28 June 2016

Coffee-stained health

Some of you may already know that I've been having some health problems lately.

In addition to the diagnosis of rosacea, I've been dealing with a great deal of pain and fatigue that has been increasing for the last couple of years. So I got a referral from my primary care physician to go to a rheumatologist.

I saw the rheumatologist a couple of weeks ago, and he diagnosed me with fibromyalgia. His exact words were, "Well, you definitely have fibromyalgia."

Okay, then.

In addition, he thinks I also have some kind of autoimmune condition "in the lupus family." So he ordered a lot of blood work to try and determine what else, if anything, I have. Once we know what's going on, we can develop a treatment plan that helps deal with all of my symptoms. The blood work is done and I'll get the results at my follow up appointment in a couple of weeks.

If I warn you that my veins roll, it's for a reason.
This is that reason.
The experience was not exactly pleasant. I don't like getting blood drawn. I always warn whoever is drawing my blood that my veins roll and they have to be anchored. I always bruise. Sometimes (like this last time) very badly. But if it helps get answers, it's worth it in the end.

It was abrupt, this change from "something's wrong" to "chronic illness."

In the progression of what I've been experiencing, along with comments from my primary care doctor, I had a pretty good idea of what's been going on. But hearing the words made it real. I know that I'm going to have to deal with this for the rest of my life.

There is a mental and emotional shift. There are things I just can't do anymore, and things I won't be able to do when I'm in a flare (like right now). The past few week it has been hard to accept that the reason I can't do these things is because of my body, not because of my personality. There are things that I can't change, and instead of beating myself up and getting angry because I can't do certain things, I am having to create and adapt to my new normal.

It's going to be a process. And in the meantime, I'm doing what I can.

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