Friday, November 13, 2015
When your "normal" changes
Six months ago if you would have told me I would go from a relatively healthy person to dealing with an unknown auto immune disease, I wouldn't have believed you. But here I sit with my new "normal".
Five months ago I was faced with the possibility of having a tick borne illness. I felt just awful. I had flu like symptoms that just wouldn't go away. I went to my doctor and she put me on a very strong antibiotic. She thought I had Rocky Mountain spotted fever, even though I don't ever remember being bit by a tick. Well, the results for any tick borne illness came back negative. But my symptoms were all still there, with some new ones coming along.
I started having really bad dizzy spells. Marty told me that I passed out once. I just remember going to lay down because I was dizzy, then the next thing I knew Marty was waking me up. During this time my heart decided that it wanted to run a marathon without me. :) So off to the Cardiologist I went. He put me on a 30 day heart monitor. During that time the monitor said my resting heart at one point was 168! Each time I would go to the Dr. my heart rate was around 100. He diagnosed me with Inappropriate Sinus Tachycardia. Basically the natural pace maker of my heart doesn't work properly. So he put me on a beta blocker. It has helped my heart not beat as fast, so that's been a blessing.
The flu like symptoms were still there. My joints hurt, I was achy all over and was running a low grade fever. So my regular physician referred me to a Rheumatologist. He was very thorough, spending an hour with me the first visit. He checked my joints and got a family history. He did x-rays and drew eight vials of blood. I went back yesterday and got the results. I have osteoarthritis in my hands and my ANA titer and pattern came back positive. My ANA (antinuclear antibodies) titer was 1:160. Normal range is 1:80 or lower. A positive titer of 1:160 or higher are strongly associated with autoimmune diseases. My Rheumatologist said that he has seen too many times people with a positive ANA test being told that nothing is wrong with them, but then a year later have a full blown auto immune disease that could have been caught earlier. No, auto immune diseases can't be stopped from developing, but they can be managed. He said as of right now he doesn't have enough information to correctly diagnose a specific disease, but that I am in the beginning stages of something. So I go back to Rhematologist in February to see if anything has changed. So, as of right now, he said I have Early Undifferentiated Systemic Rheumatic Disease, that's a mouthful!! I am currently taking four different types of medicine/supplements on a daily basis.
I can't complain, through it all God's been good. Marty has been a huge blessing and the children have really stepped up and help a lot around the house. I deal with some sort of pain on a daily basis. I can't do as much as I want to do. But you know what I CAN do? I can be thankful for the years of good health I have had. I can be thankful that we are in a place where I can get the help that I need. I can be thankful that The Lord has blessed me with a wonderful family. Yes, there are days that I'm just plain grumpy, but do you know why I can smile even though I really don't feel like it? Because I remind myself that through it all God's been good!
Marty sent me this song the other day, and it really spoke to heart. Here is a link to the song, God's Been Good. I hope it's a blessing to you.
at 2:44:00 PM