Friday, August 21, 2009

Freaking Out...

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.

24 comments:

Cindy said...

I know that I would be too. I wish that I could give you a big hug. Meanwhile, I'll pray that you FEEL our prayers. I pray that you are comforted and filled up and overflowing! Bless you...you're in my thoughts.

LceeL said...

Hey - if you need anything - you call me, hear? Meantime, just take care of you.

Headless Mom said...

Take good care of yourself! My aunt deals with some of this so if you ever want to talk about it let me know. I'll be praying for you, pal!

Organic Meatbag said...

I hope everything turns out OK, dear...I know it's easy for me to say, but just try to keep positive thoughts in your head...you're going to make it through OK!

Gin said...

Hang in there. And might I suggest...get second opinions wherever possible in this situation. You need as much knowledge as possible! You are in my thoughts!

Mental P Mama said...

Oh no! Take care of yourself. My family is rife with autoimmune issues....I hope you get some good news soon.

Kim's Korner said...

Ah CRAP! I hate when your body decides it wants to be a complete ass!

Google google google, that's what I say. I know some people freak themselves out even more by reading all of what it 'could' be, but ... I'm also a firm believer that knowledge is a good thing. Make a list of questions you may still have, and have them ready when you go for your next appointment.

For one procedure, I went into the initial consult with ... 52 questions. Might have been overkill, but at least I had all my fears addressed.

Know I'm thinking about you. And hoping everything turns out OK.

Please keep us posted when you can!

Cat said...

It is so scary when we dont have an answer and the question is our health! I am sending good thoughts your way and hoping you take this time off to rest, and take care of you.

Moonspun said...

Oh honey! I'd be totally freaking out too if I were you. Plus, that weird period of NOT knowing what something is sucks. It's this shitty inbetween space. Knowledge is power and if you don't know you feel powerless.
Know that I am thinking of you and sending lots of love and good wishes your way.

Selma said...

I'll be thinking of you. Please keep us posted on the results XXXX

Badass Geek said...

Just take care of yourself, that is the most important. Of course we'd like to know how you are doing, but your health comes first.

I hope everything is okay.

Wine and Words said...

Poor sweetheart. Nothing makes me madder than body rebellion. And, I agree, nothing incites more fear. I'm so sorry.

Bama Cheryl said...

Yikes. Good thoughts and hugs are on the airwaves....

mumma boo said...

Ugh. I'd be freaking out, too. Take care of yourself! Sending many good thoughts and hugs your way...

Aunt Becky said...

Don't you HATE it when it's actually Something? I freaking do.

Hang in there, my friend. I'm sorry that this had to be Something. Shit.

Lola said...

Oh, girl, I'm keeping the faith that it's just a cooky false alarm.

Stay strong, and do get a second and maybe third opinion.

CK said...

Page 22, Sunday PARADE Magazine (8/23/2009): Picture a patient and a doctor... "We'll run some tests, and I'll call you in a few days when you've had enough time to get totally freaked out." Yup.

Aunt Juicebox said...

Let us know how it's going when you can ok? Hugs.

Nej said...

I swear, every doctor before becoming a doctor, should be told he/she might have some unknown disease....and let them sweat it out for a week.

Do they not have any idea what they do to us when they do this???

TexAss said...

You're in my thoughts, girl. I hope everything turns out okay!!

Coal Miner's Granddaughter said...

Oh, my dear. I am thinking of you, I'm sending good vibes your way, and I know that whatever you have, it can be treated. I've watched so many "Mystery Diagnosis" shows and if it's an autoimmune disorder, there have been so many advances in treatment and discovery/knowledge. I have the faith, hon.

No worries about blogging. We all understand. Just keep us posted when you can and I love you!

Captain Dumbass said...

Freakin Blogger ate my comments!!!

*ahem*

Hopefully its all just nothing and the recent aches and pains are from the freaking out. And don't worry about the blog, we'll all still be here when you get back.

Sheila said...

Oh man. And here I was thinking I was all kinds of awesome for ignoring that damned reader all week during vacation and really I shouldn't have!

Gah! I'm sending lots of thoughts and well wishes your way babe.

PLEASE let me know if you need anything - I'm only a phone call and a ten minute high speed police chase away.

Love you.

meleah rebeccah said...

I know all about FREAKING out over the possibility of having an autoimmune disease. And I FREAKED OUT even more when they did find what was wrong with me.

But, then, they gave me the RIGHT medications and I was FINE.

And YOU will be FINE too.

But, until then, feel free to FREAK OUT.

I will be praying for your health!