A diagnosis and an absence

Happy New Year, how are we all?

I’ve been having a bit of a blog break for the last few weeks; life has been hectic and a lot has happened – hence this post…

My blog turned a whole one year old on the 16th Deecember, and I had big plans for posts aplenty; however I was totally burnt out from my day job(dental receptionist) as well as money worries and the usual Christmas stresses so writing took a back seat.

It’s an awful time of year for anyone with a mental illness and I struggle really badly at Christmas; I get totally overwhelmed and it took every bit of fight I had to keep my head in a good place over the festive period.

We went away for the Christmas – watch out for a post coming soon all about our Idyllic Isle of Wight Christmas…

The biggest shock came on the 21st, when I had my follow up appointment with the rheumatologist; an appointment which was six months late and I was dreading due to the fat-shaming I experienced last time.

When I saw Dr B back in April 2017 he told me he believed that my near-constant pain and exhaustion was due to being overweight and unfit; he sent me for an MRI and blood tests and told me to come back in a month to discuss the scan results.

I can’t recall what I wrote at the time but I went off the rails a bit and felt totally misunderstood – numerous GP’s had told me I have Fibromyalgia and yet this was being disputed.

August 2017 I rejoined Slimming World, and overhauled my lifestyle – exercise has been a struggle due to the pain and tiredness but food wise I have eaten well and that combined with going veggie back in June has made a huge difference to the way I feel.

I left the mancub with my parents and thought I would be sick on my way to the appointment on the 21st; I was expecting to be told I’m still fat and unfit and to just get on with it.

So you can imagine my shock when I walked in and Dr B apologised to me; for saying it was simply weight and lifestyle causing my problems.

According to their records, I’ve lost nine kilos(roughly 19 pounds) since I saw them last and they were chuffed to bits; and it was nice to be told they could see how hard I’ve tried and to hear something positive.

He then told me my blood tests had come back and I had tested postive for the HLA-B27 gene.

I wasn’t entirely sure what this meant; so I kept listening.  The MRI had showed inflammation and arthritis in my back and hips which confirmed a diagnosis of something I couldn’t pronounce.

Ankylosing Spondylitis.  A long term chronic illness which causes exhaustion and inflammation in the spine and other areas.

Shit.

He went on to tell me the worst case scenario – basically that my spine would/could fuse and I’d end up as Quasimodo(the bells the BELLSSS) in a wheelchair.

Scary.  I was shocked, pleased, upset… finally I had my diagnosis.

Over the last couple of weeks since I’ve gone through a period of something I can only liken to mourning – I’m gutted and terrified that there is something physically wrong with me, yet I’m pleased that I have a name for it and finally not constantly be told my weight is to blame.

So what happens next?  Nothing much – I’ll still work as I do although I’m looking for something that fits around the boy better.  Weekly physio will start within the month and I’ll be able to attend pain management clinics and see a rheumatology nurse regularly to better manage things.

And what can I do?  Well, I’m clad in my big girl pants(which are really tight) and off to weigh-in today; and I’m back on plan as of the 1st January; I want to lose the weight this year and be the best version of myself.  I keep imagining how amazing it would feel to lose a significant amount of weight, and how different I might feel.

And I’ve replaced my decades-old walking boots with a snazzy new pair… once broken in I want to walk every single day and make exercise a fun and permanent daily fixture.

And this blog?  Well, I’ve struggled with knowing my niche and direction of late; and I’ve been unsure as to whether I should keep to parenting or to just write about everything.  I remembered why I started – to write, to vent, and to share my feelings and experiences and that’s what I will continue to do.

Here’s to 2018!

Lisa x

 

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