Monday, February 25, 2013

yep, I'm still here

Ok, here's the deal.  I haven't been posting lately because I've been dealing with A LOT of joint pain and every time I started to write something, it sounded either bitchy or whiny.  I mean, I know I call myself Bitter Hag and all, but I don't really like to sound bitter. At least not all the time. Just for special occasions.


Here's how it all went down.  I saw my ob/gyn for my annual and mentioned that I'd been having serious joint pains in both hands, both knees and both ankles and the knee pain in particular has been making it incredibly painful for me to run....I first noticed the hand pain to September 19th (I know this only because I was getting a dye job and hair cut. I measure many milestones in my life by their proximity to haircut appointment dates.)  So I was talking (and probably gesturing wildly) to my hair dude, when all of a sudden my finger joints were KILLING me.  It was really weird.  The severe pain lasted a few weeks and then subsided quite a bit to a mild, dull ache. After that, I started having pains in various joints that would come and go with varying pain severity levels, but the knee pain really took off in early January and hasn't let up.....  So my ob/gyn suggested I see my primary care doc....

My primary care doc looked at my red, swollen joints and said that obviously, something is going on. She drew a bunch of labs and said that even if all the results are negative, she was going to send me to a rheumatologist because my joints look so unhappy......Did I mention that I have newly emergent bone spurs on some finger joints, too? The end result is red, raised lumps on my joints. Guess I can give up the dream of being a hand model...

Back to the saga......I finally got to see the rheumatologist last Friday.  He spent an hour with me, flying through a bunch of review of systems-type questions (Do you have ringing in your ears? When was your last period? Have you had feelings of depression in the last two weeks?), asking about my family history, and then said, "Well, your labs are all normal, there is no inflammatory process going on. You're healthy. You're just old. You have arthritis."

Yeah, I'm 47.  Turns out, 47 ISN'T the new 32. Damn.

So I asked about the sudden onset of pain in BOTH hands, BOTH knees, BOTH ankles.  I mean, I've had my share of running related injuries, and I'm used to the general sorts of pain associated with running, but this is totally different and gee, the last time I checked, I don't rely on my hands much during the running process.

His response to the question of sudden onset? "It wasn't."

Huh?? It wasn't?  Oh good, I'm glad he cleared that up for me.

He then went on to say, "People always ask me, "why me?" "why now?" and I tell them "because that's the way it happened" and "because you're getting old."  Is he for real?? I was so frustrated when I left his office.  I don't know what I was hoping to hear, but I guess thought (or was hoping) that I was going to walk away with some type of action plan that would help me get back into running. I also realized that he never asked me why I was there to see him.  He didn't seem at all interested in hearing what my concerns are, and definitely didn't get what a big deal it is for me to NOT be able to run.

Whoops.  I guess this post ended up sounding both bitchy and whiny.  Sorry about that!  My next post will be all about what I'm going to do to try to combat my pains. I promise it won't be an ongoing bitchfest, I'll keep it positive!