Friday, September 15, 2017


Well I saw the Rheumatologist. She was incredible, and understood my pain, how it was affecting me as an athlete and my emotional state, and sincerely wanted to help. That's not something I've seen too often. The first appointment was Wednesday and I went in considerable pain. Joint pain in my hands, fingers, wrists, elbows & shoulders. Lower back pain, the act of standing or sitting really hurt. Of course there was the ever present foot pain as well.

After a very thorough exam she had it narrowed down to "up to four kinds of arthritis" and needed some more information to narrow it down. So I had some blood drawn and had to go for some xrays on Friday. She sent me away with some samples of a prescription strength aleve & a stomach protector that should help the arm pain.

For starters, it worked! The arm pain kind of eased up, at least most of it did. Still had some pretty good stiffness in my hands though, but overall the pain was about 70% better. The foot pain eased up a bit too. So I tried to run on Sunday, and ended up getting in 4 miles. The first mile was actually comfortable. The rest weren't bad, at least not as bad as it's been the last few times I ran. So with a single 4 mile run this is now my highest running month since March. Mentally and emotionally it felt so good to get some miles in, albeit slow miles, and feel pretty good at the end without limping for the rest of the week.

Monday I went and got in an entire swim practice. And it was a doozy, a 4000 yard IM practice. The joint pain has been so bad I haven't made it through an entire practice in weeks, that's what finally broke the straw to convince me to make this appointment.

Tuesday I went back for the follow up appointment. The blood tests did not have any markers to indicate Rheumatoid Arthritis, and the xrays did not show any Ankylosing Spondynitis, one of the other scary possibilities. There was something funky in the lower lumbar area, so I do still need to get one more xray there. But my hips were totally clear.

I do have osteoarthritis in my hands - hence the remaining stiffness. Blood tests also showed a pretty bad vitamin D deficiency. So now I have to take prescription strength aleve & zantac twice a day, and a pharmaceutical grade vitamin D and chondroiten once a day. Also, temporarily, adding a foot wrap so I can start running regularly again.

Yep, I think it's finally time when I can try getting some beginner miles on the roads again. And it couldn't come at a better time (autumn). So it takes 6 pills a day and an ace wrap, but I can finally get back on the road and finish a swim practice.

**disclaimer - I know these memes have nothing to do with the theme of this post, but I find them hilarious and think posts without pictures can be boring.


Lisa from Lisa's Yarns said...

I am so glad that you saw a rheum and that she was so helpful! That's a great doctor! My first rheum was a total a-hole and I could not stand him but then I found another great doctor in Charlotte and she was amazing to work with. And now I have an awesome rheum in Minneapolis who i found after seeing a shitty one for over a year (I kept going to him because his office was walkable from where I lived and worked). So 2 of the 4 rheums I have seen were women... I'm not trying to throw men under the bus here but sometimes women are just so much better at bedside manner and compassion. Or at least that has been my experience with the 4 rheums I've seen. That's not to say there aren't women doctors who have no bedside manner or that there aren't male doctors who are compassionate and caring. Women just seem to be naturally built to be more comforting/caring at times...

Anyways, long rant there... Bottom line, I am glad you are on the road to getting back to being painfree. I can relate to the frustration of having to take all these dang pills to become painfree but some things just can't be solved on their own. I am on so many different meds because of my RA that I have a days of the week pill box with am and pm boxes for each day. Talk about feeling like a senior citizen!!

hebba said...

Oh, your comment made me so happy! I'm sorry you are in so much pain. I am also struggling with running right now- twisted my knee back in June and still acts up any time I put in more than 4 miles at a stretch. (hiking is fine, though). Will be putting up some more pics of my current locale and getting back into reading blogs. Rock on!