On Putting Off Diagnosis/Treatment

Sitting in the quiet, early morning dark… hot coffee keeping me company.  This morning’s Sunrise Earth is balloons over the New England states.  I’m homesick early this year…I really want to sit and have a cup of coffee with my mom.  It has been a long, hard 12 months.

I’ve been reading the Rheumatoid Arthritis Warrior’s post the last couple days and thinking.  She has been writing about why people put off treatment… I really enjoyed reading, and thinking about, her story in part 1 of the blog.  I can totally relate to her.

I’ve been thinking… really thinking… about the last trip to Disney World we took and how badly my feet felt… thinking back even further, the last couple of trips were really worse than usual, but the last one was weird in the way it was worse… we spent less time in the parks than we ever had before.  We went back to the room and rested.  I shouldn’t have had my feet bothering me enough that it took me 15 minutes to walk from the parking lot to the room all because I was trying to find the least painful way of getting there.  Hint… bare feet in florida in June isn’t always a good idea… not across the blacktop… but it was better than the shoes… and the grass (while it didn’t make the swelling better) was heavenly to walk in.

I should have known.

I should have not just thought… oh… it will go away.  I’ve been overdoing the jogging in the mornings at home and it is just stress from that… or I’m just getting old (I was 40 something… not exactly decrepit) or too fat (down 36 pounds from my heaviest).  I had lots of reasons… lots of justifications.

In the past 12 months… I was diagnosed with RA… with 26 involved joints… with bone/joint damage already taking place… with nodules (that I’m happy to report are now gone for the most part)… has it really been only 9 months since I had my verdict?


I’ve been thinking about the chemotherapy that I now administer to myself every week… and contemplating the fact that I know my Rheumy will suggest that the next step is injections of MTX to see if my body will absorb more that way (since I’m starting to even realize that I’m probably at my plateau… improvement wise).  Knowing that I will have to go to her office every week doesn’t fill me with happiness.  I almost wonder if I couldn’t just go to my PCP office (which is closer home) and have the injections done there.

There are lots of reasons why people don’t seek treatment.  For me… it was Damn Deniker stubbornness… I come by it honestly.

Why am I glad that I did (other than the obvious… with the exception of the chemotherapy side effects… I’m feeling way more human)?  Because now I can, in all honesty, stand beside my daughter, who takes meds every day that make her feel crappy and loopy and dizzy… and tell her that, while I don’t understand HER side effects and how her epilepsy is affecting her life, I can at least understand the anger at having to deal, every day, with what may be a condition that will have to be dealt with forever… every day, for the rest of my/her life.  I can’t be her, but I can be strong for her and to a great extent I can understand.

Which leads to the second major stressor that crept into our world (and totally makes me want to sit and have coffee with my mom) … Squirrel’s diagnosis with epilepsy… and the continuing fight to keep the seizures under control…

It has been a long and eventful year…

Whatever your reason… the benefits of getting treatment actually do outweigh the reasons not to.


3 responses to “On Putting Off Diagnosis/Treatment

  1. You shouldn’t have to go to a doctor’s office for mtx injections. You can do those yourself. I’m sorry to hear that a change will be needed, though. Hang in there.


    • I guess “have to” is kind of broad…
      My insurance company won’t pay for MTX injections at all unless they are done in they in the doctor’s office… not they aren’t completely covered… they aren’t covered AT ALL… so I either have to fund them all myself, or I have to haul my butt to the dr office…


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