From my prior posts you know that I have been dealing with a mystery back pain. This pain has come and gone, lasting only a day or two at the most for many years. A year and a half ago it struck and stuck! When I informed my doctor of this pain last year he wrote it off by saying it was caused by Fibromyalgia. I knew he was wrong and kept at him. After a year of him not taking me seriously I gave up. I didn’t give up on finding an answer so much as I gave up on my Dr. finding it. I am in no way saying my doctor was faultless in not taking my pain seriously, but I will cut him some slack because side effects from my prescription medications for pain, insomnia, anxiety, and muscle spasms were creating more issues. My doctor, as well as myself, was distracted by all of these side effects. I knew I had to take control of my body when he suggested throwing more prescriptions into the mix all the while ignoring my lower back pain. At this point I stopped taking all my prescription medications. What happened next was interesting. My pain was no different than when I was popping pills. The best part was that all my side effects disappeared. I suffered with anxiety, muscle pain, joint pain, insomnia, muscle spasms, and lower back pain medication free for 9 months. At this point I began treating my pain with medical marijuana. My anxiety, muscle spasms, and fibro pain are at an all time low. It has been 4 weeks since my last sleepless night. My digestive issues are gone. I was and am able to feel exactly where my back pain stems from. With these distractions gone I returned to my doctor to get answers for my back.
Five months ago my lower back pain progressed to the point where I have to use my wheelchair whenever I leave my house. I feel as though my pelvic bone and spine are scraping against each other when I walk. What’s worse is the swelling of muscles and nerves in that area when aggravated. When I returned to my doctor he almost seemed disappointed that I had only one issue I needed to deal with. He was shocked when I refused all of his prescription suggestions for my pain. I told him that those pills will only cause more problems and take the focus off of what is really wrong. So far, with the help of another doctor, tests have proven me right. The arthritis that I was told was minimal last year has progressed to severe, showing up clearly on my x-rays. My blood work has confirmed that I do indeed have Psoriatic Arthritis. Although I had been diagnosed with this many years ago, I had so many other things going on with my body at that time that I was never treated for it. I also have Joint Degeneration.
I have no illusions of being healed. I got what I wanted which was a diagnosis. This isn’t the first time that my diagnosis of Fibromyalgia has gotten in the way of having another issue diagnosed. It took two years to find a doctor who didn’t blame my side pain after my hysterectomy on fibro. Turned out to be a large portion of my left fallopian tube that was left behind by a sloppy surgeon. I spent two years with that darn thing embedded into my side wall. It was covered with adhesions and infected when it was removed.
It disgusts me that doctors take so long to take me seriously. I truly believe that both issues would have been diagnosed with earlier had I not been labeled with Fibromyalgia. Fibromyalgia is the worst “F” word in my vocabulary. I hate this word and have decided that unless a doctor finds it in my records, I am no longer offering up this bit of information myself. Compared to my spine and pelvic pain, my fibro pain is a non-issue. Yes, I still suffer from it, just not as badly as I did before. Between the climate I live in and medical marijuana, my fibro symptoms are lower than they have ever been. What has disrupted my life is the back pain.
Next week I have an MRI to make sure there isn’t anything more serious going on and to justify being referred to an orthopedic surgeon. I am waiting on approval for a new Rheumatologist. Until then I have plenty of time to research my new diagnosis’ and how I want to treat them.
While I am not thrilled with my diagnosis, I am relieved that I finally have answers to what has been going on. Just like when the fallopian tube was found, I want to shout from the rooftop “Who’s crazy now??!!”. Having my diagnosis removes the doubt from the minds of those in my life. Once again it was only my husband and children who believed my pain was real. It should irritate me that those who doubted me are now sympathetic, but in all honesty I don’t really care. I do find it amazing how going thru something without validation from a physician can expose who is really there for you and who thinks you belong in the loony bin.
All in all emotionally I am in a good place. I know the pain was and is real. I know what I am dealing with and learning about what to expect in the future.
Do you suffer from arthritis? If so what kind do you have? How do you treat it? What about Joint Degeneration. I would love to hear from others that are dealing with these conditions.