Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Slight state of shock

So I've twittered on I don't know how many times about my manky hands.  Sometimes they hurt, sometimes a lot.  This started years ago and one benefit of working for the Government is that they have the whole Disability Act down and make all sorts of work related adjustments - granted it takes them a long time to crank the wheel and go through the many hoops to get the equipment to you, but it is so much better than other places I could be working. 

So at my disposal I have an arsenal of a light touch keyboard, computer joystick shaped mouse and voice activated equipment.  Granted the latter is slow and annoying as hell and does not like excel - which is not good when one is an accountant - but you get my drift.

For a while when I write for more than 2 minutes I get pain in my hand and I write like a spider - that's kinda not normal but I left it for going up a year before I trotted off to the GP to see if it is something I should worry about - you know, because mum brought me up to believe that you don't trouble to Dr unless you're dying.  He was very derogatory and seemed to ignore the fact that I was telling him my symptoms were worse - the clue was in him informing me that nothing could be done and "for all I know if I stopped taking the anti-inflammatory medication I may find that I am not in pain and it has righted itself over the years."  ERM, hello.....

So being the stroppy mare I am, I stopped the medication to see. Cue 3 weeks later a wail of "I don't know what to do with either of my arms - they just ache soooo much."  So I saw my OWN GP who was very concerned at the severity and speed of the flare-up of pain - indicating that the medication had in fact masked my "condition" getting worse.  Cue a request to the hospital with neurology....

Now the beauty of the UK is that all this is free - yes some whine about the state of it but it is FREE (if we ignore the taxes we pay) but we should think ourselves grateful that we are also not paying through our noses for health insurance as our USA counterparts do.  They saw me quite quickly - well, in comparision to the last time this 'wonderful' government were in power when it would take over 6 months just for an initial consulation, found some weakness in my right hand, prescribed so neuropathic medication and requested nerves tests on my hands.  That was today.....

....I've had one before, they electrocute you but only enough to make your fingers and hands jump about which in the grand scheme of things is kind of funny to watch.  The last one came back saying nerves weren't trapped, again that happened today and I am not surprised at that finding.

What I am surprised at is today's consultant asking questions such as "Is the medication prescribed by the neurologist helping?" - No.  Apparently, that is no surprising because todays test confirmed nerves aren't trapped.

"Did the anti-inflammatory mecication work?" - Yes.

"It is likely that this is the beginnings of rheumatoid or osteoarthristis which would agree with the anti-inflammatories having some affect so I think you need to be investigated for that as well as your ligaments...."

OKAY!  That I wasn't expecting.  Now it can't be that severe if it is that because I can't see any visible swelling which I would expect with rheumatoid arthritis and lets face it, it's not that bad a diagnosis because the symptoms can be treated.  Though one of my friends responses kind of says what I was thinking "you are not that much older than me".

No, I am not, I am not 40 until next year.  I only feel about 20 in my head - my body is probably around the 30 year old mark now (if we ignore the body lift and bat wing surgery now required after the weight loss) but I am getting older. 

I don't know why I feel the way I do though and that is probably why I am twittering away just tapping out what my brain is thinking.  If it ends up to be arthritis then so what; I know that the anti-inflammatories have an effect and maybe a diagnosis would allow for a better medication to be prescribed than what I was on before.

It's not that it is a degenerating disease - a large amount of the population get some kind of degenerating condition as they get older.  It does not mean I cannot lead a full life. 

I think it is more to do with my brain going to the place of "If the nerves aren't trapped it is definitely Repetitive Strain Injury" and me not considering any other condition. 

In the scheme of illnesses it rates very low on my scale to be honest.  Angel suffers every day with her condition and many thank their lucky stars they do not live with her condition every day - Angel has paid a high price but has benefited in other ways - she has adapted and it has made her family so much stronger than it already was and I hold her on that pedestal.  I think I also rate most illnesses against hers and in my head arthritis is miniscule.

The upsides of that diagnosis would be that it would force me to ensure that I stayed healthy - that I kept my weight low, that I ate heathily, that I got load bearing exercise and that I learnt to swim properly so that where I have to give up things such as weights (which I struggle with recently) I can pick up other things that would compensate.  I am sure that Angel would happily teach me how to swim properly - you know, seen as she compensated for her illness and as a result has recently swum in an open water competititon to raise money for her charity - again, there goes that pedestal.

So....all in all, as much as I am in a bit of shock I think it is purely because my head had not already gone there before the consultant said what he did but I would look on it as a positive and make it work for me.

In other news:

Today's lessons:
  • it is a good idea not to leave the dining room door open where the fruit and veg rack is readily available to the fluffers
  • Abi (aka Baba fluff) does not take one apple to try, she takes the whole bag
  • it may help to check the house before leaving it to check for other veg that may have been snaffled because otherwise I come home and find a net bag of tomatoes which have been tried and then left in disgust (by said baba fluff)

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