Saturday, October 16, 2010

THE GREAT FLARE OF 2010!!!


As some of you know...that read this blog, that I have struggled with Rheumatoid Arthritis for the past 19 years...but nothing could have ever prepared me for the terrible recent flare that I experienced.
I realize...that this disease is very unpredictable...not knowing from one day to the next what to expect.  That's why I get up early each morning...to deal with the unexpected.
 
My right ankle had been bothering me for several weeks...but I just figured...it would get better in time just like anything else has, that had been hurting, etc.

I went to work...but when I was walking on it, it hurt much more than usual.  I finally took a little break to inspect it...and low and behold it was red and swollen.
 
I knew I had to attack this head on, so I contacted my nurse and left a message.  I went home from work...to wait for her call.
 
She called back later and said she could work me in...but it would be waiting.  I didn't care.  I was just happy...that I would be seen that day.

I got there and checked in...maybe 5 minutes later...I was called back.  Wow! that was quick.  She saw me try to get up and asked if I wanted a wheelchair?  I didn't have to think about that twice.  It did remind me though...of when I had my brain surgery and was recovering...and that I used one while we were shopping once...as my head just could not tolerate the hard floor.
 
She said she would wheel me...if I would take my chart...I said okay.  Now...I work in the medical records department at the clinic where...I am employed...so I see these everyday.  I was shocked at how big it had become.  Apparently, I see the doctor quite a bit.  hahaha!

Anyway I managed to step on the scale...then we went into the examining room.  Mom was with me too...as they say, two heads are better than one.  I was in so much pain...that I was afraid I would forget something.

She took my blood pressure...which was a little high...but not surprising with what was going on.

The doctor came in...had me remove my socks...as he wanted to examine both ankles.  The funny thing about this whole saga is...that before my brain surgery and sometime after...I was wearing a left ankle wrap...so this whole thing really threw me for a loop.

Guess what?  My diagnosis was correct.  It was just a real bad flare.  He did an x- ray of my ankle...just to be sure...there was no sprain...break, etc.  There were 3 views and each just showed arthritis.  He said not bad...as he had seen worse.  I think maybe he was trying to make me feel better.

Anyway...he prescribed pain pills...3 times a day..to help the swelling go down.  To go home and ice it...and off of work the next day...which was Friday...and I would have the weekend to re-cup.
We left the office...with my nurse wheeling me to our car.  It hurt that bad.  I even went back to my cane...just to get around the apartment.
 
Well Monday rolled around and guess what?  Arthur had other ideas...that's what I refer to my RA as...gets people every time. I put a call into my doctor's office..and the nurse called back...and he suggested trying an air cast to help immobilize it.

It made sense to me...so I got fitted for the air cast and was able to go back to work the next day.  I would like to thank my boss...who btw reads this blog, for filing my charts...so I could have a chance to recover.
 
I'm still am wearing the air cast...but the swelling has gone down considerably. I am no longer taking the pain pills...my doctor said to save those for the next flare.  hahaha!
Anyway in all of my 19 years of having this disease...Arthur really did a number on me with this great flare.

I have refused to let the RA control me...and it NEVER has or NEVER will!

Well...the great flare of 2010...ended up actually being tendonitis in my right medial foot.  My rheumatologist...who I love dearly and is leaving to take another position in another state...discovered it on examining it. 

He sent me to a podiatrist...who concurred with the diagnosis and prescribed an ankle brace to wear and to invest in some good supportive shoes.  Now this did not come without expense.  If it helps...then it will be worth it in the long run.

I am also on light duty for 2 months at work.  I am also not to stand or walk more than 15 minutes at a time...so my shopping is done by wheelchair.

For me personally...this is very frustrating...but like everything else...I am a fighter and this will not beat me...EVER!