://bit.ly/vU0g9J