Thursday, December 10, 2009

What's up with my arthritis--or is it arthritis?

Lately I've had a flare up of my rheumatoid arthritis. It has hit my hands and wrists in late Nov/Dec, but in October it was my upper back and right shoulder. Right now it's confined to both wrists, the bottom joint on my left thumb, and the ring finger on my right hand. That has been getting progressively worse. Aleve has seemed to have no effect, so I quit taking that and putting that foul stuff on my stomach. This morning I woke up and the rt ring finger is so bad it is in constant pain and I can hardly do anything with it. Of course, when one finger on a hand hurts the entire hand hurts, to some extent. Shifted the mouse to use it left handed (as I once did) and I'm keeping on keeping on.

But this really hurts, and I'm not even sure it's rheumatoid. I must digress a little. I was first diagnosed with rheumatoid back in the early 90s, when I began getting pain in my ankles, an elbow now and then, and maybe other places from time to time. They x-rayed, took the usual tests, and all the rheumatoid tests turned out negative. So they called it "sero-negative rheumatoid arthritis", which I guess means rheumatoid-like symptoms without the typical rheumatoid chemicals. Sometimes it flares up, and sometimes I have almost no pain at all.

When I had my annual physical in August my new doctor said she questioned the diagnosis, saying that sero-negative is more or less a doctor punting: gotta call it something. But we never got to the point where she could run any tests to see what it might be. And, in August I had almost no symptoms. Now I have the symptoms, and now she has closed her practice and moved to Oklahoma. Blankety-blank Okies!

So today I'll call our new doctor, one who I've never seen but Lynda has, and say "Could I have you look at my rt ring finger and figure out why it's swollen, deformed, and painful? Could it be phlebitis? Or what? I haven't had any trauma." I'll probably sound ridiculous, but it's come to the point where I have to do it. If I can't get in with them, perhaps I'll go to the ER.

Well, I got through the typing okay. Tapping keys with that finger is a little painful, but I can bear it as long as I don't tap too hard. My speed was okay as well. Don't feel like proofreading, thought.

See you all on the flip side.

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