Two weeks ago after my visit to the hospital and subsequent discharge the next day, I was told they hadn’t found anything wrong with my heart. I exhaled an audible sigh of relief but it was only for a moment. A few days later I got a call from my physician’s office letting me know that one of my blood tests were out of whack, and did I have a Rheumatologist? The ANA test apparently came out positive and I needed to make an appointment with a specialist, which I did for September 9th. After said doctor received the test results via fax his office called to get me in right away. I went this past Tuesday.
Now let me tell you that I was a bit confused as I’ve never had any signs of arthritis. I’m thinking a Rheumatologist is a doctor for Arthritis, namely Rheumatoid Arthritis. Well they are, but apparently they also treat Osteoporosis and Autoimmune Diseases. I wasn’t aware of this before I went for my appointment as I was Googling ‘A & A test’, not ‘ANA test’.
An ANA test, technically an Antinuclear Antibody test, is ordered to help screen for autoimmune disorders/diseases and is most often used as one of the tests to diagnose systemic lupus erythematosus. Can we say “Freak Out!”? The Rheumatologist, Dr. Paul, told me that 95% of the tests that come back positive are really a false positive, but unfortunately I’m in the 5% which means there is definitely something there. He tells me that without further testing he doesn’t know what we’re dealing with, but even though there are no cures for autoimmune diseases, there is treatment (F-f-f-f-freak out!).
After extensive questioning and a thorough exam he ordered more blood tests (read: fucking vampire!) and a copy of all the test results from when I was in the hospital and also from my eye doctor (huh?). He had me set up another appointment in a couple of weeks, but he may have me come in earlier depending on what he sees from the tests.
Not to sound redundant but, I’m fucking freaking out!
There have been pains that I’ve been experiencing that I just pass off as getting older or muscle spasms. I’ve had shortness of breath and circulatory problems that I blame on smoking. These things may just be what I thought they were, the effects of aging and smoking; but they are also symptoms of autoimmune diseases.
Let me reiterate, I’m fucking freaking out.
That being said, I probably won’t be posting on a regular basis for a bit. Hey, at least I’ll finally get caught up with my Reader…I hope.