Maybe This Is All In My Head

Here’s the weird thing about me. (Well,one of them anyhow.)   After 11 years with a rheumatoid arthritis diagnosis, I still catch myself questioning my symptoms.  Not at first.  Not when the pain is at its worst.  It’s later, when the pain has calmed down. That’s when I question if what I experienced was real, especially when my rheumatologist begins to order tests. Then I start asking myself, “Was the pain really that bad? Was it even there?  Maybe this is all in your head.”

Why?  Why do I ask myself these questions?  I have a solid diagnosis. I have tested positive for RA factor. I have multiple nodules throughout my body,  I have slight wonkiness in my hands and feet and I have experienced pretty extreme days, weeks, months, and even years.  Yet when recent x-rays came back not showing any changes to explain the pain I have been experiencing, I felt slightly embarrassed for making a big deal about the pain. Luckily, my rheumatologist thought there might be more to the story and ordered an ultrasound.  The ultrasound showed fluid in my hips thickening (inflammation) and wants me to see a hip orthopedic. Okay. So it’s not in my head.  Hip-hip-horray!!!???  Not the answer I really want, but also kind of relieved that I am not making this stuff up.

2 thoughts on “Maybe This Is All In My Head

  1. Because pain is ephemeral, impossible to remember, even moments after it’s passed. When you’re in a state of less-pain, you can’t imagine high-pain and it’s natural to question its validity and reality. And I’m really glad that your rheumatologist is on top of imaging tests. I’ve heard so many stories of doctors who have stopped at x-rays, which are not merely sensitive enough to detect recent changes. Fingers crossed!

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  2. You always wonder, I think, especially when things are bringing complete relief. You think, “What if it's not working because I really have had something else all this time.” I have that thought a lot because I am seronegative and all my labs always come back perfectly normal even though I've had enough joint damage to replace a hip, shoulder, and knee.

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