I don’t feel any worse today than I did yesterday. I’m no sicker, and my immune system’s no weaker. I’m just sadder, and more worried.
In the past months my tennis has dropped from four times a week to one. My hand aches nearly constantly, and I can no longer open a jar. I’ve been to my doctor, to the hand specialist and, now, to the rheumatologist. It looks like rheumatoid arthritis. Apparently three of seven markers are needed to make a diagnosis, and I have four of them, with three tests still waiting to be done.
I am devastated. I hate the thought of a lifetime of medication, I am terrified by the notion of gnarled digits, and I am sad at the prospect that this might get worse.
I know I’m no worse off now than I was when I got out of bed this morning, but I feel different. Worried, anxious, sad, scared, and a tiny bit hopeful too, because now that we’ve named it, maybe we can get about the business of fixing it.