Wednesday, January 23, 2013

What the Rheumatologist Said

I'm feeling so much better today! Part of it, I'm sure, is mood. I went to the rheumatologist (finally! There was a long waiting list) and after a thorough interview, a look at my blood work and a full body exam he gave me some GOOD news:

I do not have lupus.
I do not have rheumatoid arthritis.
I do not have ankylosing spondylitis
I *probably* do not have any other autoimmune disease

What a relief! Of course, there is still the puzzlement of why I have bilateral foot pain that has not gone away in 10 months. He did say I *may* have psoriatic arthritis, but if so it is mild (with only a bit of what may be psoriasis) and he would not change my treatment at this point whether I have this or not. There is no definitive test for psoriatic arthritis. I do, of course, have osteoarthritis, which affects my hips, hands, and knees at times... but not lately, and not when I eat sugar free.

So the good doctor (and he was good) gave me a script for meloxicam, a strong NSAID, to take for a month while I continue stretching and icing. He confirmed that I should discontinue PT at this point. He wants to see me again in a month to determine whether the medication has helped and what the next steps may be.

I flat out asked him if my weight was a likely cause of the plantar fasciitis or a contributor to it not healing. Medical professionals always look a bit surprised when fat people mention that they are fat. It's almost like it's a taboo subject. No fat person going to the doctor for anything other than weight loss wants to get preached at about their fat. We know we are fat, they know we are fat, they write things like "large" or "well nourished" or "obese" in our chart notes but in general I have found they just don't mention it. Even when my blood pressure was consistently high, no doctor ever suggested weight loss or told me that my morbid obesity could be a contributing factor. But every time I've mentioned to a doctor that I know I am fat and I think my weight has contributed to xyz condition, they look surprised, look me in the eyes, and then agree with me. They seem almost relieved that a fat person is willing to talk about their weight and how it is negatively impacting their health. And so it was with this doctor, and he told me that while my weight *may* be a contributing factor, he has seen many, many thin patients with the same problem. However he told me that it was great that I am reducing my weight, and it can only help my joints and perhaps even help my feet to heal.

Last night's dinner was simple: six ounces of Rotisserie chicken breast and one cup of cooked baby spinach that I'd sauteed in a pan with chicken broth. I already had eaten a half cup of broccoli with my lunch (Medifast mac and cheese) earlier, so that gave me the three required veggie servings for the day. I'm still enjoying my coffee black... with a limit of 2 cups with caffeine, and no limit on the decaf (I usually have a cup or two, plus a cup or two of herbal tea.)

I also treated myself to a haircut at a new salon this morning. She did a fantastic job! She took off a few inches and then layered my hair. It looks so much thicker and healthier! I feel great about myself right now.

Off to do laundry and run errands!


Anonymous said...

I am on Miloxicam for PF along with Gabapentin due to arthritis in my feet. Both of those together have been miracle drugs for me with the addition of the Gabapentin being the turning point. Good luck!

Lori said...

I hope this is a move towards healing for you. You have been through so much. You need a break.

Anonymous said...

I take that NSAID too. It gives me diarrhea unless I take it with my largest meal. It does work, and eliminated my high blood pressure that was caused by too much Advil.

I take the 15 mg. I hope it works as well for you as it does for me!

Lyn said...

Thanks guys, I am very hopeful!

spunkysuzi said...

I've had psoriatic arthritis since I was 22. It is very painful at times. It does however for me move to different joints at different times.
I do find that it is much better when I'm eating less sugar/junk.
I also find that as far as exercise or just doing things that if I over do it I pay for it the next day.
But if I gradually increase what I'm doing I can deal with it.
Hope the medication works for you.

Anonymous said...

I've had a doctor tell me to lose weight for acid reflux, and I have a normal BMI! Granted, I'm just a few pounds from being overweight, but still!

Also, I have a painful chronic condition (endometriosis) that made it difficult to exercise. Now that it is under control all I want to do is exercise. All I've got to say is keep on, and never give up.


Taryl said...

I'm so glad you got some answers, at least in the form of eliminating possibilities. Fingers crossed the NSAID helps :)

Anonymous said...

Photo of the new cut! Lets see it! Please! :)


Anonymous said...

Your observations about the doctor/patient interactions are so incredibly keen and so interesting to me. I have trained as a hospital chaplain and am currently pursuing a M.S. in Narrative Medicine.

Glad to hear your encouraging news! :)

Journo June aka MamaBear said...

It's good to rule out the list of stuff that it isn't! Glad you got a good doctor. Nothing better than a good haircut and finding someone who does it well! :-) Hope you continue on the road to good health!