Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Mastering the art of self-diagnosis.

Sam tells me all the time that he thinks I’m a genius, and I might finally be convinced that he’s right. I believe I’ve figured out why I have so many strange aches and pains! This afternoon I read an article online, completely by accident, that listed the eight signs and symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis ... AND I’VE GOT SEVEN OF THEM. They are: 1) pain and tingling in my hands that can be misdiagnosed as carpal tunnel syndrome; 2) pain in my heels that can be misdiagnosed as plantar fasciitis; 3) unexplained fatigue; 4) pairs of achy joints (my hands and knees); 5) severe stiffness in the morning; 6) painful locked joints that cannot bend; and 7) nodules that grow near the affected joints.

Holy crap, I’m a textbook case! And the most illuminating connection is the fact that rheumatoid arthritis is genetic, and my mother has had it for years.

I can’t tell you how exciting it will be to add yet another chronic, incurable disease to my growing list of physical problems, and the prospect of additional prescription medications means I can finally justify ordering the industrial-size, fancy-schmancy pill organizer I’ve been coveting on Wal-Mart’s website. It’s $69.95 at the time of this writing and the size of South Dakota with an alarm clock that yells at you.

I’ve got an appointment to see my doctor on March 22, so stay tuned for an update. Let’s see if I’m as smart as Sam thinks I am! Thank you for reading this.

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