I’ve been avoiding doctors for the last few months. At the beginning of this year I started aggressively chasing down sources of pain that might not be Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) related. Like the peripheral neuropathy, fainting spells, headaches, altered vision, upper abdominal pain, inability to swallow solid food…I can’t remember what else.
When you have a chronic condition like RA, everything tends to get blamed on that condition. But often there are other factors at play, and there are things that can be done to reduce some pain. Every bit of pain reduction is a good thing.
I had my gallbladder removed and now have no more upper right quadrant pain. I had a Laparoscopic Cholecystectomy, and there were a few issues, so it became a complicated procedure rather than a simple one.
I had an endoscopy and eosphageal dilation, and I have been able to swallow food with ease ever since. Symptoms of Eosinophilic Esophagitis are just starting to return, but it’s not bad (yet?). I just feel like I have a golf ball in my throat most of the time.
The endoscopy showed gastritis, so I have stopped my nsaids (Naprosyn) to let my stomach heal. And the biopsies showed eosinophilic esophagitis, which I think is loads of inflammation in my esophagus, meaning symptoms will return, but due to an allergic cause.
I also had two lumbar spine ablations, and some cortisone shots. Minor stuff, but I just got to the point where I couldn’t face doctors anymore. Where I’d rather deal with symptoms, pain. Spending most of my time in waiting rooms and procedure rooms and dealing with hard faced receptionists, and being treated like a bunch of symptoms is exhausting. It started to feel dehumanising. I just had to stop.
And then the lower abdominal pain got worse, so I am waiting on an appointment with an OBGYN. My ultrasound showed adenomyosis. It’s not mild and needs treatment. Some of my lower back pain may be caused by adenomyosis, but the bloating and cramping definately is. So I’m going to have to deal with it, with potential pain relief as the reward.
I have also made an appointment to see an immunologist about the eosinophilic esophagitis.
I have booked in for a cortisone shot in each hip tomorrow and the next day, because my hip pain is getting unmanageable. Walking is getting too painful. A year ago the ultrasound operator told me that things were looking messy in there. My GP told me an arthroscopic cleanout might be on the cards, but I had my shoulder done first. I figured the recovery on a shoulder would be easier than on a hip (or two). We’ll see if I can strike up a rapport with the technician tomorrow, and they will tell me what they see. Most of all, I really need some pain relief.
And with the return of splitting headaches and waking up on the bathroom floor, with no memory of how I got there, I have made an appointment to see my neurologist. I had two brain MRIs earlier this year, and my neurologist believes I’ve had two small strokes. I’m concerned the headaches and blackouts might mean more strokes. And that’s a pretty scary thought. I’m not usually prone to hypochondria…I’m usually the opposite. Leaving things too long before getting treatment. This is something I need to not ignore and I have deal with. Because while it’s most likely nothing serious, if it IS serious, it’s very serious. So that appointment is also tomorrow.
So I am back on the Dr-go-round. Chasing symptoms. Chasing pain relief. Looking for help. I have ignored everything as long as possible. Now I have to deal.