Friday, August 17, 2007

Doctor visits

Yesterday I had to don one of these lovely garments in order to have some xrays taken and will be wearing one a few more times in the next couple of weeks for medical tests. Boo hiss. I really hate doctor crap and try to avoid going if at all possible. When pain sets in, I am more willing to go. This happened with my big toe a couple nights ago. I have had these bouts of big toe pain a few times over the past few years and it's horrible. It's a hot pain, like someone put broken glass into my toe joint and trying to move the toe is unbearable during a flare-up and can't even touch it even slightly.

When the pain subsides, then it's like birth pains and quickly forgotten about. This time it's not so quick to subside and handfuls of Ibuprofen and Tylenol has not helped. I also have had an increase in joint pain. I really try not to complain about it because no one wants to hear about people's medical problems. And it does nothing at all to complain about it, so I basically just roll with it and deal with it by trying to distract myself with other things. But this toe this time was not to be ignored. The other night I could have cried like a baby, and I RARELY cry. I know lots of people cry at the drop of a hat or the slightest emotion, but it takes a lot to bring me to tears.

So, I called the doctor and got an appointment rather quickly. He says my problem is GOUT! I asked him "Isn't that an old man's disease?" and he said it affects men more often than women, but is not strictly a man's disease. It can strike anyone. Wonderful. In addition to the RA this is just wonderful (I say that sarcastically.) I had to come completely off my Triamterene HCTZ because that could be what is inducing the gout. I have been on this medication for a number of years and it's finally starting to cause trouble. The drugs they give you for one thing, always affects something else sooner or later.

Now I have even more diet restrictions and this is getting to be challenging to find stuff I can eat. We are supposed to go on the road again in a couple of weeks and what and where when it comes to food for me is going to be difficult. Low salt, low protein, low sugar, low fat, low carb..geesh!

I had to go get x-rays of my foot and toe even though we know it is gout, he probably just wants to cover his own ass and make 100% sure the joint isn't broken or have some kind of other problem. Had to put on a little gown just to take an x-ray of my FOOT. I think they just like to put you through extra hassle to amuse themselves or something. I also had a vampire woman take four vials of blood out of my arm. Then had to go get a urine sample which required me to walk past a waiting area of people with this cup to go to the bathroom, and then carry it back through the crowd to return it to the lab people. What happened to the little private doors to put the sample into??? Things are not very discreet like they used to be.

So, now am waiting for the results to see if I have Lupus or not. They are double checking the RA as well, which is what I was originally diagnosed with when I was in my late 30s. I am glad this crap has affected my feet instead of my hands because I love to blog, write, draw.

While the doctor had me in there, he asked "when was your last mammogram"? Great. I knew he would catch on to that eventually. It has been several years since I have had a mammogram or been to a gynecologist. I can't even remember the year. He gave me an order for a mammogram and I have to call and have it scheduled, which I didn't do yesterday, and should do it today. I know I should. It's been a long time. It will most likely show nothing and all that squeezing and torture will be for nothing...which is good if it is nothing. I try to rationalize my way out of it but I know deep down that it is important for women to have regular mammograms and gyne checkups.

The doc gave me a prescription for Mobic. 15 mgs once a day. While on this medicine I have to be monitored frequently, which means more time spent in the doctor's waiting room and office.
After two doses, I don't feel a big difference yet. I will give it some time and maybe after I get more into my system it will start working. The Darvocet he gave me for nighttime is great. Last night was the first time in weeks that I slept through the night without waking up with something hurting! I will use that sparingly, however. Hopefully the Mobic will kick in soon.

Ahhh, I should have taken better care of myself and exercised more when I was younger.


Poodles Rule said...

UGH! I'm sorry to hear about your struggles. I can sympathize. I get to have my first mammogram next friday. Not looking forward to it.

And the blood thing, double ick. I have to have mine done every 6 weeks for the Methotrexate they have me on, and nobody can ever get it on the first try. I always close my eyes and just tell them to let me know when it is over.

Stardust said...

poodles, I know most women hate having mammograms and having their boobs flattened like pancakes on this icy cold vice-like machine. It seems that there would be a better way by now without the torture devices. But I know I need to go. I always used the excuse that breast cancer doesn't run in families, then I have read articles about women who developed breast cancer with no one at all in their families ever having it.

Have you ever been prescribed Mobic? I got a weird pressure in my chest twice now after taking it and I read that it could bring on a heart attack so now have stopped and gone back to Ibuprofen. Some of these possible adverse reactions makes me suspicious of new drugs. I also have asthma which is a problem with taking medicine, too.

I think at the moment if I could have about ten days of Prednisone I would get over this bout. They will probably end up doing that after they "experiment" first.

Poodles Rule said...

I have never taken the mobic. I am trying to wean off the prednisone and I wish I didn't have to, that helps the best.

Stardust said...

poodles, my father was on prednisone for a long time for the Rheumatoid arthritis and it was like a miracle when he first started taking it. He comes off to give his body a rest and symptoms creep back. Wish there wasn't the side effects with that that there are because it works wonders. Injections directly into joints brings such quick relief (especially if they mix it with a kind of novocaine...I forget what it's called now).