I’m not the type of person that goes to the doctor…. unless I’m halfway dead.
Turns out, I could very well be….
After my appearance in the ER last Easter, it seems as if one thing after another has been going on with my body. I’ve had a constant sore throat for months, I’ve felt exhausted (pretty normal for me) and recently, I developed a weird rash on my eyelid.
So, today….my mother MADE me go to the doctor.
I reluctantly went, but I did it ’cause I’m a Southern girl and I do what my mama says.
As I waited in the exam room for the doctor, I felt a tear trickle down my cheek. I know I have issues….but I don’t like to talk about them all that much….especially not to a doctor.
Every time I mention the amount of stress I live through on a daily basis, I feel like I’m complaining…..I feel somehow that I’m blaming it all on my son, when that isn’t the case.
I’m blaming it on the damn autism.
For a few years now I’ve suspected that I have Fibromyalgia…..I have all the symptoms of Fibro….and they come and go. I’ll be fine for a little while and then I will have a flare-up of anything from skin pain, joint pain, rashes, exhaustion….to episodes of depression, anxiety, heart racing, insomnia…..you get the point.
Usually the flare ups happen during a time of great stress.
Now that I look back on it, I had a lot of “flare ups” during my last pregnancy.
In my last trimester, my ankle started swelling and turned red. I couldn’t walk on it at all….the pain was awful. We thought I had either sprained it, or that I had gout (because it was so painful to the touch….I couldn’t even stand for a sheet to be on it.)
I wrote it off to being fat and pregnant….and my mom lent me her walker. I’m sure I looked like a great big dumbass.
Looking back, it was a “flare up” and not at all uncommon for someone with my suspected “disease.”
Flash forward to today….
When the doctor came into the exam room, she asked me all kinds of questions….and to keep from crying my eyes out (maybe I’m depressed after all) I had to look out the window while I talked to her. I told her about my son, my baby daughter….my daily autism mom stress….and I told her about all of the weird symptoms I’ve been having….while she continued to stare at my itchy, rashy eyelid.
She let out a sigh and asked me to hop up onto the exam table. She did a full exam and told me that my lymph nodes were really swollen, and that my throat was super red. They did a strep test…..it came back negative.
When she came back into the room she told me that she wanted to run a battery of tests on me when my insurance finally comes in…..that they were expensive, but very important.
From the “skin pain” to the exhaustion…to the anemia….to the eyelid rash….
She said she suspected that more than likely, I have Lupus.
Although Lupus runs in my family, I was just a little bit shocked to hear the words come out of a doctor’s mouth. I knew that it was always a possibility, but I guess I was just hoping for Fibromyalgia. How’s that for high hopes?
I won’t really know for sure until we can run all of these tests in a few weeks…..but I’m fairly certain that I have it.
My aunt has it….my great aunt had it …..my great-grandmother had it…..some of my mom’s cousins have it.
Now, I probably have it.
I know that if the diagnosis is finally made, they can give me meds to help me control it….and to keep it from spreading to one of my organs. But it’s still pretty scary stuff for a 33 year-old with a loving husband, a baby daughter and an autistic 7 year-old.
Maybe that’s why I didn’t want to go to the doctor. I knew what was in store….and now I have to face it.
She gave me an anti-depressant to help with anxiety (and apparently, depression) and some cream for my nasty-looking eye.
I have an appointment in a few weeks to do these tests, and I can’t wait to get them done because I just want to know that there actually is something wrong with me….so I can try and do something to fix it.
If it is Lupus, I am absolutely, positively, 100% sure without another sliver of a doubt in my mind that my daughter isn’t getting any more vaccines. Autism is not a psychiatric disorder….it is an autoimmune disorder among other things. The last thing I need is another child with autism. Siblings of autistic children are 50-70% more likely to develop autism. I will not play Russian Roulette with my daughter.
I had always thought that I would probably end up with cancer one day, and just like my father and his father before him…..that would be what “got” me in the end, too.
Turns out, it will more than likely be a complication from Lupus.
Jeez….listen to me, you’d think I was dying. I’m not….Lupus is treatable. It isn’t the killer it once was, and if you are diagnosed in time and can get on the right meds….all is well. But, it still kills 20,000 people a year….and I don’t want to be added to the list.
Not anytime soon.
I just hope that I can manage this disease and get many, many more years of bitching at my husband and yelling at my kids.
I’ve got so much more bitching and yelling to do……