My emotional state is in serious turmoil these days. The combination of lack of sleep, nightmares, and anxiety over still not knowing what the heck is going on with me is taking its toll. Unfortunately, this also means I want to do nothing but sleep (which leads to nightmares, tres frustrating), curl up in a ball and cry (totally not practical since I need to work still) and eat. Since I know better the ins and outs of my intestinal crazies these days, I better know how to eat without setting off the gluten-intolerance flareups. That’s both a blessing and a curse. To put it nicely, until I know what the heck is going on with my immune system, I don’t plan on stepping on a scale because it will only make me feel worse. The good news at this point is that even though I’m a bloaty, gassy, pudgy, hot mess, my clothes are all still fitting. I’ll take that as a win.
Today I found myself tearing up a lot. I did it at work after getting off the phone with the agency. I was so frustrated and angry about the lack of communication in the office and my own fuck up in regards to not getting time cards in on time because of being absent-minded from this health crap that I actually let Josh and Ralph see me cry a bit. I *hate* when people see me cry. I try to pretend I’m stronger than that, but when things get tough, I get emotional. I guess deep down I am just a girl. =P
At this point, it’s pretty clear that it’s not cancer. Now my doctor can’t say that for 100% since you can’t ever really be sure when a diagnosis is still alluding her, but for all intents and purposes, or investigation has moved in another direction. That direction? Autoimmune disorders. Autoimmune disorders in a major way. The two heavy hitters Dr. G is checking out with the most interest are rheumatoid arthritis and lupus. After we ruled out lymphoma, the next most obvious choice was definitely one of these two bad boys.
The amount of overlap in symptoms between lymphoma, RA, and SLE is just ridiculous. It seems that the more research I do, the more I’m reading the same things over and over again – except I’m reading about a different disease each time. There are subtle differences – very subtle – that set them apart. Now, obviously lymphoma is a cancerous process so that’s it’s major defining characteristic. The differences between RA and SLE aren’t as obvious to point to. Seems the pain one is the difference in skin involvement and the level to which the arthritis symptoms flare up in the morning. Since I have heavy skin involvement (you know, since I have all these weird “eczema” issues and this rosacea type redness in the traditional malar pattern) and less of the bilateral and often terrible arthritis every morning, things are leaning the lupus way.
I gave a crap ton of blood to Dr G’s MA on Friday (and man was it a terrible experience [and a story for another time]) in the hope that, if they ran enough tests and checked for enough autoimmune disorders, something would come up. So, here I am keeping my fingers crossed that we find it. Feels funny to hope to find an autoimmune disease lurking inside yourself, but at this point, I just want answers. The sooner I have answers, the sooner I have a diagnosis, the sooner I start some kind of treatment, the sooner I can explain my weird behavior recently to others, the sooner I can get on with my damn life and start to feel like a normal human being again. It’s been a slow going process – losing my “human being-ness” – but I’m at a point now where I hardly recognize me. I just want to be the old me. Couch girl is not a fun person to be around – least of all for the couch girl herself.