Wow! Thanks guys! I was lurking for a while, reading your posts, and kind of shy to post at first. Sometimes, I really feel like I am going nuts. What is a sympotm, what is just normal everyday pains?
Chaya, they did do blood work on me... I have had high ANA for the last few years, very high Sed rate, I am negative for Anti-DNA. That turned out ok.
I had a high C-reactive protien. I tested positive for the Rheumatoid factor once, a while back... but it was a weak positive. I had a low platelet count. They tested for the complement proteins (C3 and C4) which came back alright.
They ruled out RA because the joints in my fingers and toes were not involved. I had severe inflamation, but all x-rays show no damage to the joints (thankfully!). The joints that give me trouble are wrists, knees, ankels, elbows and jaw (I have had TMJ since I was in Jr. High... I am 34 now). If I don't chew gum, my jaw is ok. Also, my symptoms seem to come and go. I will have periods of being ok and just fine... I even do cardio and weights sometimes without any discomfort...but suddenly, out of nowhere, I will flare up. Why can't one of those flares be when I go see my doctor??? I am thinking that I might take pictures of my joints when they do flare to take to him... his office is over two hours from me, so I don't have an apointment too often. In fact, I saw him last week, and he told me to go see my family doctor if I have anything else. No more follow ups. I am assuming it was because I wan't having any trouble then. I was fine. But I am sure if I have another flare, my family doctor will alert him.
What make me wonder is what I saw at the doctor's office the last time I saw him. I don't like to complain. It is hard for me to go to the doctor's office and when they ask how I am, to say "well, I am in pain" or "I'm terrible!". But this woman came out of the examination room, looking like me, like nothing was really bothering her that day (she was moving fine and didn't seem in any distress), and they told her to go downstairs (this is in a hostpital) for more blood work and they will see her the next day. It sounded like she goes to see him every single day! I wondered what she has? As soon as I thought that, I felt really bad, but I was wondering what was wrong with her? What is she saying to him that is getting her answers? It is frustrating.
I know it takes a while for people to get diagnosed, but this has been going on since I was 16. I still don't know what I have. My family doctor always says "How is your arthritis today?", but I have no idea what I have. Not that it is something I need to know, but I would like to have a name for it and then I can go live my life. I am just about ready to give up. If only I had the guts to ask my family doctor what this specialist is saying... he sends him a consultation report every time I go see him. It is right there on the desk when I go see my family doctor -in my file, but I am too chicken to sneak a peek in case my doctor comes in the room while I am perusing the file! lol