Posting days: Sunday and Wednesday and, sometimes, maybe, extra ‘news flashes’
Wednesday January 24th 2018
Not a brilliant week so far.
Tuesday is rheumatology appointment day. My appointment is at ten-thirty. It’s an easy journey as the bus stop is virtually opposite my house, but the 18 is a very unreliable ‘ten minute’ service. Unfortunately, a bus leaves the stop as I am locking my door and I have to wait twenty minutes for the next one. At Northfield station, the usually very reliable train is delayed for six minutes.
I steam into the Q.E. hospital with about three minutes to spare. Phew!
The Rheumatology Department is impressive. The staff couldn’t be more friendly, empathetic, professional.
“Have you experienced ……. ?”, asks the doctor. Yes, I have: acute joint pain, swelling, exhaustion, depression, anaemia, severe stiffness in the morning, weight loss ……… It’s yes to everything, I think, except for mouth and eye ulcers. But my right eye has been sore for two days and, ironically, in the evening I discover a small ulcer!
Yes, I have rheumatoid arthritis. Now, I’m not glad about this, but it could have been something much worse.
J., the research lady tells me that she has had rheumatoid for twenty-three years. She drives, has a demanding, full time job, a child to care for, and she seems very fit, so that’s encouraging.
Because I agree to join the patient research group, there are lengthy discussions and a multitude of questionnaires interspersed among the physical tests, and five hours have passed before I leave. There are more investigations to be done but I am worrying about Isis and Daisy so I am told that the other checks can be done next week when I begin on the medication. This should be as effective as steroids, I’m told, but without the negative side effects.
I am so exhausted I’m almost plaiting my feet but I’m treated to a taxi home where I discover that Hairy and Furry have survived.
They are both sound asleep. A baleful yowl floats down the stairs to inform me that a Daisy cat’s dish has been licked clean and starvation will soon ensue.
Isis, obviously aware that Human has been missing for longer than a dog expects, is behind the front door. I place my hand close to her nose. When she breathes in my scent, she leaps up in a paroxysm of wagging and accepts repeated apologetic hugs.
She hasn’t allowed me to move out of reach since, though this morning she can’t wait to leap out into the rain with Pet Angel R. and trot off to the park.
I was awake all of last night, mind churning, and feel more and more grotty as the day goes on. Eventually, I doze off with Isis on the futon this evening, just in time to miss my Ocado on-line shopping delivery.
They have to dispose of all perishable goods. That costs me over sixty pounds. And I’ve no milk.
I also forget that it’s blog night. That’s why I’m late.
So it’s sorry everyone.
Isis came from the Aeza cat and dog rescue and adoption centre in Aljezur, Portugal. For information about adopting an animal from the centre, contact email@example.com or www.dogwatchuk.co.uk
Oh wow, that’s a lot going on. I’m sorry to hear the diagnosis, but at least it must be a relief to HAVE a diagnosis! It sounds like you are getting good care 🙂 When you say research group, is that what we in the US would call a clinical trial, where they are testing an experimental drug?
No, it’s not a clinical trial, it’s a research group trying to find out more about rheumatoid arthritis, symptoms, treatments, responses to drugs etc. It’s extremely meticulous and detailed.