It’s 5 am on a Saturday and I am awake. Sick and twisted I tell you. Most days it’s all I can do to drag my tired self out of bed to say goodbye to Sir D and guzzle some coffee before I have to start educating my offspring. But today? When I can sleep in without the guilt? I’m awake.
I woke up because of the joint pain, you know, because I’m 80. And allergies. I was drowning, it was gross, I will say no more. I also woke up with a strange sort of supercharged feeling in my body, similar to that feeling you get when your foot falls asleep and is finally regaining feeling. Weird.
I’m sure it’s the new meds I’m on. I’ve had a new round of tests and they think they’ve found something.
When I went in to see the rheumatologist last month because Sir D made me, I was just in pain everywhere. You should see me trying to make it up the stairs, it’s pathetic. When this dr did an extensive exam and x-rays and what not, he said to me that he didn’t know what this was yet, though he had his suspicions, but he knew what it was not. It was not Fibromyalgia. I was told several years ago that that is what it was. All the treatments I have tried for FMS have not worked. AT. ALL.
Perhaps that is why.
So I went in yesterday to get all my results. Apparently my blood tests came back positive for Sjögren syndrome. I was quite surprised and I think the dr was too. We both thought it was Rheumatoid Arthritis. I’ve been tested for RA several times, always negative, but apparently sometimes people test in the negative for RA when they actually do have it. There are other tests you can do to confirm it. We did those other tests and it was not RA. Turns out it’s some strange, weird named syndrome I’d never heard of.
The dr seemed quite pleased. He felt like this is a treatable disease and that I will be feeling much better soon. Pardon my skepticism, but this is not my first rodeo. I’ve been told this by several doctors before. “We’ll figure it out.” “We’ll keep working until we get you better.” “We can fix this.” And every time I have not responded to their treatment.
Now, I guess this time, there is something that finally showed up in a blood test (I saw the numbers on the little chart!) not just some doctor guessing about what is going on because of a total lack of anything to go by in my test results, so that is positive.
I’m on a new medicine and was able to discard some of the other unsuccessful treatments I’d previously been using. This new drug is a little out there for me, but if it works, I’ll be singing its praises. The way the drug works is that it attacks and kills the white blood cells that are the bad ones attacking the soft tissue lining of my joints and other glands and organs and stuff (how's that for medical jargon!), but not the white blood cells that are doing what they are supposed to do. How can the little white pill that I put in my mouth and swallow, differentiate between the good and the bad white blood cells? All very Star Trek.
So when I woke up this morning, all my joints aching and this weird supercharged feeling throughout my body I couldn’t help but imagine this little white pill running throughout my body, sword in hand, slaying the evil white blood cells.
Maybe I should lay off the wine before I go to bed.