Diagnosing Rheumatoid Arthritis

Apparently diagnosing Rheumatoid Arthritis is a detailed process. The rheumatologist has ticked the box off that says I have it, but he’s ordered quite a few more tests. In the next two weeks I’ll have X-Rays of my wrists, ankles, hips and shoulders. He would like me to have MRI’s instead, but he had mentioned that MRIs are expensive. In addition to this I’ll need a baseline retinal exam and some liver tests. Eight vials of blood were collected from me earlier this week, and I’m not wise enough to know which results to hope for.

Today my husband mentioned that he thought I was handling all of this very well. That’s because I only cry after he’s gone to work.

This morning when I got on the phone with United Healthcare to talk about the authorization processĀ  for the MRIs the woman on the other end was so kind that I just started to cry. I felt terrible for her, because I’m certain that folks are on the phone with her all the time that have wretched, life threatening diseases and disorders. I was just so touched by her kindness and her willingness to help that I wept. I was (and am) so incredibly grateful that we have the sort of insurance coverage where money doesn’t really enter into the equation when determining treatment plans.

In the middle of a truly awful week there are some bright spots, and I managed to cry right through them.

I’m headed for a second opinion, and if they aren’t identical diagnoses, a third. I have a husband who can see the details in everything, but somehow doesn’t see my swollen joints or my puffy eyes. I have kids who I can still beat the snot out of in a foot race, and the rest of my family is just incredible.

If Mr. G. can keep looking at me without seeing the puffiness, I’m pretty sure we can beat the crap out of this thing.

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