Walk By The Way

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Fresh Coffee, Fresh Tears

Last Tuesday, for lunch I had gone to Little Rock Diagnostic Clinic to have an MRI done on my left hand and wrist. The results showed up in the mail today.

It took me a little bit by surprise. Okay, it took me overwhelmingly by surprise. You see, I wasn’t expecting to know anything about the MRI results until June at my next appointment with the rheumatologist. I had already accepted that I'd have to wait, so I put it out of my head.

As a thickness of papers emerged from the envelope, the first things I noticed were words/phrases like “Methotrexate,” “Plaquenil,” “Possible Eye Problems,” “toxicity,” and “may cause birth defects.” My brain was immediately swimming in confusion. I couldn’t find a letter.

I’m so thankful that I happened to be on the phone with my aunt at the time. I felt like something had sucked my lungs flat. For a few moments my brain just stalled out. Where was the letter? Shouldn’t there be a letter?

I fumbled through everything until I found a short letter explaining that the MRI findings were consistent with Rheumatoid Arthritis and outlining the treatment the doctor would like to implement. Also included was a copy of the MRI Interpretation. Let me say now that I felt like I needed an interpretation of the interpretation. I had extensive college courses in Anatomy and Physiology (A&P), but my brain was so shocked and it has been so long that I still felt like I was trying to interpret the Bible in its orginal languages. However, there were a few words here that resonated poorly with me: “erosion,” “proliferation,” and "cyst."

So, I’m having a pretty regular day at work and I come home to major decisions, like whether I want to have any more children. I only have one – and I’d like to think I would have at least one more. I don’t think I can be ready to face that decision just yet.

So I sat down with a fresh cup of coffee (yes, it’s decaf) and cried some fresh tears. I decided I should blog.

I’m so lucky to have such wonderful family – and women in my family who are on a similar path. When I mention to people the possibility of having arthritis most of them think I can’t have it because I’m so young. Others think it can’t be that painful because I’m so young. Still others think, “Well, lots of people have arthritis – so suck it up and deal.” My aunt, my sister and my mother are all very good about staying positive with me, but at the same time acknowledging the realities of the situation. They let me hold on to the validity of my fears, without letting me stay bogged down in them. This is my family, my women, my arthritis club – and they are truly beautiful.

So, ladies, someone teach me the secret handshake please. I just hope its not too complicated because my thumbs really hurt!! (smile)

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